Awh, the first snow of the season. In won’t be long before we have our first serious snowfall. Use this checklist to get your home ready for the winter.
Fireplace & Chimney
Call a professional to check your fireplace – especially if you plan to use it during the winter. No bigger disappointment than getting ready to light the first fire only to smoke out your living room because the flue was not thoroughly cleaned. This should be done at the beginning of each season. Safety tip: be sure to appropriately dispose of the ashes using a fireproof metal bucket.
If you have not yet now is the time to call and order a load of firewood. Be diligent about stacking the wood in a good location. General rule of thumb, stack wood in a single row, off the ground, out of the shade, with enough space between the pieces to allow air to pass through. This exposes more wood to sunlight and breeze, which helps dry it out faster. When stacking, use a crisscross pattern to make pillars at each end for stability.
Heating and Cooling Systems
If you have a HVAC service contract, schedule an appointment. If you do not, you should consider establishing a maintenance agreement with your preferred vendor. It is much better to find an HVAC problem in the moderate temperatures of the fall than it is to find your furnace doesn’t work on a frigid winter day. At the very minimum replace filters and install covers on the AC condensing units on the outside of the home.
Firepit & Grill
Clean out your grill and firepit. We all cover our grill, but have you considered investing in a fire pit cover? This will help prevent leaves, rainwater and debris from accumulating during the winter. While you are in the yard, store any outdoor furniture, so it is out of the elements and stays in tact for next year.
It is still early in the season, and the leaves are still on the trees, which makes now a great time to schedule your gutter cleaning. It is especially important to make sure gutters and downspouts are clear and in good working condition so water or melting snow runs from the roof and drains away from the house. Make sure the water runs at least 3 to 4 feet away from the foundation, add extensions to downspouts, if needed.
Speaking of water. Disconnect all garden hoses and drain the water out of the spigot. Undrained water in pipes can freeze, which will cause pipes to burst as the ice expands. Most homes don’t typically have frost-proof faucets so turn off the shut-off valve inside your home. And while you are at it, schedule a professional to come in and drain your lawn irrigation system.
This weekend we turn the clocks back an hour, a good reminder to check your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms and change batteries.
New England winter storms can range from a brief period of extreme cold temperatures, to days of snow, blowing wind, and power outages. Take the time to complete these tasks now to prepare your home before winter weather even begins.
If you would like help tackling this list, give us a call. We have an expansive list of competitive, fully-insured vendors. Please email Rising Tide Realty Property Manager, Anthony Sillitta at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.maddenre.com