The leaves are piling up in the yard. The farmers markets are packed, and everyone is starting to think about Thanksgiving.... and Christmas. It seems like now is a good time of the year to catch up on all of the projects around your home that you forgot about while you were busy enjoying summer. Below are a few tips to prepare your home for winter.
Rake up leaves that settle on your lawn. Large leaves, especially when they get wet, can compact to the point where they suffocate the grass below and lead to all kinds of insect and disease problems. So it's a good idea to routinely rake or blow them off the lawn or, better yet, use a mulching mower to shred them into fine pieces.
Put the raked leaves in the compost pile or use as a mulch. Whatever you do, don't waste fallen leaves because they're an excellent source of nutrients and organic matter. You can also add them to flower beds to put a winter blanket on your garden.
Clean your gutters! Did you know that often times unwanted water in the basement is due to clogged gutters?
Disconnect and drain all outside hoses. If possible, shut off outside water valves
Caulk cracks and gaps to, touch up exterior paint to prevent moisture from getting in and rotting if bare wood is exposed (hey Profeta Painting is right here with a 10% off fall discount).
Clean and replace filters in your furnace or heating system. Contact a licensed heating contractor to inspect and service your gas heater or furnace to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning (we recommend John Betlem Heating and Cooling, another family owned and operated company).
Check the attic to make sure the insulation is installed properly. The vapor barrier on insulation should face down toward the living space. If it is installed incorrectly (with the vapor barrier facing up) then the insulation will trap moisture causing possible water problems (ain't nobody got time for water damage!).
Inspect your roof, or hire a licensed professional to examine your roof for wear and tear (we love Lex with Kaptein Exteriors 585-755-8522). If the shingles are curling, buckling or crackling, replace them. If you have a lot of damage, it's time to replace the entire roof. Also, check the flashing around skylights, pipes and chimneys. If you have any leaks or gaps, heavy snow and ice will find its way in.
Hire a chimney sweep. How to determine you need it done - do you remember the last time you did it? No? Then it's time.
Wood-burning stoves have increased in popularity. Don't forget to have your wood-burning fireplace inspected, cleaned and repaired to prevent chimney fires and carbon monoxide poisoning (and don't forget to order firewood sooner than later).
So winter is coming (hehe shout out to all of the Game Of Thrones fans), whether we like it or not. Once you complete your checklist, sit back relax and treat yourself to a mug of eggnog!