6 items to check before winter

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Well for many fall is almost done but there is still time to take some basic measures before Ole’ Man Winter arrives.

Cleaning gutters

Fall is the time that you really need to make sure your gutters are cleaned of all debris such as leaves and pine needle. If you don’t these will hold the water and freeze solid in the winter potentially causing ice problems that could backup into your home’s interior.

Many metal roofs here in the north do not have gutters so that when the snow slides off, the gutter isn’t ripped from the house.

Metal roofing

Chimney’s cleaned and inspected

Come fall it’s a good idea to have your chimney inspected and cleaned before you have to use it. Things such as built up creosote can cause chimney fires and if there are cracked or damaged linings, they should be repaired before you fire up that wood stove or fireplace. Depending on your abilities and comfort level with height, you may want to hire someone that has the tools and equipment needed for chimney cleaning.

Chimney

You should also inspect the exterior of your chimney to see if anywhere needs to be repointed. In the photo below (center) you can see that there is mortar missing between the bricks. If this is left un attended then water or snow may get in there, freeze and cause even more problems.

Chimney needing repointing

Also make sure your chimney clean outs are closed and in good repair.

Chimney cleanouts

Firewood

By now you should have obtained your firewood and secured it in a dry area so if you need to make a fire in an emergency ie the power is out and you need to keep your home warm, it’s ready and available. Wet wood doesn’t burn as well and doesn’t give you the same amount of heat.

Firewood

Back up generators

If you have a back up generator, whether it is a small one that will run a few items or a model that runs your whole home, fall is the time to have it serviced. It would be wise to have the oil changed and make sure that it is working properly. This is one of those things like car wiper blades that are forgotten until it’s actually needed which never works out for the best.

Leaves and yard maintenance

Leaves are on everyone’s list of fall projects and for good reason. Left alone they blow around, leave clumps of wet material in the spring and if they blow up against your home provide a place for little critters to nest and potentially enter your house.

Screens

Now I know many don’t remove their screens before winter but we always do for two reasons. The first is it lets more light in or it at least seems that way and more importantly in the winter the sun is lower and will shine in your windows. Why not get the free solar gain and free heat? The screen actually blocks some of that energy so take them off, clean the windows and store the screens till spring.

Are there other things that you do on your fall check list before winter sets in?

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About Todd Vendituoli -HomeCentrL

Todd Vendituoli has been a builder for almost 30 years with companies in Vermont and the Bahamas and HomeCentrl is an extension of those years of building experience highlighting everything about your home. I am presently working within the field of social media and using my years of construction and design knowledge to help others understand and use social media to enhance their businesses in a multitude of different ways. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and a variety of other social networks.
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