The weather is close to perfect in our area, so why not take advantage of it and check a few things off your cold weather prep “to-do” list. That way when the peak
season hits in the mountains, you’ll have no guilt taking off for the weekend!
Fireplace and Chimney Maintenance
You should call a chimney sweep once a year but for sure don’t go longer than 2 years between cleanings – especially if you burn a lot of wood fires during the season. Hopefully you will have your older, seasoned firewood now ready for use after sitting for the spring and summer. Make sure you keep the firewood at least 30 feet from the house and covered. Seasoned wood is best for fires, as it burns cleaner and longer.
Review Home Fire Safety Rules and Plans
The introduction of the heating season brings new potential for fire hazards, so take a moment to review fire safety in your home. Check and replace fire extinguishers if necessary, and change the batteries in your smoke detectors. This is also a good time to review a fire evacuation plan with your family.
Check and Clean the Gutters
If you have a lot of trees in your yard, you’re no stranger to cleaning out your gutters SEVERAL times during the fall. Maybe this is the year to install gutter guards or covers to help prevent leaves from clogging them and make your job a whole lot easier! If gutters remain clogged, water will spill over them and onto the ground next to the foundation, which may cause damage to the foundation. Gutters and downspouts should be kept clean and should direct water away from the foundation, as well as from walkways and driveways, so that they do not become slippery or icy.
Clean out the Toolshed
You probably have a little bit of time to do this, but before you store away your outside lawn equipment, it is recommended that you empty out unused fuel from any gas-powered equipment stored in the garage, such as a lawnmower, because sediment can build up and clog the fuel lines. Store gasoline in tanks out of children’s reach and have it ready for use in your snowblower or emergency generator, if need be.
Test Your Emergency Generator
We have not had a “big” winter in a long time and at some point, it’s going to catch up to us. And if it’s not winter, it’s a bad storm in the summer. The best time to buy a generator is when you don’t need it and if you already have one, testing it before the winter season begins is important so that you’re not caught with one that doesn’t work in a time of need. Make sure you never run the generator in any enclosed space – like your garage – as it will present a carbon monoxide hazard.
Lara Taylor – Realtor/Broker
Twitter – @AskForLara