…….And Winter Is Coming
I know, it seems like summer was just yesterday. But we are approaching the end of October which means soon Christmas songs will be playing on the radio, and Winter is soon upon us. These steps, most of which you can do yourself, will help you save money and protect your home.
1. Tune Up Your Heating System Call in a professional to make sure your heating system is in good working order. Getting this done before Winter hits will make sure you're not in line with hundreds of others on the coldest day of the year.
2. Clean the Gutters If your gutters are full of leaves and other debris, water can back up against the house and damage roofing, siding and trim – not to mention cause leaks and ice dams.
3. Divert Water Add extensions to downspouts so that the water can run clearly at least 3 feet away from the foundation.
4. Mulch Your Leaves Mow your leaves instead of raking them, studies say. The trick is to cut the leaves while dry to small pieces that fall among the blades of grass, where they can decompose and nourish your lawn over the winter.
5. Don't Prune Trees and Shrubs Until Late Winter You may be tempted to bring out the shears after the leaves fall, but experts say that waiting to prune until late winter for most plants is optimum. You can call your local nursery for more advice on what timing is best depending on the plant.
6. Call a Chimney Sweep Before the harsh Winter nights, and the fires start warming the home, make sure your fireplace, chimney and vents are clean and in good working order. That will prevent chimney fires and carbon monoxide from creeping into your home.
7. Restock the Essentials Early Don't wait for the first winter storm to hit to restock on the essentials, such as salt or ice melt. Grab them early so that you are ready when it comes.