Don't get caught in the cold!
Fall is in full force, but winter will be here before you know it. Between buying gifts and attending parties, you're probably about to get caught up in all of the holiday festivities. But you don't want to be left in the cold when the first snow hits. A little bit of preparation can go a long way, especially when it comes to preventing costly home repairs. Here are seven home tasks to tackle before the first snow.
Take Care of Your Outdoor Plants
You worked so hard in the spring and summer to grow your plants. So don’t let them die in the winter. Check to see if your outdoor potted plants can survive through the winter in your zone. If not, consider bringing them inside (just check for pests first so you don't accidentally infest your houseplants).
You also might want to bring terracotta or ceramic pots indoors, as the expanding and contracting from changes in temperature can cause them to crack in the cold.
Schedule Tree Trimming
While you might think that tree trimming is for aesthetic purposes—there are far more important reasons to have your trees trimmed. If branches fall during a snowstorm, thunderstorm, or even during high wind, it could cause damage to your home. Or worse, a falling branch could fall on a person or vehicle. Don't wait until something bad happens to tackle this importance task.
Establish a Snow-Removal Plan
Kat Christie, licensed contractor and founder of She Fixed That LLC, advises calling your landscaper (if you have one) as early as possible to see if they offer snow removal in the winter.
She also suggests stocking up on anything you need to remove the snow yourself. So go ahead and buy your shovel and salt now before things get sold out. “For a light powdery snow, a leaf blower is also a great option. If you have a snow-blower, make sure it has what it needs to function such as gas or oil.” Don’t forget to test it before you start to see flakes.
Check Your Roof
Christie suggests taking a look at your roof to ensure there aren't any shingle issues. Going up there yourself can be dangerous, so it’s best to hire a professional. Doing this now gives you some leeway time if you have to order new shingles or have work done before the snow arrives.
Inspect for Drafts
Drafty windows and doorways can drive up your electric bill and generally make your home less comfortable. So, inspect now and get any repairs done if need be. “Also, make sure electrical outlets on exterior walls are insulated. You'd be amazed by the drafts that can blow through some of them,” explains Christie.
Make Sure All of Your Heat Sources Are in Working Order
“Call your heating service provider and have them inspect the unit for proper function,” says Christie. “Do this in October if you can—that way you have plenty of time to address any potential issues. This is also a great time to check or replace your filter.”
Check Your Supplies
“Have the supplies you need should you lose power. Candles, flashlights, non-perishables, bottled water, and warm blankets,” advises Christie. “That way, you won't have to venture out in any pre-storm panic shopping.”
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