By Scott Penner, Esq.
For most homeowners in New England the Fall season is practically synonymous with raking leaves, but it is also important to take time over the next couple of months to prepare for the coming Winter. Here are some basic tips that can ensure that you and your home are ready for this year’s first snowstorm:
- Turn off the water to all un-insulated pipes, especially those connected to outdoor faucets, and leave the faucet open so that the water can drain out in order to prevent freezing. You should also disconnect any garden hoses and sprinkler systems, and make sure that they are drained of water as well.
- Check/Test Run your Heating System to ensure it is operating properly. You don’t want to discover problems during the first cold spell of the year and have to spend hours freezing while you wait for a technician to come and repair it.
- Clean gutters of all leaves and debris to prevent rain and snow from building up and freezing in them.
- Take your snow blower out for a test run to ensure that it starts and runs properly. You won’t be able to get it fixed when your car is blocked in by several feet of snow. For those of us not lucky enough to have snow blowers, it is still important to ensure that your snow shovels are in working condition. Also, if it is late enough in the Fall season, you may also want to drain your lawn mower of gas to prepare it for the upcoming months of disuse at the same time.
- Cut down any broken or dead branches that may be at risk of falling once they are weighed down by snow, especially if they overhang your driveway or walkways.
- If you plan on using your fireplace during the cold winter nights, it is important to have your chimney inspected to ensure that it has not been clogged over the last year. Otherwise you may be in danger of causing a fire or smoke damage when you attempt to light up that yule log.
For those of you that have already taken care of the items on this list you can sit back and enjoy the changing colors of the leaves, secure in the knowledge that your home is ready for Winter. We wish you an enjoyable Fall!