It’s getting darker earlier and evenings are cooler. We are heading into the fall season. Below is a checklist of things you can do to get your home ready for winter:
- Drain gas from lawnmowers.
- Service or tune-up snow blowers.
- Replace worn rakes and snow shovels.
- Clean, dry and store summer gardening equipment.
- Buy bags of ice melt and sand.
2. Check Foundations
- Rake away all debris and edible vegetation from the foundation.
- Seal up entry points to keep small animals from crawling inside the house.
- Inspect sill plates for dry rot or pest infestation.
- Secure crawlspace entrances.
3. Prevent Plumbing Freezes
- Locate your water main in case you need to shut it off in an emergency.
- Disconnect and drain outside garden hoses
- Shut off valves that connect water to outside faucets.
- Insulate exposed plumbing pipes.
- Drain air conditioner pipes and, if your AC has a water shut-off valve, turn it off.
- If you go on vacation, leave the heat on, set to at least 55 degrees.
4. Prepare an Emergency Kit
- Buy indoor candles and matches or lighter for use during a power shortage.
- Find the phone numbers for your utility companies and tape them near your phone.
- Buy a battery backup for your phone and to protect your computer and sensitive electronic equipment.
- Store extra bottled water and non-perishable food supplies.
- Prepare an evacuation plan in the event of an emergency.
- Check out “Build A Kit” from Ready.gov.
5. Prepare Landscaping and Outdoor Surfaces
- Trim trees if branches hang too close to the house or electrical wires.
- Ask a gardener when your trees should be pruned to prevent winter injury.
- Plant spring flower bulbs and lift bulbs that cannot winter over.
- Seal driveways, brick patios, and wood decks.
- Move sensitive potted plants indoors or to a sheltered area.
- Move your grill and clay pots inside. If clay pots are left out over the winter they will crack.