How do we New Englanders prepare our homes for winter? Be it your primary residence or your vacation home, here are steps you need to take to ready your home for those upcoming cooler months.
Fall is typically the best time to start preparing. The kids are back in school, and you have a small window of time before the schedules fill with holiday season activities. Here are a handful of suggestions to help get you on that path!
First on the list is scheduling an appointment to have your furnace/boiler serviced. Nobody wants a surprise when the heat is turned on that first cold crisp night. Have the peace of mind knowing that your heating system is up and running as it should before the temperatures start to drop.
Once that is on the calendar, then set up an appointment to have your fireplace inspected and cleaned. There is nothing more enjoyable than a cozy warm fire on a cold New England night after a long hard day at work.
Your next task is to clear the leaves and debris from your gutters to prevent potential ice damns from forming. Nobody wants a repeat of the winter roof events experienced in 2014-2015! While you are up on that ladder, make sure there are no small openings that might be attractive to outside creatures looking for places to get warm. It is never a happy time sharing your space with a racoon!
Pipes, Pipes, Pipes!!! I am saying this repeatedly because it is of the utmost importance. The last thing you want is a burst pipe in the middle of winter during a deep freeze. Make sure any pipes that are in unheated areas of the home such as a basement or attic spaces are well insulated and protected. During a deep freeze, it’s also a good idea to leave sink bank cabinets open to let heat in and to keep the faucet open with a slow drip. While you are checking to ensure your pipes are well protected for colder temperatures, be sure to detach those garden hoses and shut off all outdoor spigots.
When preparing a summer home for fall and winter, you may need to completely shut off the water. Windows may also need to be boarded to not only protect windows from stormy ocean breezes, hail and Nor’easters, but to also deter unwanted guests from entering your property.
Pack away your patio furniture and lawn/garden ornaments so they are ready to enjoy next spring. Make sure you have your snow shovel stowed in an easily accessible spot and check that your snow blower is in working order. To prevent ice from building up on your stairs and walkways, stock up on salt, sand or kitty litter. You want to make sure people safely arrive to the front door for the holidays. Nobody wants Nana falling down and dropping her famous pumpkin pie Thanksgiving Day! Nana does not want to spend her holiday in the E.R. and I do not know about you, but Thanksgiving is not the same without that “special pie”.
So now you have some basic items to address to ensure you get your “special pie” come Thanksgiving. So take care, stay safe, and enjoy the pie!