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7 House Projects to do Before the Snow flies



Winter will arrive before you know it. There are things that must be done every year yet some of us, me included, need to be reminded.

Yard Work
Put the lawn mower away (Whoo hoo!) that is unless like me you use it to mulch up the leaves. Make sure you either mulch your leaves or pick them up or fungus will grow on them. Now is a good time to reseed and fertilize your lawn as well. If you have flower beds you should stay out of them—well that’s The Wife tells me. If you are allowed in them, cut away any dead stuff from annuals that won’t grow back.

Clean up Time
Now is a good time to get rid of old branches or kindling from any tree trimming or just fallen branches. Once the leaves fall they will just pile up around the dead stuff making them harder to pick up. If you have normal rain gutters on your roof you should try to get them cleaned out before the snow flies. They will be full of leaves and twigs and will back up. If you feel safe on the roof, you can climb up and use your leaf blower to blast them out. When blowing out the downspouts, sometimes a rap or two on the downspout with a hammer will dislodge any obstructions.

Tool Time
It’s also time to put away the tools (Whoo hoo again!). If you have a sprinkler system, don’t forget to blow it out so water won’t freeze in the lines. If you use hoses and sprinklers, put them in a garage or shed so they won’t freeze and crack. If you are allowed to touch the garden tools, (I’m not) put them away as well. You may want to get those snow shovels out now because it’s really a pain if you have to trudge through that first snow to get them out of the backyard shed (yes, I’ve had to).

Windows and Doors
Either check your windows and doors for leaks yourself or you can sometimes call your local utility company for free or cheap energy assessments. You can check some doors by looking for light around the edges by shutting all your curtains to darken the house while the sun is shining or turn on a porch light at night and turn off your inside lights. If you see light around the edges, that means a lot of cold air will come through there as well. You need a really windy or cold day to check the windows by hand. If the caulking around your doors or windows looks sparse, recaulk.

Swamp Coolers and Air Conditioning
If you have a swamp cooler drain the water, clean the unit and cover it up. Make sure you disconnect the water line on the top and bottom. I found this out the hard way. Air conditioners don’t need so much prep for winter but some are best at least covered up.

While You’re Up There
If you climb up to your roof to clean those gutters or service that swamp cooler, look around while you’re up there. Check for cracked or missing shingles or tiles on your roof. There are not many things that can ruin your day more than a leaky roof. Better yet, especially in any area that experiences hail, there should be numerous roofing companies in your area that will give free estimates. If your roof has been damaged by hail, there is a good chance your home-owners insurance will pay part, or sometimes all of the costs to replace it.

Heat is Neat
If you have a furnace you should check and probably replace your filter about now. It’s not a bad idea to get the whole unit checked and/ or serviced every few years. If you have electric baseboard heat, first thing is dust them off; once you turn them on the dust will burn a bit. Of course, that’s a good way to check them and you really should check every room. The burning dust smell tells you it’s working and that method works for me. You should check every room because it really is a pain if you wait until it’s cold and now you have no heat in that room until you fix it. Trust me on this one, I heard all about it last year.

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