2005-09-29 / News

Home check now can save money

By Roger Marshall

Take a look around the exterior of your home. What needs to be done before winter’s snows fall upon us? There are many things that you might want to do to get ready.

First, check the gutters around your home. Clean drains and downspouts to endure that water can easily flow clear of the house. Take a look to see where the water flows when it comes out of the downspout. It should lead away from your home and basement. If it doesn’t, you still have time to regrade your property or to install drain lines to get rid of excess water.

Check, too, all your external waterlines. Sometime before the first hard frost you’ll probably want to drain your external lines to make sure that water cannot freeze in them and literally blow the outdoor faucet apart. Coil and store your hoses to stop water freezing inside the hose and splitting it.

Take a look around your home and see what needs painting, sealing, or other maintenance. Tap wood surfaces lightly with a hammer to see that the surface has not rotted out behind the paint layer. did that on a greenhouse a few weeks ago and found a nest of ants and no wood. Needless to say, the non-existent wood was removed, the ants were sprayed with ant killer and new sealed and painted wood put in place.

If you have bushes and shrubs close to your home, you might want to cut them back so that they do not touch the house siding. A branch waving back and forth in winter winds can eventually wear quite a large hole in the siding. Check any external cables will not get snagged by branches and broken in high winds from winter storms.

If snow drove under doors and into your home last year, what have you done to prevent it this year? You may want to winterize doors and windows, and while it doesn’t need to be done now, you can buy a kit of clear plastic at Jamestown Hardware to cover windows that don’t fit well and let air into your home. Simply apply the double-sided tape and press fit the clear plastic onto the tape. I find that these kits provide an extra layer of insulation over greenhouse openings during the depths of winter.

Check paths and walkways. If they are brick, look to see if any bricks have been raised during the summer. When you start to shovel snow, hitting a raised brick can get you a good thump in the belly if you are not aware.

You might also want to check your deck for raised nail heads. Hitting a nail head with a snow shovel can break the nail and cause deck planking to become wobbly.

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