Get Your Home Winter Ready

Before the first snow flies, and your scrambling to look for hats and mitts for the kids, don't forget early home maintenance is key to avoiding Winter property damage.
The following is a list of routine maintenance procedures.
1. Make sure your attic is well- ventilated and well-insulated. This will prevent ice dams (an accumulation of ice at the lower edges of a sloped roof). When interior heat melts the snow on your roof, water runs down and refreezes at the roofs edge. Eventually, the ice builds up and blocks water from draining off the roof.  This then forces the water into your home causing leaks and damage.
2.Make sure roof shingles are in good condition. If the shingles are loose, shifting ice and water can cause even more damage.
3. Drain and store outdoor hoses. Protect the outside faucets. Shut off the indoor water valve.
4. Apply weather stripping to windows and doors. It helps reduce drafts and saves
on heating bills. Also don't forget to caulk around window and doors casings to keep out air and water. If your house has wood siding with window frames that stand out from the siding, caulk the top and sides of the frame. Don't caulk under the sill - that space should be left clear to allow moisture inside the wall to escape. If your house is brick or stone, with window frames that are set into the finish material, caulf all four edges of the frame- where the brick mould meets the masonary.
5. Clean and reverse the ceiling fans. By reversing the fan, warm air is pushed downward.
6. Vacuum bathroom fan grille. Also don't forget to vacuum fire and smoke dectectors, as dust and spider webs can get create blockage.
7. Clean the kitchen exhaust hood and filter. Keeping this clean of cooking grease will help keep a stovetop fire from spreading.
8. Clean the clothes dryer exhaust duct, damper and space under the dryer. Lint gets built up in these areas.
9. Clean drains in dishwasher, sinks, bathubs and shower stalls. If you have a drain that is not used ofter, such as a laundry tub, spare shower or bathroom sink, run some water briefly to keep water in the trap. Also check the basement floor brain to ensure the trap contains water.
10. Make sure to check all indoor and outdoor plugs around the holiday season with all of the decorative lights.
11. When decorating around the house for the HOLIDAYS this year, make sure you usethe new LED Christmas lights. Not only are they MUCH more energy effiecent using 95% less electricity, but they also last up to 100,000 hours, thats 10X longer then the regular decorating lights.
By doing these few maintenace tips now, you could be saving yourself not only money in repairs, but time in the Spring when there are MORE "Honey  do Jobs".