Features in this issue
Past Issues:

Prepare Your Home Inside and Out for the Cold Weather

HS_furnace_aAutumn is now at its best, it is time to get your home and garden ready before the cold weather settles in. As you prepare to turn up the heat, it’s time to put your garden in bed, and prepare your home for a comfy, cozy and trouble-free winter.

In the Garden

Trade Bags for Bed – Falling leaves will soon cover your lawn and garden. Instead of raking leaves off the grass and bagging them, try piling those leaves on top of your garden beds. It’s a natural way to protect the delicate plants like rose bushes from harsh freezes when there isn’t enough snow to protect them. Trimmed pine and cedar branches also work well.

Put a Coat On – Delicate bushes like boxwoods at the front of your house need protection from road salt. Burlap works well.

eavesforpageClear the Eaves – Clear out your eaves troughs if you are surrounded by large trees. This is one of the most common causes of basement flooding because clogged eaves prevent rain and mid-winter thaws from flowing into the sewers. Also check that your down pipes are clear of obstruction and then ensure the entire system is unclogged and leak-free by running water through it.

Back Indoors – Dry out clay pots and put them into a basement or garage to protect them from freezing and cracking.

In the Home

Furnace Check – Give your furnace some care and attention. Have a professional check your heating system to ensure it’s in good working order before you turn it on.

Look up the Chimney – If you have a fireplace, this is the time to get it inspected. Grab a flashlight and look inside for build-up, bird’s nests or obvious cracks. Outside, check for broken bricks and crumbling mortar. You also should have your chimney professionally cleaned every other year. Stock up on wood and kindling, so you’re ready for that first cozy fire of the season.

Pad Your Pipes –  If you have water pipes that run along an outside wall or unheated areas in your basement wrap them up. A small frozen pipe can cause big household damage if it bursts. You can buy tubular pipe insulation sleeves from a local hardware store for covering exposed pipes in areas such as a basement, attic, crawl space or cabinet. Cover all exposed parts, including bends and joints. Finally, seal the seams with duct tape.

Be Prepared… It Will Snow

Move items you won’t be needing – the lawn mower, hedge trimmer, rakes and summer toys – to the back of your garage and bring any winter necessities –shovels, snow blowers, skis and sleds – to the front. Purchase some bags of salt and/or gravel early in the season before the first time the ice hits.