Fall is the time to prepare for winter weather. It is easier to do the outside maintenance chores before the weather gets bad. Many things are do-it-yourself (DIY) tasks. Other items are best done by professionals who have the correct equipment.
Here is a checklist of things to do:
- Have a snow and de-icing plan – The DIY method is to buy or service snow-blowing equipment. Also, have enough snow shovels and de-icing chemicals on hand to clear walkways and driveways. The professional method is to make a contract for automatic snow removal with a company that specializes in this work. Usually, these contracts have performance clauses that require snow and ice removal within a certain time, depending on the amount of snow that fell.
- Check furnace, air ducts, fireplaces, clean chimneys, and flues – Having heat in winter is important, so checking the furnace for proper operation and replacing the filter is a good idea. Also, a professional company can clean air ducts for the central heating system and sweep the chimneys to clean the flues.
- Check the roof for damage, clean the gutters and downspouts, and look for cracks in the foundation – Make any repairs necessary before the weather gets bad.
- Consult with your insurance agent at StateChoice to make sure your insurance is up-to-date with adequate coverage and sufficient replacement cost estimates.
- Prune back trees and landscaping, rake the yard to clean up debris – Pay careful attention to any tree branches that might break in winter storms and cause damage.
- Turn off the sprinkler system, drain it and drain the garden hoses. Put the hoses along with any garden equipment, like a mower, away in storage. Use a fuel stabilizer for the gasoline or drain all the gasoline in the mower.
- Remove any window air-conditioning units or cover them. Cover any centralized units that are outside.
- Check weather-stripping and use caulking to fill any cracks around windows and doors that may cause air leaks, letting heat escape.
If you follow these simple tips, you will avoid having to do pricey home repairs in the middle of the severe winter weather. Contact StateChoice for home insurance quotes.