Like it or not, winter is coming early as usual, with Mt Bachelor already open and more snow in the forecast. Last winter is a strong memory to many local minds in terms of the damage that occurred to residential and commercial buildings.
The extreme weather meant you couldn't find the things you needed to prevent damage, when we discovered as snow melt, snow shovels, gloves, and snow rakes quickly being sold out. A recent real estate industry article reminded me of the need to be better prepared this year, offering a list of suggested items to prepare your home for winter.
Cleaning gutters and downspouts is very important. Neglecting this job—admittedly not very much fun—can lead to lots of damage to your home, but you don't want to be stuck doing this once bad weather has started. Gutters that are clogged can cause your roof to leak and create ice dams when it snows. We had this issue on many roofs last winter.
Roof and Exterior
Check your roof for loose, missing, or damaged shingles. This is particularly important after last year's severe storms, which damaged many roofs. Checking your siding for cracks and peeling paint is a good idea, particularly on the side of your home most exposed to the elements.
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Pipes and Sprinklers
If you haven't had your sprinklers blown out yet, get this done as soon as possible. It's also important to disconnect your hoses from the hose bibs and shut off all outside faucets completely before the first hard freeze. Getting inexpensive Styrofoam protective faucet covers provides additional protection for exposed hose bibs.
Heating SystemMaking sure your heating system is in good condition so it does not break down in frigid weather is important, particularly if you have an older furnace. Just like you might get your car checked before embarking on a long road trip, the same concept applies to having a professional check your heating system. If you have a fireplace, make sure your chimney is clean and safe, particularly if it's been a while since it was cleaned.
Be Ready for Winter
Have key items including a snow shovel, snow melt, snow rake, snow blower, etc. before a big snow storm hits, so you're not caught without necessities that sell out quickly. This is particularly relevant for new residents to our community who may not be familiar with these necessary chores. Keeping track of these few things can help prevent disasters and ensure pleasant holiday gatherings.