Days are getting shorter, leaves are turning and temps are dropping.  Fall is here.  In addition to apple picking, leaf peeping and everything pumpkin, it’s also the time to get your home prepared for winter.  Here are some tips to help minimize the risk of a winter claim.

  • Check your roof for any damage or debris.
  • Check your windows, doors and any other “hole” in your house (think dryer vent, A/C hose, electrical wires).  Make sure there is caulk around the outside of these spaces.
  • Clean any gutters and extend the downspout away from your foundation (ideally 3-4 feet).
  • Drain your lawn/garden irrigation system.
  • Turn off outside faucets.
  • Properly winterize your summer tools and toys (lawnmower, motorcycle, boat, pool, etc.).
  • Start up your generator if you have one to make sure it’s running properly.
  • Although you don’t want to prune most trees or shrubs till late-winter, you should walk around your property and remove any dead trees or limbs.
  • Tune up your heating system including hiring a chimney sweep if needed.  Just call early to schedule because they’ll be busy.
  • Test your sump pump is you’ve got one.
  • Prevent ice damns by keeping your roof the same temperature as your eaves.  This can be easier said than done but there are many helpful resources to help you including Mass Save that sends Energy Specialists out for FREE home energy assessments.
  • Reverse your ceiling fansIn the summer, ceiling fan blades should rotate in a counterclockwise or “forward” direction to create cool downward airflow. In the winter, fan blades should rotate in a clockwise or “reverse” direction to redistribute warm air, which naturally rises to the top of the ceiling.
  • Get items now that tend to be sold-out right before, during and after big storms (shovel, roof rake, ice melt, generator, sump-pump).