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DIY Home Repairs for November

We’ve already seen our first snowflakes here – signs of the upcoming season! So now’s the time to get ready for winter – here are some key things to review:

Say No to Water and Ice Build-up:

  • Drain and disconnect outdoor hoses, store indoors
  • Make sure you have snow shovels and/or snow blower on-hand
  • Clean gutters and downspouts
  • If you have a sump-pump in your basement or crawl space, make sure it is functioning properly.  While you’re down there, look for signs of water, pest, or dry-rot damage.  Inspect basement walls for seepage.
  • Insulate outdoor pipes, spigots and faucets. For more tips on avoiding frozen pipes, click here.

Prepare for Storms and Power Outages:

  • Prune any tree limbs that touch the house or might cause damage during storms
  • Replace batteries in your flashlights in case a storm knocks the power out
  • Replace outdoor light bulbs

losing-heat-to-draftsImprove Heat Efficiency and Stay Warm

  • Flush your water heater to remove collected sediment to improve efficiency.  Simply open the drain valve at the bottom of your water heater and empty in to a bucket.  Use caution!  The water may be very hot!
  • If you have ceiling fans, flip the switch so they turn in a clockwise motion.
  • Replace the filters in your heating system if you didn’t do this in October.
  • Add window insulation film to windows
  • Check for drafts and seal them up!  Tip:  light a match and hold close to window and door frames.  If the fire doesn’t budge you are good to go! Seal windows with plastic film and outside siding cracks with caulk.  Use weather stripping tape along edges of windows and doors.
  • Install draft guards on the bottom of home entry doors.  You can buy these or make them yourself if you have a good sewing thumb.
  • If you have a wood-burning fireplace or stove, stock up on firewood.
  • Pack fiberglass insulation around basement doors, windows in unused rooms, attic floors, and window AC units. Wear gloves!
  • Look in to a programmable thermostat or get in to the habit of lowering the temperature a few degrees each night.