Heritage Restoration, Inc.

Fall Preparation

Well folks, fall is upon us.  You know what that means; get ready for, well, you know, the cold.  While we should all rush to put in thousands of dollars we really need to do on our house before it gets too cold, the reality is most of us will not.  But there are reasonable honey do lists, with some items more challenging and can use some professional input.  Best yet, to keep you in the game, some of these tasks can be done during halftime.

 

Keep you grass height low, since you do not need it tall to prevent evaporation and it will be easier to rake.

 

Clean your gutters.  Make sure the water has a good escape route to absorb into the ground, not go into the house.

 

Have your boiler serviced before the heating season.  The cleaner it is, the more efficient it is.

 

Clean your ductwork before you use them.  Dust accumulation contains allergens, bacteria and other irritants.

 

Fill you oil tank now.

 

Make sure your storm windows are complete and ready to close.  Check window locks in new windows so they close properly to engage the weather stripping.  You can also change or improve your weather stripping on newer windows.  And do not forget your basement windows.  Oh, and the basement bulkhead?  Yeah, it should close tight!  If it doesn’t, staple or stick weather stripping, attach a blanket to cover it, or whatever it takes to keep the draft out.

 

Light up the night, since we will be getting home in the dark soon.  Change exterior lighting bulbs if they are out.  You can also replace the fixtures with motion detectors so they turn on and off automatically.

 

My buddy Shaun was telling me he and his dad built a set of wooden steps to cover irregular stone or brick stairs during the winter. They saw a significant difference in the ease of keeping the steps clean and safe.  They have reused it for over 10 years now.  It has been Maine tested and approved.

 

Get an energy audit or a more comprehensive assessment.  There are free energy audits offered by National Grid that look at broader stroke energy efficiency solutions, like insulation, windows and doors, heating and air conditioning, and general energy consumption.   A complete energy assessment can more comprehensive, from determining energy consumption of all appliances and lighting, heating and cooling, negative air pressure (blower door) tests, water and moisture management, infrared scanning, existing and potential insulation, and windows and doors.  There are many tax credits and rebates still available from state and federal resources.

 

Reseal driveways and reset loose hardscapes.  Surface based hardscapes that allow water to penetrate can lift and move come the cold weather.

 

Prune trees and hedges.  Trees should be about 10-15 feet away from the house, and hedges and bushes about 3 feet away from the house.  Remove dead or damaged trees or limbs near your house, or Mother Nature will do it for you.  Shaun says to tie a rope to an arrow, shoot it over a bad limb, and pull the rope and limb down.  Sounds dangerous and very Maine.  He did wear a hard hat.

 

Turn your compost.  I know, I hate it too.

 

Clean your yard, garage, shed or other outdoor storage areas.  Sometimes it gets impossible once the cold weather kicks in.  Find and pull out your winter gear, including shovels and snow blowers.  Get the snow blowers serviced, or just change the spark plug.

 

Repaint what you can. You have until it gets to about 45 degrees at night.

 

Clean your patio furniture and repair them before you store them.

 

I will finish this with a true Maine quote: “If the women don’t find you handsome, they should at least find you handy.”  Thanks Bup.

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