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NEWS


It may be tempting to ignore yearly tasks that prepare your home for winter, but inaction can be costly. Keeping your home in good repair not only prevents larger problems, but it can also avoid complications should you need to file an insurance claim down the line.

Here are four tasks you should tackle to get your home in peak winter condition:

Clean Gutters -- Remove leaves, pine needles and other debris from gutters to ensure late fall rains and winter precipitation can run freely. Make sure water drains properly into downspouts during your cleaning, and check that gutter attachments are securely in place.

Inspect the Roof -- Checking your roof doesn't require that you scale a wobbly ladder. You can get along just fine from the ground with a set of binoculars. Look for shingles that are lifting, cracked or showing signs that the protective granules have worn away. If you have attic access, look for pinholes of light or signs of water damage along the roofline.

Shut Off Outdoor Spigots -- Save yourself the headache of a burst pipe by disconnecting, draining and storing garden hoses for the winter. If your outdoor spigot has a shut-off valve, close the valve and drain the faucet. You can also wrap protective insulation around the spigot for the off-season.

Patch Windows and Doors -- Check around doors and window sashes; replace any weather stripping that has become loose or cracked. Wave a lit match or incense stick around window and door frames, and caulk areas where the smoke wavers, which indicates an air leak.

Tending to these tasks now may feel like a bother, but it will keep you from laboring out in the cold if overlooked winter maintenance comes back to haunt you. 

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