November is full of autumnal celebrations, falling leaves and changing weather. For some regions, snow might already falling and winter wind storms threatening to knock out power. This is the right time of year to keep preparing your home for winter like purchasing snow supplies, testing your generator and keeping the gutters clear of leaves. Be sure to keep your home safe this fall by keeping up with your weekend projects and to-dos.
Inside the home
1.Call and schedule a plumber: The day after Thanksgiving is the busiest day for plumbers due to garbage disposal issues, clogged drains, dishwasher problems and toilet troubles. Do yourself a favor and schedule a plumber to come in and fix issues prior to the busy holiday.
2. Clean dryer vents and duct system: Thoroughly blowing out the dryer duct system is important to help make your appliance function better as well as reduce the risk of dryer fires. The incidences of this type of fire increases in the winter months so get this task done this month.
3. Test smoke alarms: Thanksgiving turkey dinners and distraction from entertaining guests mean more accidental cooking fires. Add to this the assortment of unattended candles and fires in the fireplace and you have a recipe for danger. Stock up on fire extinguishers and check the batteries in your alarms.
4. Get winter storm ready: November wind storms can easily knock out power. Check and replace the batteries in your flashlights and place them in easy-to-find areas of the home and service your backup generator system. While you’re at it, stock up on extra water and canned goods just in case.
5. Call and schedule a heating service pro: Make sure your heating unit is in good working order and change the filters every 3 months.
6. Add appropriate leftovers to the compost bin: Big meal preparations can often lead to valuable compost material. Check our composting tips here.
Outside the home
1. Purchase snow removal equipment: This is a great month to stock up on de-icers, shovels and other snow and ice equipment. If you regularly use a snow blower, be sure you have it serviced before the snow falls.
2. Call and schedule a gutter cleaner: November brings downed leaves, needles and branches which can quickly clog your gutters and downspouts. Protect your roof and foundation by having clear gutter drains. And make sure you use common sense when climbing your ladder – hire a pro if you can’t do this yourself.
3. Stock up on firewood: If your home has a wood-burning fireplace, make sure you have plenty of seasoned wood. Seasoned wood is wood that has been dry for at least a year. Unseasoned wood can produce more smoke or creosote buildup within the chimney. See our video about how to build the best fire in just 60 seconds.
4. Keep lawn clear of leaves: Continue to rake leaves and remove heavy, fallen branches off of the lawn this month as wet leaves can suffocate the grass blades. Rake leaves and compost them or use them as mulch around shrubs and bushes in the yard.