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Fall leaves -- time for winter home maintenance

Do winter maintenance before first frost

The unusually warm weather we’ve been having has delayed the time that Omaha and Lincoln see the first frost of the year. With these extra warm days and mild nights, now is a good time to take care of some winter maintenance before the furnace runs every day and the ground starts to freeze.

You can check out AmeriSpec’s seasonal maintenance checklist in our Resource Center for a general list of home maintenance tasks.

An important first step is to test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Angie’s List recommends doing this before your furnace kicks on for the first time. Buy new ones if they can’t be reset once you replace the batteries.

Other tips from Angie’s List:

  • Clean out the chimney. Before you light the first fire in the fireplace, make sure you won’t have a fire due to creosote buildup in the chimney. Have a professional inspect and clean your chimney and fireplace.
  • Store lawn equipment correctly. Drain all lawn mowers and other gasoline-powered tools. Clean your garden tools and lawn equipment before hanging it up for the season.
  • Take items that can freeze out of the garage. Caulk, paint, insecticides and fertilizers, and yard sprays should be moved to a heated area indoors so they don’t freeze and possibly leak.
  • Store patio furniture. If you have room, bring your patio furniture and umbrellas indoors. Or, at least clean and store your cushions and other fabric items.

Remax broker Dave Cronnin in Indianapolis has some more get-ready-for-winter tips for Midwesterners:

  • Bring in the hoses. Drain outdoor faucets, too, and cover hose bibs with an insulated cover. Frozen hoses and pipes can cause serious damage. If needed, drain your lawn irrigation system, too.
  • Reverse your ceiling fans. Make sure they’re turning clockwise to circulate warm air that rises to the ceiling once the furnace starts running.
  • Trim trees. Dead or weak tree branches weighed down with snow and ice can cause the branches to fall and bring down power lines, or damage siding and windows.
  • Get snow gear ready. Find your snow shovels and stock up on snow melt. Make sure your snowblower is in good condition. If your snow blower needs oil and/or gas stabilizers, have them on hand.

AmeriSpec conducts inspections for carbon monoxide to see if harmful levels are in your home. We also can conduct a roof inspection to make sure it’s sound for winter. Call us at 402-393-3696 in Omaha or 402-483-2010 in Lincoln to set up your appointment.

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