What does your local fire department have to do with getting ready for fall and winter at the shore? I was surprised to learn recently, after speaking with an area fire captain, that the thing that often keeps crews the busiest in quiet winter months are flooded homes! I can only imagine receiving a phone call to let me know that my second floor bath pipes burst and have been spraying water…for the last three weeks!
So save a fireman – if you have a seasonal home, take the time to prep for the coming winter months. While a house might seem warm and cozy now, remember that one of the island’s biggest winter foes is WIND. Strong winds force cold air into attics, crawlspaces, and other areas that are normally warmer – then freezing and bursting pipes.
I found a great Fall/Winter Prep Checklist, via www.bobvilla.com, and have shared it below. Some of these are DIY tasks, and others can easily be tackled by a local landscaper or handyman. (Give us a call if you need help finding one!)
- Check all the weatherstripping around windows and doorframes for leaks to prevent heat loss. Replace weatherstripping, if necessary.
- Swap all screen doors with storm doors/window screens with storm windows.
- Check crawlspaces and attics for gaps and insulation – wrap any bare pipes.
- Check for drafts around windows and doors. Caulk inside and out, where necessary, to keep heat from escaping.
Lawn, Garden, and Deck
- Trim overgrown branches back from the house and electrical wires to prevent iced-over or wind-swept branches from causing property damage or a power problem.
- Clean and dry patio furniture. Cover with a heavy tarp or store inside a shed or garage to protect it from the elements.
- Clean soil from planters. Bring pots made of clay or other fragile materials indoors. Because terra cotta pots can swell and crack, lay them on their sides in a wood carton.
- Remove any attached hoses and store them away for the winter to prevent cracks, preserve their shapes, and prolong their life. Wrap outside faucets with covers to prevent water damage.
- Shut off exterior faucets. Drain water from outdoor pipes, valves, and sprinkler heads to protect against pipe bursts.
- Clean leaves, dirt, and pine needles between the boards of wooden decks to thwart mold and mildew growth.
Heating, Ventilating, and Air Conditioning
- Clean or replace the air filter in your furnace for maximum efficiency and improved indoor air quality.
- Check that smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are in working order.
- Remove air conditioners from windows or cover them with insulated liners, to prevent drafts.
- If you have an older thermostat, replace it with a programmable unit to save on heating costs.
- Examine exposed ducts in the attic, basement, and crawl spaces, and use a sealant to plug up any leaks.
Gutters, Roof, and Drains
- Check for missing, damaged or warped shingles and replace, as necessary before you get stuck with a leak.
- Check for deteriorated flashing at the chimney, walls, and skylights and around vent pipes. Seal joints where water could penetrate, using roofing cement and a caulking gun.
- Check the gutters and downspouts for proper fastening, and re-secure if loose or sagging. The weight of snow and ice can pull gutters off the house.
- Clean gutters of any debris. Make sure downspouts extend away from the house by at least 5 feet to prevent flooding of the foundation and water damage from snowmelt.
- Clean leaves and debris from courtyard and pool storm drains to prevent blockages.
- Ensure all vents and openings are covered to prevent insects, birds, and rodents from getting inside to nest in a warm place.
Thank you to all who have served – you are in our thoughts today.
Why November 11th? On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, World War I ended. In 1921, an unknown World War I American soldier was buried in Arlington National Cemetery (and similar unknown soldiers were buried in England & France). All of these memorials took place on November 11th to commemorate the end of “the war to end all wars.”
“When our perils are past, shall our gratitude sleep?”
While yoga is my most passionate practice as of late, I’ll always have a runner’s heart. The amazing October weather here at the shore has me itching to lace up my running shoes. [Editor’s Note: Please note this fantastic photo of Joe from the 1998 AC Marathon, posted completely without his permission!]
Bob “Wish” Wischnia is an old friend of mine, and one of the foremost experts on running. I really enjoyed his recent article, “The Myths About Running Shoes: Separating Fact From Fiction.” He did a great job of separating facts from common fiction, in terms of picking the perfect running shoe. Take a look, and I hope it helps you the next time you need to upgrade your exercise footwear. Now get out there and enjoy this amazing October!
I love jack-o-lanterns, spooky spiders, and piles of gourds. But I must admit that this year I’m suffering from a little bit of fall decorating burnout. Desperate for ideas, I harnessed the power of the world-wide-web in an attempt to find some ideas to spice up my decorating repertoire.
Granted, ACTUALLY decorating is a whole other task. But at least I don’t have to start from scratch…
And don’t forget – if your home is currently listed for sale, don’t give up on seasonal decorating! Consider seasonal decor an important part of staging your home for sale – it helps potential buyers see your property as a HOME.
I’ll be stealing these 72 Fall Decorating Ideas, courtesy of Southern Living magazine!
If you’ve ever purchased a home, you know that the process is people-heavy: buyers, sellers, agents, brokers, appraisers, mortgage officers, surveyors, home inspectors, title officers…you get the idea. (While our office will be just a few of the people in your home-buying experience, we sure hope we’re the fun ones!)
And listen – we LOVE real estate – and all of the people it comes with. That’s why our team is in business. So you’ll see all sorts of real estate information on the DRG Blog: market trends; featured homes; decor ideas; tips for buying and selling.
But the DRG Blog is an opportunity for you to get to know us – your real estate people! You’ll find out that Joe can often be found at the Zen Den, leading Tuesday and Thursday night yoga classes; that Suzy is known for orchestrating huge neighborhood meals with mouth-watering menus; that Jaime balances her time at The Borgata with being a yoga instructor and an agent; that Kristen has an ice cream addiction (thanks to 12 years at Ben & Jerry’s) and is kicking off a huge house lift and renovation.
We hope we can be your real estate people. Stop by often and get to know us!
– The DiLorenzo Realty Group Team