Are you ready for the "S" word?

Have you read The Farmer's Almanac Winter Weather Prediction Yet?

There is preparation work to get done.....

To help you get ready for the incoming "s" word (yes I do mean snow), and the winter weather that comes along with it, check out the following list of 14 things you can do before that first flake falls!

1. Prune trees and shrubs. 
If budget allows consider hiring an arborist to care for your trees. Arborists are trained to spot signs of poor health early on to prevent tree loss, and know how to prune properly to avoid falling limbs in winter storms.

2. Rake leaves. 
Leaving too many leaves on a lawn over the winter in an area like ours, can inhibit spring growth. If you don't have kids to assign this task to, make the job easier on yourself, choose a lightweight rake, wear gloves to protect your hands and use handheld “leaf scoops” to bag leaves quickly.

3. Clean gutters and downspouts.
 After most of the leaves have fallen, clean out gutters and downspouts. Clogged gutters during rainstorms can cause water to pool and damage your roof and siding.

4. Complete outside repairs.
Take a walk around your property, looking for signs of damage to the roof, siding and foundation. If you spot anything that needs repair, get it fixed before winter arrives.
Seal gaps where critters could enter. Fill small holes and larger gaps tightly with heavy-duty hardware cloth to keep the wildlife outdoors.

5. Check walkways, railings, stairs and the driveway for winter safety.
Ensure navigating around your home is safe. Check that all stairs are in good shape and have sturdy railings, the driveway is in good repair to make for easier shovelling and fill deep holes in the yard that could become a tripping hazard when disguised by snow.

6. Stock up on winter supplies.
In our region with cold, snowy winters, fall is the time to prepare.
-Check the condition of snow shovels and ice scrapers; replace as needed
-Pick up a bag of pet- and plant-safe ice melt, if needed
-Restock emergency kits for car and home
-If you use a snow blower, have it serviced and purchase fuel

7. Shut off exterior faucets and store hoses.
Protect your pipes from freezing by shutting off water to exterior faucets before the temperature drops below freezing. Drain hoses and store them indoors.

8. Add weather-stripping.
Weather-stripping applied around the frames of windows and doors helps increase winter warmth and lower energy bills. Add door sweeps to the base of drafty doors to keep heat in and cold air out.

9. Check safety devices.
-Test smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors; replace batteries as needed.
-Check the expiration date on your fire extinguisher and replace if needed.
-If you haven’t checked your home for radon, fall is a good time to do so — as the weather gets cooler and windows stay shut more often, radon is more likely to become trapped in your home. Radon at high enough levels is extremely harmful, so if you find that your home has radon (a radon level of 4 or above is considered unacceptable), hire a contractor qualified to fix radon issues.

11. Remove window A/C units.
If you use window air conditioning units in the summer, remove them before the weather turns cold. If you must leave window A/C units in, cover the entire exterior of the unit with an insulating wrap to keep cold air out.

12. Clean dryer vents.
Lint build up in dryer vents can make your dryer work less efficiently and even cause a fire.

13. Deep-clean the kitchen.
Tackle some of the more labour-intensive cleaning jobs, and keep your kitchen working efficiently and looking great:
-Degrease the range hood and filter
-Clean the oven
-Vacuum the refrigerator coils
-Scrub tile grout
-Clean light fixtures
-Wash the walls and backsplash
-Wash the garbage can and recycling bins
-Clean small appliances

14. Schedule chimney cleaning and heating system maintenance.
Making sure your chimney, furnace or boiler are cleaned, maintained and in working order before you need to turn on the heat is an important safety measure. Be sure to add a chimney cap if you don’t already have one, it will stop critters from crawling down your chimney!

Please feel free to share this blog to help your neighbours and friends get prepared for the upcoming winter. 

See you at the Rink!