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Home maintenance is essential for winter peace of mind

(ARA) – With winter’s grip firmly around us, it’s important that your house can stand up to snow, wind, ice, freezing rain and all the other potential bad weather that can cause damage to your property.

Putting off maintenance and preventive measures for your home is risky, particularly in winter. One night with no heat or frozen water pipes can wreak havoc. Last year’s ice and wind storms in the Northeast and across the Midwest left families without power for many days. Here is a checklist of items to help you make sure you’re ready for winter:

* Outdoor plumbing – Though you drained them in the fall, you should leave all the faucets in the “on” position and remove any plastic components. If you suspect that the pipes might not be completely drained of liquid, compressed air can be used to purge water from the lines.

* Gutters – Make sure that your gutter downspout extensions are a minimum of four feet from the house for the winter months. This keeps the melting winter snow and ice away from the foundation.

* Roof – Take a good look at the shingles. Make sure none are missing or curled up. Also check for signs of leaks – i.e., stains, cracks, damp spots – and make sure you seal the cracks. If you have an ice dam problem, install heated coils along the edge of the roof. They’re easy to install – just hook them to the shingles with a few clips and plug the coil into a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter outlet. If you don’t have a GCFI outlet, a qualified electrician can install one for you.

* Driveways and sidewalks – Get out and seal any cracks on your driveways or sidewalks because the freezing and thawing temperatures will only make them bigger during the winter months. Use crack filler or hydraulic cement to prevent the cracks from growing.

* Install a standby generator – When ice and wind storms hit your home, you don’t want to be without power for very long. Winter is not a time to try and rough it with freezing temperatures. Plus, when the inside temperatures drop, you’ll have to worry about freezing water pipes. And frozen pipes lead to expensive plumbing repair work.
A Kohler standby generator runs on propane or natural gas and is connected to your home’s existing gas lines. A transfer switch monitors electrical activity coming into the home, and when that activity stops due to a power failure, the transfer switch kicks in – in as little as 10 seconds – and the generator has your power up and running again.

“I tell people to get a generator that fits your lifestyle,” says home improvement expert Ed Del Grande. “Any homeowner will want to make sure the heat stays on at all times for the safety of their families. Standby generators are a must-have for emergency situations such as storms.”

By maintaining your house during the winter season, you’ll be able to rest easy, without worrying about water damage or cold temperatures.

Courtesy of ARAcontent

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