I was standing in a checkout line the other day, listening to a conversation between a little girl and her dad – about Halloween costumes. My first thought was, “Wow, she’s planning early,” but, while I listened to her describe her costume ideas, it occurred to me that Halloween really is just right around the corner! What happened to summer? I have to say, I do love this time of year – the cool, crisp weather brings along thoughts of pumpkins, apples, warm stews, and, of course, the beautiful fall foliage…but, this weather also brings along the realization that winter will be here just as quickly as summer passed!
Later that day, as I looked around my house and yard, I started to think about everything that needs to get done in preparation for all those cold, snowy winter nights ahead. Considering autumn will probably pass as quickly as did summer, I realized some of these things would need to be started soon! I don’t know about you, but sometimes all those jobs can get so overwhelming that I tend to miss a few. So, this year, I decided a checklist was just the thing I needed to help me prepare for winter. But, where do I start – which tasks are the most important?
An hour later, with pencil and a STILL blank piece of paper in hand, I decided it was time to “phone-a-friend.” Who better to ask for advice than Jim Dembinksi, president of Oak Ridge Construction in Pocono Pines? Jim and his brother, Matt, are second-generation builders who took over the business that was established in 1977 by their father, Paul H. Dembinski. With over 30 years of construction experience, Jim is certainly qualified to help with this kind of checklist. So, I asked for his suggestions…and those suggestions became my checklist! His top 10 suggestions are listed below.
Top 10 Home Tasks To do Before Winter
- Disconnect all hoses from hose bibs and store hoses where they won’t freeze
- Clean all gutters and downspouts to help prevent ice damning.
- Check to make sure all ends of foundation drains are free from leaves and dirt
- Check the operation of all sump pumps, sump pump switches and floats.
- Don’t set your thermostat lower than 58 degrees.
- Mark well, septic lids and driveway boundaries with markers at least 4” tall. Hardware stores sell poles for this purpose.
- If you home has roof heat cables, be sure they are turned on.
- Service your heating system, change filters, etc.
- Check that all propane and oil tank inlets are accessible for delivery.
- Cover crawl space vents with a piece of rigid Styrofoam to prevent pipes from freezing.
Thanks, Jim! Now I have a plan so I won’t miss anything – or feel overwhelmed by the approach of winter! And, no need to panic – with the autumn equinox officially beginning September 22, at 20:44 UTC , there is still plenty of time to prepare for winter! Just follow the checklist!