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150 Lower Westfield Road
Holyoke, MA 01040


12Oct. 2017

8 Areas of Your Home To Maintain This Fall

The cooler weather is on the way. You can already feel a nip in the air most days. It’s great football weather and weekend festival weather. It’s also a good time to work around the house to get ready for winter.

Before the cold weather sets in for good, tackle these maintenance items around your home.

Gutters and Downspouts

It’s time to clean your gutters and downspouts again. Get rid of the leaves and debris. Once cleaned, make sure that the water isn’t draining behind the gutters. The support brackets also need to be secured properly. Look down to see if the water drains away from your home properly without pooling. If not, your foundation could be negativel impacted. Downspout extensions are inexpensive, and can help direct rainwater away from your home.

Chimney, Fireplace, and Roof

Start with your roof and check for missing or loose shingles. Repair your roof, or if needed, replace it during fall. Have your chimney inspected for damage as well. You’ll also want to have both the fireplace and chimney cleaned, especially if you used it a lot last winter. Test the fireplace flue to make sure it’s tightly sealed when closed.

Windows and Doors

Your windows and doors can be a source of drafty, cold weather during the winter. Repair any loose or damaged windows or door frames. Add weather stripping or caulk around your windows and doors to prevent drafts. This is also the perfect time to paint the exterior of your home, if that’s been on your to-do list lately.


Frozen pipes are nothing to laugh about. Take care of things now to prevent problems later. Make sure your pipes are insulated to avoid freezing and bursting. Heating tape is a good and easy option. Make sure you know where the water shut-off valve is in case your pipes do freeze later.

Heating System

Have your heating system serviced by a professional heating company. They’ll look for small problems and inefficiencies that can be corrected. This will help prevent big problems later when you’ll need your heating system most. Replace the filter in your furnace. If you use a hot water system, you’ll want to drain the expansion tank, check the water pressure, and bleed your radiators.

Attic Vents

Your attic needs to allow air to vent without letting in cold air or pests. Check the insulation in your attic and add more if needed. Make sure insulation doesn’t cover the vents in the eaves. This will prevent winter ice dams from forming on the roof. Make sure your ridge vents and the vents in the eaves aren’t covered by plants or debris. Also check that your bird and rodent screens are in good condition to prevent unwanted pests from getting in.

Lawn Maintenance

Now that the leaves are changing, this is a good time to take care of some lawn maintenance. Fertilize and reseed your lawn. Prune back trees and shrubs after the leaves turn to help foster healthy growth later. Make sure to trim any limbs close to the roof or power lines. Heavy snow and ice in the winter can cause major damage. Remove dead annuals from your flower beds and mulch what’s left. Blow or rake up leaves as needed. You can use them as mulch or compost.

Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarms

Between the fireplace, the heater, and any extra cooking you do in the fall and winter, the potential hazards around your home increase in the winter months. Check your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms now. Replace the entire unit if needed or put in new batteries so you know they’ll work through fall and winter.

This time of year is a great time to check your homeowner’s insurance coverage, too. Make sure you know what your policy limits and deductibles are and add coverage if you need it. Any safety improvements you’ve made in the past year need to be discussed with your agent so you get all the discounts you deserve. Contact us at Ross Insurance. We’ll be happy to go over your current insurance policy and make sure you’ve got the best coverage at the best price.


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