Summer is on its way out and fall is just around the corner! While it may be tempting to spend every free moment at the pool or park soaking up the last of summer’s rays, the end of summer is the perfect time to prepare your home for the onslaught of winter. At Paul Davis Restoration of Central Maine, we know it can be tough to discern which projects you need to accomplish now and which ones can wait until a little later in the season. We compiled this list of 7 things to buy now. You’ll be thanking yourself when winter rolls around!
1. Weather stripping and/or caulk. If your windows or doors are drafty, you’ll really start to feel it when the cold weather hits in a few months! Buy some new weather stripping or caulk and apply it to your windows and doors now (bonus: It’ll save you a little extra cash on your energy bill during that last heat wave of summer!).
2. Furnace filters. Be honest—when was the last time you replaced your furnace filter? If you can’t remember (or didn’t know they required replacing), it’s time to head to the hardware store! Dirty filters inhibit air flow, so you’ll get better heating for better prices this winter if you change your filter now. Plus, you’ll actually increase the life of your furnace if you regularly replace your filters. If your furnace hasn’t had regular maintenance work done in over a year, it’s time to call a professional.
3. Hardy winter plants. It’s time to clear the annuals out of your window boxes and invest in some hardy winter plants to keep your yard bright during the colder months ahead. Plants like chrysanthemums, cabbage, fuchsias and hollies blossom late into the winter and stand up well to cold temperatures.
4. Candles, flashlights and matches. Remember last winter, when the windstorm knocked the power out and you couldn’t find candles or flashlights anywhere in your home? Don’t let this year be a repeat performance! At the end of summer, take the time to stock up on these key items. Store them together in a specific, waterproof, easy-access spot in your home. When this year’s “big one” hits, you’ll be glad you planned ahead!
5. A storm door. If you have an older home, your front and back doors may be made of un insulated wood—not the best material for keeping windstorms and freezing temperatures out! You might want to consider installing a storm door, which helps seal the entrance, making your home more comfortable and fuel efficient during the winter months. Storm doors are installed outside of your exterior doors; while you don’t have to remove your interior door to do so, you do have to keep the doors open during installation, so it’s best to do this project now before it gets too cold!
6. Deck sealant. Does your wood deck look graying or faded? Is it starting to crack or grow mildew? If so, you need to reseal your deck before fall begins; otherwise, you risk snowstorms and subsequent snowmelt ruining your deck beyond repair (resulting in exorbitant replacement costs). Also, now’s the time to check for mold growth and call in a professional if hazardous spores are spreading within your deck.
7. Canned food and bottled water. At the end of summer, do an inventory of your emergency food and water stash. Toss any expired cans, and make sure to replenish your food and water supplies—experts recommend having enough to last each member of your family for three days. When the blizzards do hit, you won’t have to fight the crowds at the supermarkets and risk the stores being sold out of necessities.
Paul Davis Restoration of Central Maine services the following communities: Bangor Brewer, Old Town, Ellsworth, MDI, Houlton, Waterville, Augusta, and surrounding towns in Central & Down East Maine.