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Preparing Your Home for Cooler Months

November 1, 2016

Crisp air will linger longer into the day as the winter months near. Ready or not, 24/7 frigid temperatures are coming. As you brace yourself for the chilly months ahead, make sure your home is ready to endure the seasonal elements. Preparing now, before winter arrives, can ultimately help to reduce the financial burden that the season can bring.

Outdoor Projects
Inspect Your Roof: Make note of any missing, damaged or loose shingles. Snow, ice and freezing temperatures can worsen any problem areas, so you’ll want to remedy these issues in a timely manner. Keep up with roof maintenance to ensure your home is protected from water damage and that it will efficiently keep heat in and cold out. Further protect your roof by clearing any branches from the premises that may be a hazard during storms.

Tend to the Gutters: Debris-filled gutters are a major cause of ice dams. Make sure gutters are clean so that water can drain properly. Evaluate the structural integrity of the drainage system and ensure the unit is securely affixed to the home. Check that downspouts point away from the home so water will not pool near the foundation.

Prep the Springtime Thaw: Scope out the landscape around the home’s foundation. When the snow begins to melt, make sure water can’t find its way inside through cracks or poorly sealed ground level windows and doors. The land should slope away from the home to ensure runoff will drain in that direction also.

Indoor Projects
Promote Energy Efficiency: As daylight hours dwindle, indoor lighting is utilized longer each day. Install energy-efficient lights to cut back on energy consumption. Costs associated with keeping your home warm can be a major expense. Insulate properly and seal up windows, doors – including garage doors – with caulk and weather-stripping. You can further maximize heating efforts by installing insulated curtains, reversing ceiling fans to redistribute warm air and ensuring furniture isn’t blocking heating vents.

Maintenance is a Must: Professional support for furnaces, hot water heaters and chimneys can be in high demand at this time of year, so make sure you book appointments for equipment inspections and maintenance as early as possible. Though you will have to pay some out-of-pocket costs, keeping up with routine maintenance can help you avoid bigger repair costs. Better yet, you’ll have peace of mind that your heating system will efficiently keep your home heated all winter long. You may be able to save yourself some money by rolling up your sleeves to take care of smaller projects, like ensuring sufficient insulation is in place to prevent frozen pipes or other problems.

Stock up on Snowstorm Essentials: Buy items that you will want to have on hand when a snowstorm warning is announced. Fill your pantry with non-perishable items that will be helpful if you get snowed in. Prepare for a power outage by replacing batteries in flashlights and stashing emergency supplies in an accessible place.

Before snow predictions and sub-freezing temperatures fill the forecast, take advantage of fall’s temperate climate to prepare your home for the weather to come. Investing in upkeep will save you money in the long run and help you to avoid major problems that the harsh elements can often amplify. Make sure your home stays warm, and that your wallet is shielded from the bitter chill of winter.

Jim Oosterman is the Vice President of Melrose Bank. He can be reached by telephone at 781-665-2500, online at or on Facebook at

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