A legislative column by Senator Mary Lazich (R-New Berlin)
For most people their home is the most important purchase. Protect your investment by performing proper maintenance before problems get out of hand. With the snowy season looming, check out autumn upkeep tips.
Clear debris from your yard, roof, and gutters. Many areas saw their share of wind storms over the past few months. Dead branches still affixed to trees can be dangerous and should be removed now before they are weighed down by snow and ice. Leaves and dirt in gutters cause clogs that will freeze and expand during cold weather. Clearing your roof and downspouts can save you time, hassle, and money later.
Change carbon monoxide and smoke detector batteries. Either of these could save your life. The colder weather means more use for fireplaces, furnaces and heaters, all potential fire or carbon monoxide threats.
Turn off water to outdoor pipes and hoses. Drain the water from them completely. If this is not done, the water within will freeze and you will have a cold wet mess on your hands.
Clean or change your furnace and other appliance air filters. This will reduce contaminants in the air you breathe and your heat will run more efficiently. Speaking of heat, now is good time to seal up drafty doors and windows. Use caulk, weather stripping, and door sweeps to ensure you are not wasting money to heat the neighborhood.
Make sure your generator is ready. Wisconsin is prone to ice storms that can knock power out for extended periods. Go over generator instructions and test it out now so you are prepared later.
Fuel up all small engines and stored vehicles. Top off gas tanks and add fuel stabilizer according to the directions. Running engines once a month for five minutes helps avoid buildup and keep things ready to roll during spring and summer.
By following these tips, you can ensure you and your family have a safe and stress-free winter!