Real Estate Watch: Preparing your home for fall and winter

Real Estate Watch: Preparing your home for fall and winter

I hope you gained some insight as to what to do with your lawn, trees and shrubs from my previous two articles and if you didn’t get a chance to read them they are archived in the site under the “Business Tab”

There is so much one can do on the outside of their home, but we will focus on the most important items to consider:

1. Take care of preparing your lawn, trees and shrubs as mentioned in the last two weeks’ articles

2.  Make sure you clean out your leaders and gutters of all debris, leaves, roof sediment and anything that would stop the flow of water from draining and backing up into your soffits and then potentially into your walls and home, possibly causing possible mold.  

While you or your roofer, contractor or gardener (make sure they have insurance and that is any major work is performed that they have you on a certificate as an additional insured to cover you or your corporation, whomever owns the property) is up there, check your roof to see that there are no broken pieces that might be in need of repair or replacement.  

Lastly, check the flashing on your chimney or any place where silicone or roofing material that can be injected to keep water from causing future damage and frigid winter air from getting inside, increasing the cost of heating your home.

3.  Edge and cultivate all flower beds and turn over the soil for one more time, before the ground begins to freeze, then follow the information about feeding your trees, shrubbery and perennials (last weeks’ article). 

By the way, I have seen Grubs are causing tremendous damage on lawns throughout Long Island and if you see browned out and damaged areas on your lawn, pull up a little bit of your turf, and if you see these gray “wormlike” insects with brown noses by the root system, you have them and I would either apply dylox or proxol, (follow the instructions!) which you should be able to buy over the counter, or call a licensed, certified and insured application company to apply the proper materials.  

Results should be notice within five to seven days. Then you will have to reseed by removing all the dead grass.  You can also re-sod, which is instantaneously a new lawn, but it will cost you big money if it is a large area that you must repair.

4. Use Silicon caulking to observe and check all cracks around windows and your foundation and seal them to eliminate drafts and freezing, which could potentially cause major damage, and that will surely enter your home costing you more heating and repair dollars this winter. 

The Old Farmers Almanac predicts this winter will be worse than the last two, oh boy, I can’t wait). I’m going skiing, what the heck, I need some time off anyway! LOL

5.  Clean out your garage of any items that you no longer need or use; however, any chemicals that you want to throw away, should be done in an environmentally sound and sage manner.  

Unfortunately, there was a stop program last Saturday Sept. 12, in New Hyde Park, which would have allowed you to bring all those items, including any old drugs/prescriptions to be disposed of properly. 

Nassau County does this type of program several times per year.  Check the county site:  and search for the “S.T.O.P. Program (stop throwing out Pollutants)  regularly or watch your mail for the announcements and dates.  

However, recycle your non-chemical and non-prescription plastic, metal and glass containers as you normally do each week.

6. Clean and wash all outside furniture, barbecue and any items that you will cover or will not leave outside during the winter, storing them in your garage and/or basement.

7. Clean your windows, to allow as much sunlight into your home, which in turn will aid in keeping your home a little bit warmer, assuming you have updated windows (Argon gas is the most updated material used inside the best and most efficient windows today and I just installed them this year, preparing for this winter)  I will let you know if there was any savings next spring.  

8.  Also, trim all shrubbery to just below window level to allow the sun to shine into your home, which in turn, studies have shown, that you will feel happier the more you are exposed to sunlight during winter months; when some are affected by lack of sunlight and can go through a depressed state.  

Otherwise, expose yourself to as much artificial light as you can on a daily basis and for some this might be very helpful.  

However, seek medical advice from  your doctor as to his or her opinion.  

Trim trees to eliminate dead branches for new growth next spring and remove the possibilities of those limbs falling on someone or your home.

9.  Time is running out to fill cracks and sealcoat your driveway.   

There is still the opportunity, with the unusual warmer weather still with us, to do this in the next 7 days (as long as the temperatures are above 50 degrees, it will work);  I am doing it this week.  

Just make sure you blow off or sweep your driveway thoroughly to make sure all debris, twigs, dirt and small pebbles are removed, so your application will  adhere to your asphalt base and will last longer.  

Most important is to fill your cracks first with a crack filler and let dry and cure for 24 hours, before seal coating.  

Many of the major stores are still carrying the necessary materials to do the job.  

However, if you are not the handiest person, you can hire a company that does these types of repairs and seal coating; but it will cost you more, but that is your choice to save or not to save.  

It’s great exercise, so consider getting out there and doing it yourself (D.I.Y.).  

But again, if you haven’t done this type of work or exercised in a while, use caution, like someone who shovels their driveway and doesn’t exercise, heart attacks can occur, so be careful and do the right thing, hire some else to perform this service.  Just Google it

10.  Go out now and check out if you have usable snow shovels, tuneup your snowblower and decide which type of ice melting material will you use; “Safe Paw Icemelt, is a material that is extremely safe for all pets.  

Calcium chloride is your standard safe product too. The proper way to use or not to use an ice melting product can be found on the following site:–5191  

The standard size bag is either a 25 or 50 lbs bag or it comes in a container to easily sprinkle around your walkways and driveways.  I find the easiest way to apply my ice melt material is with my rotary spreader that I have been using for years to fertilize my lawns and shrubbery.   

Follow the package instructions for applying the material.  If there are no instructions, then I would suggest that you just apply an initial thin coat of ice melt and see how it works and adjust accordingly and re-apply as needed, to make sure the ice is melting.  You do not want anyone breaking a leg or falling on their head, then you will have real problems!  

Just as a reminder, check your insurance policy for your coverage and your liability exposure.  You might want to think of having an umbrella policy on top of your regular coverage, maybe a million dollar umbrella to be really covered properly, that’s what I have to be safe!!!   

So ask your insurance broker about it.  Lastly, just make sure your spreader is clean before using next spring,  but I will remind you next year.

 Next week we will go inside of your home and get into what you need to do to prepare for this supposedly treacherous winter that may be upon us!!  

 If you have any email me:  [email protected] or [email protected] 

Check out my websites for more info: Li-RealEstate.Com




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