Are you ready for winter? I’m not, even though I’ve been very diligent about putting things away in anticipation of the first snowfall. 

All my outdoor furniture has been covered by waterproof tarps. A lot of people tend to think that things are impervious to the winter weather. But snow, will melt and thus find its way into cracks and crevices. Then when a deep frost comes, that water as it freezes or refreezes expands and causes cracks and breaks. One of my neighbor’s cement planters has large chunks broken off for that very reason. 

When I had my second-story addition added 23 years ago, the workers caused the outdoor electrical outlet to become loose. The initial break wasn’t too bad. But over the years, that outlet, which I rarely use, was becoming more and more exposed to the weather. I know that is dangerous. But far too often, like a lot of people, I look at things and say I’m going to take care of it. And year after year, I didn’t. But the protective covering finally broke off and no longer protected that live outlet. When I had an electrician out, I had him fix that. He also added a better waterproof cover. Now I can plug in Christmas lights or run my electric snow blower without the danger of water getting to the outlet or me electrocuting myself.

I am still recovering from the July flood. One of the original owners of my house built a bathroom in the basement. They used regular 2 x 4s to frame out the area. Over the years, from floods in the past and plumbing issues, I noticed the blackening at the bottom of the wood. That is a sign of mold. Not surprising because the backup was pure sewer water, which contains lots of bacteria. I pulled out the wonder bar and as I pulled at the thick wooden bottom board, it began to crumble away. Now I have one more project that has to be fixed. But I’m going to hire a handyman to do it. Those bottom wood boards were part of the support system for the exterior wall of the bathroom. It is something that needs to be addressed immediately because of structural concerns. Thankfully, I think I’ve found a new handyman who can come and do it. 

There are probably not a lot of decent fall days left before a big chill comes along. If you haven’t already done so, it is time to disconnect the water hoses and cover your outdoor spigot. There’s an inexpensive styrofoam device that hooks onto the outdoor faucet as a cover. I have suffered frozen pipes twice over the last couple of years. It is the worst feeling in the world to turn on the water and not have it come out. And the risk of a broken pipe is an expensive proposition. 

It is also a good time to begin to cover your windows with clear plastic film if they have a lot of air that seeps in through them. 

Lastly, make sure you have a shovel and ice melt.

Winter is coming. Be prepared.