It’s getting to be that time of year again; soon enough SNOW will be on its way! Here are some helpful tips on how to make sure your snow blower is tuned up and ready for the winter.
5 Tips to help get Your Snowblower Ready for the Winter
1. Drain the Old Fuel and Replace with Fresh Fuel
Drain the fuel from your snowblower’s tank or have your local small engine maintenance shop take care of this. If you decide to do it yourself, use extreme care! Work in a well-ventilated area with no open flames or sparks in the surrounding area. Fresh, clean fuel is necessary because old gas absorbs moisture when it sits for long periods of time. A tip for next year: one way to prevent gas that sits from going bad is using a fuel stabilizer. Otherwise, gas typically goes bad in 6 months.
2. Check the Fuel Filter, Fuel Line, and Spark Plugs
These all are recommended to be checked and changed accordingly before each winter season. The fuel filter could be clogged and need to be replaced. Be sure to inspect the fuel line to make sure there are no cracks and that it is still flexible and soft. If you have changed your spark plugs last year or you missed a year of replacements, you’ll probably want to replace them this year.
3. Check the Oil
Be sure to check your snowblowers oil, the oil is essential to the lubrication of the engine. If you’re changing your oil at home, take your old oil to your local oil recycling station.
4. Check Your Tires
Check out the tires to make sure there are no cracks or holes, replace if necessary. After that be sure to inflate the tires to the proper PSI for the upcoming season.
5. TEST IT BEFORE IT SNOWS.
Nothing would be worse than seeing that fresh coat of snow, going outside to start your snowblower and realizing that it doesn’t work. After giving it a fresh tank of gas, take it outside on the driveway start it up and test out all of the controls.
We hope with these 5 tips you’ll have a snowblower that is ready to work hard this winter season. For more helpful home tips, check out our Maintenance Tips page!
Cleaning your gutters isn’t the prettiest or most enjoyable household chore, but it is necessary when owning your own house. Gutters control the flow of rainwater and they are the main defense for your roof, walls, foundation and landscape. Material that can get into the gutters include leaves, branches, dirt and other foreign objects. When these begin to accumulate it can cause a stoppage and your gutters can overflow. Here are 6 reasons why you should always be sure to add “clean the gutters” to your list of to-dos.
What if You Don’t Clean Your Gutters
1. Cracks in your Foundation
If your gutters don’t get cleaned out, they can overflow and begin to pool along your home’s foundation. If that water doesn’t get a chance to drain and freezes it can expand and cause cracks in the foundation. According to HomeAdvisor.com the National Average to repair a foundation is $4,026 with a low end of $450 and a high end of $11,434.
2. Damage to Fascia
Your fascia is the board that runs right behind and underneath your gutter. This board is typically made out of wood and if the water overflows into the fascia board it can deteriorate and rot away. Replacing your Fascia board can cost anywhere from $15 to $25 a linear food if you get it installed professionally.
3. Roof Damage
Similar to the fascia board, if your gutters overflow with water, your roof can begin to rot. Replacing a roof can cost anywhere from $1,000 to $8,400. This is an expensive, labor-intensive job that can come along with not cleaning your gutters.
4. Damage to Gutter Brackets
The weight of the debris that falls into the gutter is something people don’t typically think about. If enough debris falls into the gutter, it can be too much weight for the gutters brackets to handle. This can cause them to break and potentially knock down a large portion of your gutter.
5. Driveaway Damage
Water not draining properly can cause mold to grow on your driveway, or in the winter it could freeze and become ice. This can be a safety concern for anyone leaving the house before the ice has had time to melt or the mold has been cleaned off.
6. Landscape Damage
Plants need water to grow but unfortunately getting an overflow of water is just as detrimental as not getting enough water. Plants that are in the way of a waterfall that comes from an overflowed gutter can be killed because of the water pooling up around or even underneath them.
How to Clean Your Gutters
Doing it yourself
Cleaning your gutters seems simple, but it can be a dangerous job. Climbing a latter up to the first or second story is a lot higher than you may think. Be sure your latter is sturdy and have someone hold it steady from the bottom. When you’re up there don’t reach too far to one side and be sure to use gloves and safety glasses.
Professional cleanings can cost anywhere from $75 to $225 for an average sized home. The professionals will remove debris from the gutters and downspouts and repair any loose gutter brackets.