Fall means so much more than “Winter is coming!” The unmatched beauty of colorful leaves, the fragrant aromas of pumpkins and apples, the decadent flavors of a Thanksgiving feast — these sensory experiences should not be overlooked. And yet, they still do send us a gentle reminder that yes, winter is coming. Instead of letting dread of the storms and cabin fever to come eclipse the joys of these last warm days of fall, we can do something — well, actually, several things — to prepare for colder days ahead.
As the trees in your yard surrender to their seasonal fate, many of their leaves will likely find their way into your home’s gutters. For that reason, you may want to put off this task until late fall, so you can remove as much debris as possible. Items such as shingle grains, sticks, and leaves can collect throughout the spring, summer, and fall months, standing in the way of gutters doing the job for which they’re designed — moving water away from your home. (An overage of debris can also weigh down gutters, posing a more imminent safety hazard.)
Cleaning the gutters is one of those jobs you can probably safely do yourself, as long as you have a sturdy ladder, a spotter, and a steady body. Make sure to position your ladder carefully and move it anytime you’ve reached your arm’s natural reach. (Leaning or straining could put you at risk for falling.) Once you remove any debris, you can use a hose to wash out any remaining dirt.
While you’re up there, you may wish to touch up the paint job on your gutters or hang holiday lights. If you don’t think you can safely do this job, for whatever reason, it’s a good idea to hire an insured contractor to do it for you.
Thinking Ahead About Holiday Lighting
Whether you celebrate Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Christmas, Winter Solstice or Festivus, many people enjoy the tradition of “making spirits bright” in a literal way by stringing lights along their home’s outline or other places in their yard. Some of the same safety concerns for outdoor summer lighting come into play, regarding outdoor outlets and the use of extension cords.
First, you need to check all electrical outlets, making sure each one is protected by moisture-sensitive GFCIs (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters). Weatherproof covers should be closed when the outlets are not in use, and all covers should meet NFPA Codes. (For readers living in Connecticut and Westchester/Putnam/Dutchess counties in New York, the expert electricians at D’Amico Electric would be happy to inspect your outlets for you and let you know if they are up to code.)
Extension cords can also pose safety hazards. In addition to using cords intended for outdoor use, it’s important to match up 3-prong cords with 3-slot outlets, to reduce the chances of electrocution or fire. If you’re the type that plans to let your lights shine for longer than a few weeks in December — or prefers to eliminate outdoor cord clutter in general, the electricians at D’Amico can help you avoid the need for extension cords by installing extra mounted outlets outside your home.
Continue reading with Part 2.
D’Amico Electric Company
Since 1994, the D’Amico Electric Company has been offering electrical contracting services for industrial, commercial and residential buildings. From backup generator installation & ongoing maintenance to landscape/accent wiring and home theater systems, our experienced technicians are here to serve you. With our fleet of 10 trucks, we provide emergency electrical services 24 hours a day. Visit our website at damicoelectriccompany.com.
D’Amico Electric is licensed in Westchester, Putnam and Dutchess counties, New York and all of Connecticut. Our founder is Anthony D’Amico, a licensed electrician since 1992, who is a member of the Westchester Licensed Electrical Contractors Association.
When you need electrical help, choose D’Amico. We bring safe & innovative electrical solutions to homes & businesses. For more information on how we can serve you, call D’Amico Electric today at (914) 241-6909.
Image credits: Top © Atamanenko Evgeny/Fotolia. 2nd © Iriana Shiyan/Fotolia. 3rd © Kai Michael Neuhold/Fotolia.