PREPARING YOUR HOME FOR FALL/WINTER
As you are aware, temperatures are beginning to drop and winter will come quickly! Please read over the following letter carefully. It offers important information about how to prepare your new home for the winter and who to contact for warranty service requests and emergencies.
Concrete: It is very important to protect your concrete driveway, sidewalks, and patio. It is imperative not to use snow or ice melting products on you new concrete surfaces unless they are approved for new concrete. Never use products containing salt. Play sand and cat litter are good options to use on icy sidewalks and driveways. At ALL times avoid parking vehicles on your driveway when public streets have been salted. Remove any "black ice" that has fallen off vehicles onto your driveway or garage floor during the first winter. Black ice contains road salt and is damaging to your driveway. New driveways are susceptible to salt damage which can scar and deteriorate the surface. The only remedy for this damage is driveway replacement which is not covered under your warranty.
Plumbing System: Make sure all hoses have been disconnected from the spigots. Your spigots are considered freeze proof unless connected to a hose. If hoses are not disconnected prior to freezing they could break the plumbing pipes to your spigots and cause basement flooding. If you have a laundry tub in the garage, now is the time to turn off the water supply and drain it. Pour a little table salt in the drain to prevent the water in the trap from freezing.
Heating System: Change your furnace filter and check it often since the furnace will be operating frequently. Also change the position of your dampers. Since warm air naturally rises, reduce the airflow to the second floor and increase the flow to the first floor. You may need to experiment with the adjustments until you reach your specific comfort. Mark the damper locations "winter" and then next year you will not have to experiment again! Mark the present locations "summer." If you have a humidifier, set the percentage of humidity desired.
Foundation Vents: If your house was constructed on a crawlspace now is the time to close these vents.
Exterior Doors & Windows: The thresholds on you exterior doors are adjustable should air infiltration be experienced. Simply turn the screws in the threshold to allow adjustment. Check door and window weather stripping to ensure it is in the proper place.
Lawns: Make sure your grass has been mowed one final time to discourage snow mold next spring. Fertilize your lawn with a "winterizer" fertilizer available at any garden center. This will promote healthy root systems, will help fill in the lines between your sod and thicken your seeded areas. If you have an underground water sprinkler system now is the time to contact the contractor for shut down during the winter.