This Week's Checklist

November 04, 2007

Around the house

Check, clean and vacuum dust from your dryer vent, air-conditioner, stove hood, room fans, baseboard heaters and cold-air returns. Keep your heating and cooling vents free from furniture and draperies.

Check your crawlspace or basement for standing water, mold - and wildlife.

Check pilot lights and burners, too, and look for gas leaks and adequate ventilation.

Clean your gutters and downspouts, and make sure they're securely attached. Your roof should be watertight, too. Look for missing, cracked or loose shingles; gaps in the flashing where the roofing and siding meet; and damaged mortar around the chimney.

Give your emergency generator a try. You know, just in case the power happens to go out this winter.

In the yard

Mulch a bunch. Cover plants with mulch - compost, partially decomposed leaves, wood chips and bark all can be used to give plants an extra blanket of protection for winter.

Divide perennials at least every three years to stay healthy and productive, and fall is the best time to transplant, divide or plant them.

Clean and store tools. Dip garden shears, weeders, pruners, spades and other hand tools in sand mixed with motor oil to clean and lubricate them before storing.

Check to make sure any and all surface water drains away from your house.

[bobvila.com, yardcare.com]

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