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You prepared your home for winter as homeowners do every year. How’s that going so far?

Mid-way through the winter (Yes, I am an optimist by nature.), how well have your plans and precautions worked out? Are there things you should have done and now regret patching temporarily or skipping? Are there precautions you took that appear not to have been necessary – so far?

For many, winters are not what they were. “Seasonal” and “normal” no longer apply to much of our local weather. Eastern states had weeks of “unseasonally” warm fall weather while many southern states have struggled with “unseasonally” wet and snowy weather. Standard preparation for seasonal or normal winter weather in your location may not include enough precautions. Preparation should be as extreme as our weather.

Will this winter teach you to expand stockpiling and equipment acquisition to include coverage for weather beyond the norm?

If snowfall is atypically extreme, you may benefit from broadening resourcefulness by adding flood clean-up supplies to your shopping list ready for the spring melt. In addition, prepare your property. For instance, make sure lot grading will carry water away from your home.[bullet] If snow was a rare event, but colder weather is no longer a complete surprise, play it safe by insulating exposed pipes or having necessary supplies on hand for burst-pipe clean-up.

If severe storms are increasingly more likely, compile a “be prepared” list of recommended professional services, so you’re ready to quickly arrange high-quality repairs – everything from roof and windows to collapsed hillsides and burst pipes. This knowledge will ensure fast recovery from unexpected damaging weather.

If you have mature landscaping, protect your investment shrubs and trees from high winds and other potential damage. Think ahead because replacement with smaller, younger plants will change the look of your garden and potentially the curb appeal of your real estate.

Stop everything and celebrate when unseasonal pleasant weather appears. Make sure you take advantage of every minute.

The best time to prepare for winter 2018 is right now. As well as taking monthly and post-storm inspection walks around the outside of your buildings and around the perimeter of your property:

Make note – jot on the calendar, add to your phone, open that file – of anything that could use adjustment, seems worn out, or that frustrates you now. For instance, last winter, I spent too much time hauling bags of salt from the rear garage when the front sidewalk iced over. Last fall, I modified front-yard garden storage, so a few bags of salt can be stored close at hand, ready for easy winter application.