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Winter is Right Around the Corner – Tips for Preparing Your Home

Winter Home Maintenance Tips

Fall is officially here. Before colder weather arrives, there are a few things you should do to prepare your home for the upcoming season. Taking these steps now can help ensure you’ll go through fall (and winter) without any problems.

Shut off outside water faucets. Close valves inside the house, then turn on the outside spigot to drain any remaining water from the line. Keep in mind some newer homes have a pin at the shut-off valve that must be opened to let air in the line, which helps keep pipes from freezing.

Clear gutters and downspouts of leaves, branches and other debris. Clogged gutters can cause water and ice to collect under your shingles, potentially damaging your roof. Clean any outside drains of leaves to prevent back-ups into your basement.

Change your furnace filter (or clean it, if washable) at least every two months. A clean filter helps keep utility bills low, limits dust and improves the efficiency of the furnace. Clear the area around your furnace, so air can better circulate and avoid a fire hazard.

Test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors once a month and replace old batteries promptly. Each floor of your home should have detectors. Properties with gas heat or a wood-burning fireplace should also have a carbon monoxide detector.

Have your chimney professionally cleaned once a year, if you use it frequently. Dispose of ashes in a metal bucket, since warm ashes have the potential to start a fire.

If you need help with any home maintenance projects this season, I’m happy to help. I can connect you with licensed and insured home maintenance providers through our Home Service Connections network and share other tips to keep your home running in good condition.

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Allison Stine

Experience Matters Allison Stine began her Realtor career in 2004, and three short years later she founded the team of top-notch agents to assist homebuyers find their perfect home. She has earned several awards in the past decade that marks her as one of Northrop Realty’s best such as Delaware’s top producing team in 2021 with over $100M in real estate sales in that year alone. Allison is a certified ePRO, and a Certified Residential Specialist. Allison’s accolades go beyond Northrop Realty; she is a twelve-time recipient of The Delaware Today 5 Star Realtor award and was named 2016 Realtor of the Year by the Sussex County Association of Realtors and the recipient of the association’s President’s Award in 2020. She also is a member of the National Association of Realtors, the Delaware Association of Realtors and the Bethany-Fenwick Chamber of Commerce. Outside of work, she founded the Cripple Creek Car show, which raises funds for Operation SEAs the Day, an all-expenses paid, week-long beach vacation for injured soldiers, veterans and their families. One of Allison’s biggest passions is classic cars and driving fast. She owns four classic cars including a 1969 Z/28 Camaro that she fully restored to factory original in a five-year frame off restoration; and a 1968 unrestored all original Road Runner. You've probably seen her driving in parades in her 2015 Chevrolet Camaro SS Indianapolis 500 Festival Car or racing down the drag strip in her skat pack Challenger. While Allison is charged with marketing and business development, she enjoys working where her roots started — helping clients buy and sell homes. “Working with the team has allowed me to meet fascinating and fun people,” she said. “I have forged relationships that will last a lifetime.”

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