Winter will be here before you know it, and it’s never too early to get the house ready for any unexpected weather.

According to Michael DeDonato, owner of DeDonato Building Contractors, LLC located in Shelton. “Homeowners need to be well prepared for the winter months and should have their home winterized by early October.”

One item top on homeowner’s checklist is to make sure outside water spigots are turned off at the shut off valve located inside the basement or crawl space, usually within a few feet of the exterior faucet.  The exterior faucet should be opened to allow the water between the two shut off valves to drain out.

It will be a long time before we forget about last year’s October snowstorm, which left many in the dark for days.  After the leaves have fallen, gutters and leaders should cleaned to ensure proper roof water drainage.  If the water cannot escape from the gutters and leaders, it will freeze and could cause a variety of problems from promoting ice damning to the gutters actually collapsing from the weight and possibly water penetration.

roofMost newer homes or homes with new roofs will have ice barrier protection, a membrane installed under the roof shingles usually for the first three feet at the bottom edge where the roof meets the gutter and in roof valleys.  DeDonato cautions that “homeowners are not 100% protected from ice damn leaks in extreme conditions” as was witnessed first-hand with the unprecedented winter of two years ago.  The dam can climb beyond the three feet of protection and the best way to protect against ice damning is preventative maintenance.

If you see snow and ice building up at the gutter, it should be removed.  Many roofing contractors offer this service during the winter months as snow removal from roofs is a dangerous task.  Additionally, homeowners need to keep leaders free of icicles at ground level as oftentimes leader outlets that are too close to the ground become blocked off with ice which prevents gutter drainage.

Finally, homeowners should have their furnaces cleaned and inspected prior to the start of the heating season.

DeDonato Building Contractors is a second-generation, family-owned and operated general contracting, construction management and design/build company which has been in business since 1959. As a design/build company, they help customers time by offering all services necessary to design and construct a project from the initial concept to completion. For more information, visit or call 203-926-9223.