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9 pre-winter maintenance tasks you can’t afford to skip

Do you even know where your soffit vents are located?

It's hard to believe fall is already here. That means it's time to make an inspection of your house for any hidden defects that might morph into major problems. An ounce of prevention early on can stave off major repair bills later. Here's our list of must-do inspection items before the temperature drops and the rain falls. 1. Check the roof. Clean out the gutters and take note of any missing shingles. Pay special attention to split wood shingles or bare patches on asphalt shingles. Such damage indicates the roof is on its last legs and is due for replacement. Make sure everything is sealed and tight around the chimney and vents. If you have a problem with algae and fungus on wood shakes and asphalt shingles, control it by installing zinc control strips. 2. Poke your head in the attic. Be on the lookout for water stains or mold. Water stains may indicate a leaky roof or inadequate ventilation. Mold is caused by condensation resulting from inadequate air flow. Make sure sof...