Welcome to the first full week of December 2017 as we await the first significant snowfall of the upcoming ‘17-‘18 winter season here in the Maine Sebago Lakes Region. Be aware:  several of us have heard about trusted local residential plowing contractors, who for varying reasons this year have chosen to focus their efforts on commercial plowing, sending out notices explaining that they will not be plowing individual residences starting this season. Personally having reached out to one still servicing residential customers, he explained that he cannot take on new customers based on having lost two of his trusted drivers in recent weeks, also explaining that he understands the trend. We mention this to point out the current lack of depth for residential plowing, and our recommendation is:  Do not wait another day, and certainly not until the first storm if you need a residential plowing relationship this season, which is looming to begin possibly late this week with a potential for predicted snowfall.
There is one other very important item to prepare for diligent attention, that we want to mention again this year.  It is very important for the safety of your loved ones, your home, and if applicable your tenants. Many homes these days have heating systems that are not vented to a chimney or to the top of the structures roof. If your home or building has a direct-vent exhaust, which often looks like a round stainless steel or aluminum cage about the size of a small pizza or smaller, these often vent only a very few feet above the ground. A sudden heavy snow, especially when accompanied by blowing and drifting snow, can cover the furnace vent outside, causing dangerous and lethal gasses to build up inside the structure. This carbon monoxide is odorless, and it can and has led to tragedy. Make sure that there is nothing stacked or leaning near any direct-vent  exhaust, and regularly thoughout the winter, make absolutely sure your direct vent area is shoveled clear allowing for a heavy snow or drifting snow to not turn swiftly into a tragedy. Please also share this information with anyone you may know, and let’s help keep everyone safe here in our great Maine Sebago Lakes Region!