1 The skies over my Bedford farm were overcast yesterday. We finally got a good soaking rain the night before, and the forecast called for more. Flooding and strong winds can cause damage to any property, so it's always good, and smart, to be well-prepared.
2 Gutters are designed to control the flow of water around the home. All the gutters on all the houses and outbuildings at the farm were checked and cleared of any debris to prevent water back-up and moisture damage to the wood, fascia and foundation.
3 Some of the gutters had already collected fall litter from the trees, such as leaves, twigs and pine needles.
4 Dawa went around and manually removed the debris. Using a ladder and looking into all the gutters allowed him to also check that joints and seams were well-connected and sealed.
5 Dawa made sure there wasn't anything clogging the downspouts attached to the gutters - clogs are common in these areas.
6 And, to save time from cleaning the ground below after he was done, Dawa used a large garbage bag to collect the muck.
7 This is what the gutters around any home should look like - especially before a big storm. When was the last time your home's gutters were cleaned?
8 My catch basins are covered with bluestone caps. The grated drain openings are on the sides. If you have catch basins or storm drains on or near your home's property, be sure they are also checked and cleaned before a storm.
9 Their purpose is to collect debris, leaves, and other objects that are moved by flowing water. Keeping them clean prevents water logging and ponding on your property and on nearby roads.
10 To keep my air-conditioning units from looking unsightly, they are housed in "pits", or below ground-level spaces, covered with metal grates. These pits were checked and cleaned.
11 A large air-conditioner pit, such as this one, is located behind every house. Making sure drains in these pits were clear will prevent the equipment from water damage.
12 They are just deep enough for the units to be stored.
13 I put chicken wire under the grates, which helps to keep the debris out as well. Leaves will always find a way in, but the wire keeps most of them out, and it is hardly visible.
14 And, the chicken wire is easily removed to access any debris that falls in between.
15 A 12-gallon industrial strength wet-dry vacuum was used to clean the air-conditioner pit.
16 Chhewang checked and changed the filter.
17 And then vacuumed the debris that had fallen in and around the air-conditioning units.
18 Not much was vacuumed up here, but the wet-dry vacuum should be emptied periodically during these types of chores.
19 In addition, drains near back doors, and stairs, were checked and cleaned.
20 My Kohler stationary generators are very dependable, but we checked the engine oil, and conducted test runs. http://www.kohlerpower.com/
21 The inside panel on a stationary generator will flash alerts if any service is needed, but it's important to regularly check for messages and adequate oil levels.
22 As in a car, there is a well-marked dip stick located just inside the top door.
23 To check the oil, pull the dip stick out and look for ample, clean fuel.
24 Now that autumn was here, I felt it was time to collect most of the hoses on the farm - bleed them, clean them, and store them away for the season.
25 All these eight-ply, 100-foot hoses are from Gilmour. I am so glad they come in this gray color - it coordinates well with the color of my home - Bedford gray. http://www.gilmour.com/
26 Any apples that had fallen off the trees were picked up before the pending storm.
27 Fallen apples in good condition were separated and saved for the cider press, while others were collected for my chickens.
28 Ryan and Wilmer picked the rest of the tomatoes, and other vegetables, so they wouldn't fall and get damaged and wasted by the rains.
29 The watermelons and grapes were harvested. This was our first year to grow watermelons - we got quite a few large ones. Our grape vines were very productive this season. These concord grapes will make lots of delicious jars of jelly - a great activity for a rainy day.