Blog :: 10-2017

Preparing for a Cozy Fire

When it comes to fireplaces, most of the work is best left to professionals.  Chimney sweeps recommend a professional cleaning every 40-50 fires or after burning 4 cords of wood. Here are some simple steps homeowners can take:

    -Open the damper. Grab a flashlight and see whether anything is blocking the chimney.

    -Next, clean the firebox of any ashes, dirt, or debris that might have accumulated during months of nonuse.

    -During the cold season, make sure the ashes don’t build up to a depth of more than 2”. After the cold season, remove all of the ashes from the fireplace.

    -Exterior chimney maintenance is a job for professionals, but you can make sure that the chimney cap is in good condition and that it does not become clogged with leaves or other debris. Visually examine the mortar between the bricks to ensure it is in good condition, not cracked or flaking away. Check the flashing where the chimney meets the roof and make sure there is a watertight seal. Call a mason if you note problem areas.

Now you’re prepared for a cozy fire on the cool nights to come.

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    Fall House Maintenance

    As the leaves turn many new colors here in the beautiful Northwest Corner of Connecticut, it’s a good time to get your house ready for winter.   

    Here’s a checklist to help get you started:

    • Chimneys – make sure your chimney is clean and equipped with an animal-proof chimney cap

    • Clean your gutters – clogged gutters can create ice dams; gutters also channel water away from the house to prevent water damage

    • Animal-proof your house – caulk small holes and cover with steel mesh to prevent rodents from seeking a cozy spot to winter

    • Trim trees and shrubs that are too close to the house

    • HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) should be serviced and cleaned annually and filters changed as recommended for your equipment.

    And now you can get ready to enjoy skiing, skating, and fireside dinners!

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      Red Squirrels in Your House?

        

      A menacing red squirrel loves our back deck. Sadly, this mini-menace noticed a favorite sweater being aired and proceeded, unnoticed, to destroy the sweater in anticipation of a cozy nest.  This smart little creature intuitively knows about the changing seasons.  Beware of red squirrels and other similar critters looking for a cozy residence in the walls of your home!  A Have-A-Heart trap should be on your shopping list or a call to the Sharon Audubon or other environmental organization for advice.

      On the subject of animals and other wildlife, the Audubon Society became heirs to two important Sharon properties more than fifty years ago. The Audubon presence has grown by leaps and bounds by enhancing environmental and educational opportunities. It is a place for children to become acquainted with birds and other animal life, for families to explore and observe nature on the hiking trails.  It’s a haven where professional skills are available to care for injured and orphaned animals until they can be released back into their own habitat. And, it’s a fun place!

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        Salisbury's Fall Festival 2017

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        October 6, 7, and 8 will be the 62nd annual Salisbury Fall Festival. Located in and around Main Street in the village of Salisbury, the Fall Festival is a terrific 3-day event.  There is a blueberry pancake breakfast, scarecrow contest, and lots more to see and do. Best & Cavallaro will be sponsoring a concert by The Joint Chiefs at 1 pm on Saturday in our front yard.

        Local shops are open for business, including restaurants and inns. The Salisbury Association, dedicated to local history, will be offering exhibits of interest for the curious.

        In addition to weekend visitors from New York and Boston, residents of the surrounding Litchfield County communities (including  Sharon, Falls Village, Canaan, and Cornwall) come to participate as well as residents of nearby Dutchess, Columbia, and Berkshire Counties.

        Salisbury welcomes everyone to celebrate the start of fall and what promises to be exceptional fall foliage this year!

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