Hopefully you’ve battened down the hatches and your home is ready for anything.  However, there are a few essentials to always have in one, easy to find location in your home.  Here are the items we consider essential:

Safety items: You don’t want to use something like a hand saw or go out to do some kind of heavy work without using safety items.  Your basics include: work gloves, safety glasses/goggles, first aid kit, eye wash, and thick rubber gloves.

– Digital camera:  This may not seem like an essential, but a digital camera is great for two reasons:

1. To keep track of changes in your home.  A good idea is to take pictures of the major structural points of your home every 6 months.  Just make sure those pictures are date-stamped.

2. To take pics for insurance.  If you have a major issue which insurance will cover, take your own pictures and keep them in case there is any issue with your insurance company – also ensure those are date-stamped.

Heavy-duty shoes:  Having rubber-soled, heavy duty shoes is important as they are needed for climbing ladders and walking in unsafe areas (if there’s broken glass, or the area is slippery, these will help you out).

A ladder: A ladder is important if you suspect an issue with your roof, or if you need to change the batteries of a smoke detector on a high ceiling.

A tape measure: This is essential in understanding the length of something to be replaced, or understanding how much of something is broken.

Flashlight:  This is extremely handy.  Keep some spare batteries for your flashlight around too, just in case it dies when you desperately need it.  It can also be useful to have a battery powered lamp that sits propped up by itself, so you don’t have to hold it if you need both your hands.

Batteries: You need batteries of various types – double and triple a batteries are always useful, and if you have any battery-powered tools, it’s a good idea to keep a charged up spare battery to hand.

Handsaw: Even though power tools are great, they don’t work if you have no power.  So, it’s a good idea to have a regular old hand saw in case of emergency.

Pliers:  These are always useful to have at hand.  Channel lock pliers are good ones as they have wider jaws and better grips than other pliers.Toolbox

Screwdriver and screws:  The best type to of screwdrivers are the type that come with interchangeable heads.  However, if you don’t have access to them, get one Phillip’s head and one flat head.  Also, keep Phillip’s head screws around in case they are needed.

Claw hammer and nails:  The claw hammer is awesome because you can pry out items with the claw end and bang in nails with the other end.  Don’t get a hammer that’s too heavy for you to swing easily, however.  Also, keep some mid-size nails around.

Duct tape:  This isn’t just for air ducts or crafts.  If you need a quick fix, duct tape can help hold things together until a professional is able to come out.

Utility knife:  A little utility knife is always useful for cutting through small things that you don’t want to use your giant handsaw for.

Broom and dustpan:  There are many times when a broom and dustpan are extraordinarily useful.  If you have a broken window, and small children about, a broom and dustpan can save a lot of pain and upset.  Additionally, even if your home has a little bit of flooding going on, you may be able to sweep some of it out, or clear the blockage causing the flood with your broom.

Here’s to a quiet winter, with no home maintenance surprises.

Tom Leach Roofing