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17 Divinity St
Bristol, CT, 06010
United States


Since 1975, O'Donnell Bros has been providing greater Bristol and Central Connecticut with residential and commercial remodeling solutions. We specialize in roofing, siding, windows, doors, gutters, downspouts and so much more. We look forward to helping you with all your remodeling needs. 

If You Only Do Three Things To Get Ready For Winter….


O'Donnell Bros President, Bob O'Donnell, is a regular contributor to The Bristol Press. Read his home improvement articles here.


If You Only Do Three Things To Get Ready For Winter….

Chelsea O'Donnell

Since the weather has been pretty pleasant this autumn, lots of people have put off the household jobs that will help them prepare for winter. Are you one of them? If so, listen up. I hate the be the bearer of bad news, but in the very near future, we are going to begin to see the weather make a turn for the worse. So now is the time to get prepared. If you do nothing else, knock off these three simple jobs this weekend.


Clean those gutters. The leaves are finally falling, so it’s time to get rid of them and make way for the snow and ice. If you don’t remove debris from your gutters, it will prevent winter water from flowing off the roof and down away from the foundation. If water has nowhere to go, it will refreeze in your gutters and at the base of your roof, resulting in dangerous ice dams and potential leaks in your home. A gutter cleaning can be handled by a handy homeowner or a professional cleaner in just a few hours. I’ve been busy installing gutter guards all over town, which is a popular choice if you don’t like the idea of dealing with this job every autumn. Regardless of how you choose to tackle this task, you have to keep your gutters clean. The alternative is a potentially expensive bill for a roof replacement or to fix interior damage come spring.


Seal up the air holes. I get calls all winter long from people who are wondering why their house is so drafty. The cause can be many things but generally, the culprit is the lack of proper insulation in an attic. While insulation installation is an easy improvement with an excellent resale value, there are even simpler jobs you can complete yourself to keep warm this winter. First, install an insulated box to cover the hatchway that leads from your living space up into the attic. If you don’t have insulation, your attic will be freezing and all that cold air will be seeping into the house. A box made from heavy duty insulated foam board will do some of the work to block the airflow from the attic into your home, although it is just a temporary fix. Also, don’t forget to remove your air conditioning units from the windows. Many people leave them in all year long which makes it easy for cold air to flow right through the house. Finally, if you don’t use your fireplace during the winter, get that sealed too. Any passageways from the inside to the outside can act as wind tunnels when the frigid winter air comes calling.


Turn off outdoor faucets.  You won’t be watering the yard anymore this year so you have no reason to keep outdoor faucets on. People often forget and leave them on all year round which can lead to frozen pipes that can burst and leave you with a nasty plumbing bill. Drain all hoses and put them in the basement so they don’t get damaged and make sure any faucets or fixtures are in good condition and not leaking.


If you do just these three things this weekend, you’ll be in much better shape when the wicked weather finally decides to come our way. Plus it’s much more pleasant to get these jobs out of the way before the deep freeze sets in. Good luck and as always, don’t be afraid to reach out if you need help or advice.

Bob O’Donnell is the owner of O’Donnell Bros. Inc., a Bristol-based home improvement company established in 1975. Email your questions to with the subject line “Ask the Pro.” All questions may be considered for publication. To contact Bob for your remodeling needs, call O’Donnell Bros. Inc. at (860) 589-5155 or visit Advice is for guidance only.