How to Prepare Your Home for Winter

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Believe it or not, we are nearing the end of the year.  The winter season typically brings with it family visits, snowy getaways, and holiday joy.  With 2020 having been a challenging year for us all, we might be a little off schedule from our normal routine.  But don’t forget the importance of tending to your home maintenance and repairs before the cold weather hits.  Social distancing will keep us at home even more than usual, so it’s time to get that home to-do list completed!  Then we can enjoy our holiday season at home (and on zoom!) with our loved ones with less to stress about.  We’ve put together a short list of some essentials to check off.

Are the Gutters Clean? 

Gutters that are forgotten can become quite a nasty problem, especially during winter.  Clogged gutters will not drain well and can leave your roof vulnerable to ice dams and build up, your wood open to rot caused by excess water, and your attic or basement susceptible to leaks.  The gutters themselves also may get too heavy with debris and break.

Is the Roof Damaged? 

Inspecting the roof for damage is a key pre-winter move.  Look for missing or broken shingles, any leaks inside the home, stains on the walls, etc.  Any damage found should be handled swiftly!  For example, a simple unnoticed missing shingle could result in destruction of the materials that lay below, or worse, an interior leak and serious water damage.  Call a professional in and do what needs to be done quickly.  

Are the Hoses and Valves Shut Off? 

The danger here lies in your pipes that can freeze and burst over the winter months.  Check that all of your outdoor hoses are disconnected and all of the valves are closed off.  

Is the Fireplace Clean? 

We recommend making an appointment with a professional chimney sweep.  It is common to forget about using your fireplace here in Texas, but this also means it is common to forget about cleaning it as well.  But coming into colder weather is when this is most important to remember.  The fireplace box and the chimney both should be emptied. 

Are the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors Good? 

Double check that all of your detectors in the home are working.  The more you use central heating, the higher the risk for carbon monoxide poisoning and fires becomes.  You probably routinely look for this all year, but definitely take a peek before winter.

How Does the Siding Look? 

The siding on the outside of the house is a barrier between you and the weather much like your roof is.  If this siding is too old or damaged, your home loses significant insulation from the cold and protection from water damage.  Keep your eyes out for large patches of missing paint, misaligned panels, bubbles, cracks, etc.  

Are the Weather Strips In?  

If you haven’t already, be sure to install weather strips in all of your windows and doors.  This will ensure the cold air is locked out where you want it to be.  These materials also are easier to work with and you will see better results if this is done when it’s warmer outside.  This will also help keep your electric bill lower and your wallet will thank you.  

We hope this has been a helpful list to get you started!  Call us today if you have further questions or need the help of our professionals for your repairs.

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