Winter in Texas is not always the same. We just had 80 degree weather over Christmas but, last year we had snow and the week-long freezing temperatures in February! Costly winter-wealth-related nuisances, like frozen pipes, can often be avoided with adequate preparation and performing your winter home maintenance. These are great tips for wherever you ilve!
Here’s Your Winter Home Maintenance Checklist:
- Clean Out Gutters: With winter comes increased precipitation. If your gutters are clogged with leaves and twigs, snow and ice that would ordinarily melt and run off to the ground get trapped, potentially causing costly structural damage. Scoop out large debris, like a trowel, and get out the garden hose for a full clean. If basement flooding has historically been an issue, extend the downspout to direct the water further away from the home.
- Fireplace Inspection: Winter months are the prime time for carbon monoxide poisoning. On an annual basis, have a chimney inspector come over to eliminate dangerous obstructions and sooty buildup.
- Frozen Pipe Prevention: When water freezes in pipes, it expands and can potentially crack pipes, filling your home with water. Insulate pipes that run through unheated areas, such as attics and crawl spaces. Drain and shut off outdoor faucets before cold weather hits. And keep your heat setting at a minimum of 65 degrees temperature.
- Wrap Up Water Heater: If your home has an old hot water heater, consider wrapping it with an insulation blanket designed to fit your size tank. These jacket-like accessories can reduce heat loss and save homeowners in energy costs.
- Stock Up on Supplies: Shovels and ice melt are essential winter tools. Look for ice-melting products that are free of salt or chloride, as it can be harmful to pets and people alike. A heavy winter storm can leave you stranded in your house for days, so make sure to have canned food, bottled water, and other emergency supplies on hand just in case.
- Bring Out the Snow Blower: Before it snows, make sure your snowblower is in good working order. Small-engine repair companies can tune-up machines, with some even picking up and dropping off equipment. And don’t forget the gasoline and motor oil.
- Clean Your Dryer Vents: After each use, you should clean out the lint filter to reduce the risk of fire and improve your home’s energy efficiency. With less regularity, clean the lint vents found at the back of most dryers. Check manufacturer’s instructions if you have trouble locating them.
- Seal Leaky Doors and Windows: Applying caulk or weatherstripping material to drafty windows and doors can help better insulate your house — and save you money in energy costs.
- Check Window Wells: Window wells keep soil and moisture away from basement windows, but if they are not maintained well, they can put your basement at risk. Inspect the liner and replace any that have become loose to prevent flooding.
By weatherproofing and performing winter home maintenance, you can protect your home from disaster. Staying on top of things and performing seasonal maintenance keeps your house running like a well-oiled machine all year long.
Beth Brake REALTOR®
Positively impacting your life as you move toward your dreams.