Inspections of Texas

5 Ways Your Home Prepares for Winter

Winter brings cold and wet weather.  Your home needs to be prepared for the temperature extremes.  It wants to stay warm, clean, and draft-free.  You can take these 5 actions to maintain your home and make it happy now. 

1. Clean the Gutters

Cleaning the gutters and downspouts of leaves and debris will allow water to flow freely off your roof and away from your home.  Twigs and leaves commonly block drainage and the weight of built-up water can cause the gutters to sag and develop rust.  Both of these mean your house is no longer protected.  If the water pours through rusted holes or directly off the roof, it creates divots that can hold water against the foundation.  In the Houston area, it is especially important to keep water away from the foundation.

2. Check the Roof

While you are cleaning the gutters from a suitable ladder, check out the roof for lifted shingles, torn or missing shingles, and debris on the roof.  Call a professional certified roofer for an estimate if it appears that repairs may be needed.  This will give you the best chance to have repairs made before leaks occur and the rainy winter season begins.

3. Seal Doors & Windows

If you make a yearly check around your doors and windows and keep them well sealed, it will improve your home’s energy efficiency in winter and summer.  Adding caulk, weatherstripping, or door sweeps are easy ways to keep your house in good shape and prevent air leakage.

4. Check Smoke/Carbon Monoxide Alarms

Check to make sure your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms work properly.  Ideally, smoke detectors should be checked once a month and batteries replaced every year.  Smoke detectors are good for about 10 years and carbon monoxide detectors are good about 7 years.  Combination units should be replaced every 5 to 7 years.  If your house has gas appliances or an attached garage, combination units protect your loved ones better.

5. Caring for Your Lawn and Equipment

It is a good idea to mulch leaves with your lawn mower which can add nutrients that will keep your lawn healthy.  Once the weather turns cold and you aren’t going to cut the lawn for the winter, proper cleaning and storage will keep the tools in good shape.  Drain off the excess gasoline or run the lawnmower out. Disconnecting the battery can keep it from draining energy.  Clean gardening tools such as rakes and shovels with water to remove any mud before storing them.  Store your lawn mower and tools in a covered area for best results.

While winter is rarely extreme cold, these home maintenance tips will help keep it in good condition. By doing a few tasks each autumn, you can prevent big surprises down the road and save money too.

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