Winter is coming which means in Texas, we have to deal with weather-related threats like ice, cold temperatures, and frozen pipes. Yikes! Stay ahead of a winter disaster by following the five items on our winter home maintenance checklist. Are you ready to battle the cold?
1. Check caulking and weather stripping
Cool air has a way of leaking in through the smallest cracks in your home’s defense. To keep your heating system running optimally and avoid high electric bills, it’s important to check the caulking around points of entry like windows and doors. Weather can erode this gradually over time, so scheduled maintenance in the winter will keep the cold (and sometimes the wet) out!
The same goes for the weatherstripping on your front, back, and side doors. If you notice a drag or tearing in the rubber, it’s time to replace it! This is a relatively cheap expense that will keep your home insulated.
2. Clean your fireplace
Chimney sweeps aren’t just an invention of Mary Poppins––they serve an important purpose in real life too! Clearing your wood-burning chimney of debris is essential to prevent a build-up of creosote from past fires. Creosote contributes to house fires, which is the last thing we want! A chimney sweep will also clear obstructions and debris like bird nests and leaves.
Even if your fireplace is gas-fueled and clean-burning, obstructions and debris can build up and cause blockage. Don’t skip your annual maintenance either!
3. Protect your pipes
After the snowpocalypse last year, a lot of homes experienced burst or cracked pipes from the extreme temperatures. That may have been a drastic situation, but pipes can be damaged even in normal winter temperatures. A little preventative maintenance can go a long way.
Insulating your pipes, especially those near windows or doors, can protect them from cold temperatures. Since gardening is likely not on your winter chore list, go ahead and detach your gardening hose from the faucet as well. Lastly, it’s tempting to turn off the heat while you travel for the holidays to save on your electric bill, but it’s actually safest to keep it on no lower than 55 degrees while you’re away, and remember to keep your faucets running slightly!
4. Check batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
Not everything on this list is centered around the weather change; essential tasks like a battery check in carbon monoxide and smoke detectors are easy to forget during the winter rush! Ideally, we should check these batteries twice a year (once in spring and once in winter) to keep our home protected.
This is especially important during the winter because we often keep windows closed and take advantage of the fireplace. If any bedrooms in your home are missing these alarms, consider having them installed.
5. Inspect roof and gutters
Your roof is the first line of defense against the weather and outside debris, so keeping it in good condition is non-negotiable. Check your roof for any damage and schedule necessary repairs before the cold really sets in. If your home gets a lot of snow, it may also be worth purchasing a roof rake to keep excess weight off the structure.
Gutters are designed to trap debris and can be a safety hazard if left to pile up for too long. Water can back up here in the mush, leading to leaks, ice dams, and damage to the roof and siding. Clear away the last remnants of the fall tree shedding, or hire someone to do it for you!
If anything on your winter home maintenance checklist needs the help of a professional contractor, look no further than The Good Contractors List! We’ve sorted through all of the local contractors in your area and only recommend the best of the best. Don’t risk your home’s safety; hire a GOOD contractor that you can trust. The Good Contractors List even backs all of their work with a $10,000 guarantee. Click here to hire a GOOD contractor from our list!