After our first relatively-cold spell this week in Texas, it’s time to start thinking about fall and winter home preparation. While the weather is nice is an excellent time to complete a few basic home maintenance tasks in and around your home to prevent potentially costly (and unpleasant) consequences during the winter months.
Windows and Doors
- Inspect and repair loose or damaged windows and door frames.
- Install weather stripping or caulking around windows and doors to prevent drafts and to lower heating bills.
- Ensure that your water heater is protected from the elements.
- Consider having a heating professional check your heating system to ensure optimal performance; if any problems are detected, take care of them now!
- Clean air ducts and replace system filters to improve efficiency and reduce household dust.
- Insulate all outdoor pipes, and pipes that are near outdoors, to prevent freezing and bursting.
- Educate yourself (and family members in case you are out of town) on where to find the home’s water valve for shut-off in case pipes do freeze.
- Fertilize and reseed your lawn now, while roots are growing deeper in preparation for winter.
- Prune trees and shrubs once the leaves turn brown.
- Trim all limbs that are close to your home or fence to prevent them from falling and causing damage during freezing temperatures.
- Clean all gutters early in the season to prevent rot and back-up.
- Disconnect water hoses and store them in a cool, dry place.
- Store outdoor furnishings in a garage or shed to prevent damage from freezing water.
- Remove plant and leaf debris from vents.
- Check for small areas where birds and rodents may enter in search of a warm nesting place. Hire an exterminator to inspect your attic and seal any openings that might allow animals to enter, causing costly electrical and drywall issues in the future.
Chimney and Fireplace
- Test your fireplace flue for a tight seal when closed to prevent drafts and unwanted animals entering during colder months.
- Have a professional inspect and clean your chimney annually.
Stone Insurance Group suggests that you prepare for winter in autumn so you can be secure and cozy in your home with family and friends when the cold weather hits. And if you need to increase or renew your homeowners’ insurance policy as part of the season’s routine, contact S.I.G. today for the best service and coverage in town!