Texas is rarely a winter wonderland, but when cold weather, ice or snow does come, Texas homeowners need to be prepared. The ordinarily warm and sunny weather in the Lone Star State rarely gives way to the cold. This means many Texans don’t know how to keep their homes protected from inclement weather. Here are four top tips for winterizing your home and keeping your investment safe from snow, sleet, and ice. This week has been a gorgeous week and there is no better time to check these areas of your home than in great weather. As we well know, it may be 70 today, but could be snowing tomorrow!
Check Your Weatherstripping
On a cold, blustery day, the only thing between you and the great outdoors is your weatherstripping. Check all the weatherstripping in your home, inspecting doors, windows, and skylights for leaks. The easiest way to detect a leak is to light a stick of incense and hold it by the weatherstripping. If there is a leak, the outdoor air will pull or blow the smoke of the incense. Replace worn-out weatherstripping before the cold hits, and remember to put it on both sides of your doors and windows – the jamb and lintel.
Clean the Gutters
Give your gutters a thorough cleaning at the end of fall. Cleaning them before autumn means falling leaves will fill them up again. You don’t want to wait too long, however, and risk a winter storm with clogged gutters. Blocked rain gutters can spill water down the exterior of your home, sometimes getting trapped in the siding, leading to wood rot and expensive repairs. Blocked rain gutters may also freeze, place too much weight on the gutters, and tear away from the house.
There are many ways to stay warm in the winter without racking up the electricity bill. Invest in preventative heater maintenance and repair to save money on a major breakdown. New heaters are much more energy efficient than older models, especially if you opt for an Energy Star-rated heater. High-efficiency heating systems can keep your Texas home more comfortable for less money.
The best defense you have against the cold in Texas is preparedness. Put together an emergency kit in case you lose power or you can’t leave your home due to bad weather. Your kit should include plenty of bottled water, nonperishable foods, a battery-operated radio, first-aid kit, fire extinguisher, flashlight, and tools. It has been a few years since we have really been shut down by the ice or snow, but when it does come again, you’re only as safe as the roof over your head. Ensure your home is strong, sturdy, and expertly built by partnering with design/build professional Tony McClung. For more information, call (214) 668-7802.