Nov 19, 2009

Is your home ready for winter?

Even in Dallas, homeowners need to be prepared before winter takes hold. You probably know that there are a handful of maintenance tasks you need to complete before cold conditions hit. A few essential must do's for your home are:
1) Have the Roof Inspected - A professional can identify roof damage while it still costs hundreds, instead of thousands, of dollars to fix. This inspection should also tell you the condition of your attic and ventilation. If you don't want to pay for a professional inspection, at the very least conduct your own visual inspection to look for signs of wear-and-tear.
2) Clean your Gutters - Probably the most common and most neglected task of the bunch, don't take your gutter cleaning for granted. Proper cleaning involves more than just throwing easy-to-reach leaves out of the channel. Flush your downspouts and keep an eye out for any signs of gutter deterioration.
3) Insulate and Seal Windows - If you don't already have double-pane windows, it's time to jump on the bandwagon. With heating costs, few home improvements pay for themselves as quickly as replacement windows. If you simply can't afford it, use thick plastic covers or blankets to help out in the meantime. And regardless of the number of panes, take a look at your window frame. It may need new sealant.
4) Seal and Inspect Doors - Some homeowners pay so much attention to their windows that they forget their doors. Take a look at your entry door for air leaks and use weather stripping to help seal the joints. Take a look at your garage door, too, for both insulation and home security value.
5) Evaluate your Heating System - This one has a ton of upside. Catching problems with your heating system before winter hits almost always saves a bunch of money and will give you some time to plan for a replacement system, if necessary. If nothing else, at least change the filter, no matter the age or condition of your system.
6) Winterize Your Landscaping - Properly close your swimming pool, winterize your sprinkler system, and prepare your garden for next year's planting.
7) Emergency Preparation - Winter can mean the possibility of snow and/or ice storms. Have an emergency kit, complete with food and water, a reliable radio, and first-aid kit. [where: 75230]

1 comment:

John Karrey said...

Great post, Lydia. In addition to your great tips I would also encourage homeowners to research residential window tinting. I've been a window tinter in Addison TX serving the Dallas Forth Worth area for several years, and window tinting to your home can keep heat in, and keep UV rays out. It's a great way to prepare for Winter!