The weather is slowly cooling down here in Houston, and everyone at Pro Painters is ready to enjoy some cold-weather fun. However, before the fun can start, there are some essential things to cross off your winter home maintenance checklist. Make sure your home is ready for any trouble in the winter season. This is the key to enjoying the holiday season to its fullest. Here are some helpful tips from the experts at Pro Painters.
1. Give Your Heating System a Check-Up
The first item to check off your home maintenance checklist is ensuring your heating system is running smoothly and efficiently. The proper care for your home’s heating system will depend on what type of system you have. PVC vent pipes need to be checked and cleaned up, and homes with a boiler system or gas heating should be checked to see if cleaning is required. Running your heating system at total capacity will save you money and discomfort as the outside temperature drops.
2. Clean Your Chimney
Enjoying a warm fire is part of every idyllic cold weather experience. Just make sure to contact your local chimney sweep before tossing in those fresh cedar logs. Getting your fireplace and chimney inspected and cleaned is a winter home maintenance essential for your family’s safety.
3. Inspect Your Insulation
What’s the point of running your heater if your home can’t keep all that warm air inside? If you’re experiencing this issue, it may have to do with your home’s insulation. Before the winter weather sets in, make sure your home is adequately insulated. If it isn’t, add some insulation to the places that need it! Doing this can help you avoid frozen pipes and increase the energy efficiency of your home.
4. Prevent Ice Dams
An ice dam is a shelf of ice that forms around the perimeter of your roof because heat isn’t reaching the eaves. Melting snow farther up on your roof turns to water held in place by the ice dams. This stagnant water can cause roof damage and leaks that will be a nightmare to repair in the spring. You can prevent ice dams by clearing out your gutters (increasing water flow) and using a roof rake to make your roof stay as snow-free as possible.
5. Clear Debris from Your Roof
Making sure your roof is clear of debris in the winter is a great way to avoid any maintenance hassles in the spring. Leaves and other waste that commonly gets stuck on roofs can hold moisture and cause damage and exacerbate issues from loose or missing shingles. Pro Painters can help clean your roof or take care of any leaks before the cold weather sets in!
6. Trim Tree Limbs
Winter storms create the perfect circumstance for large, unstable, or precariously placed tree limbs to cause potentially dangerous damage to your home. No one wants to be awakened in the middle of the night by shattering glass and branches in their bed, so make sure you take the time to trim troublesome tree limbs before cold winds start to blow. If you’re not confident in identifying and trimming these limbs yourself, don’t hesitate to contact a professional service.
7. Check Emergency Supplies
It is crucial to stock up on emergency supplies during any season with the potential for severe weather. Here is a brief list of emergency supplies every household should have on hand in an emergency.
- Water (One gallon per person, per day. )
- Non-Perishable Food
- First Aid Kit
- Essential Medications
- Pet Supplies
- Fire Extinguisher
- Important Documents
In the event of power outages or other effects of severe weather, it is essential to have the proper supplies for you and your loved ones on hand, as well as a plan to get assistance or to evacuate. Having this discussion with your family before severe weather occurs can make a huge difference in your preparedness.
8. Prevent Frozen Pipes
Suppose you had the pleasure of living in Houston during our last winter season. In that case, you likely experienced the unexpected freeze that left millions of people without power or water for several days. Many homes had to deal with burst pipes that caused severe damage to homes and personal belongings during this time. Everyone is determined to avoid freezing and bursting pipes this time around! You can help prevent frozen and bursting pipes by:
- Insulating Your Pipes
- Disconnecting Your Hose from the Outside Faucet
- Leaving Your Faucets Dripping (Running water is less likely to freeze!)
- Keeping the Heat Set to a Minimum of 55 degrees Fahrenheit.
Despite our best efforts, sometimes pipes freeze! If this happens, turn on the tap of the frozen pipe so you can see if water begins running while you work on the pipe. You can treat a frozen pipe by slowly applying hot air or warmth to the affected area. If you cannot access the frozen pipe, or if the frozen pipe bursts, turn off the water in your home and contact a licensed plumber. The Pros provide top-quality applications of drywall, as well as many other services. Whether it’s to repair a hole or start from scratch, we can take care of all of your drywall needs.
9. Protect Your Entryways
The next thing to cross off of your winter home maintenance checklist is protecting the doors and windows of your house. Snow, ice, and mud can cause real damage to the floors of your home; that’s why you want to make sure you’re keeping as much of it as possible outside. Investing in a doormat for the inside and outside of your main entryway can cut down on how many elements are tracked into the house. Additionally, checking your doors and windows for gaps or leaks can prevent warm air from escaping and cold air from entering your home.
10. Reverse Your Ceiling Fans
Lastly, a Pro Painter tip that we think is a hidden gem! When winter weather sets in, make sure you take a moment to reverse your ceiling fans. Making sure that your fan blades run clockwise will ensure that heated air is being pushed down towards the inhabitants of your home. This will make rooms with those Houston high ceilings a little more comfortable.
Stay Safe with Pro Painters
There you have it! These are just a few helpful tips about what needs to be on your winter home maintenance checklist this year. Taking the time to do the little things will ensure that your holiday season is safe, warm, and hopefully more cost-effective. Remember, if you need assistance with cleaning or sealing your roof, Pro Painters is here to help!