As the temperatures drop, the tress lose their leaves, and we start to bundle up, it’s clear that winter is well on the way. After all, the regular college football season is coming to a close! We know that harsh winters mean “winterizing” in much of the rest of the country, but what about our more mild weather and winters? What steps should you take in preparing your home for a Houston winter?
Where to Start
Start your winterizing early, or as early as possible to maximize the effects. Once you’re halfway through the season the maintenance just won’t be as effective as if you had tackled projects as the seasons changed. If you do one thing to prepare for winter, it should be to clean the gutters. Gutters that are leaking are obviously not effective, and gutters full of debris can become hazardous, especially after a rain or a freeze.
This is also good time to touch up any exterior paint. Peeling or flaking paint on wood surfaces can leave that wood exposed to the elements, including moisture and a potential to rot. Scrape off any loose paint, sand, prime and touch up bare spots. This is a good project to use any leftover paint from your last exterior painting project, as you likely won’t need too much.
Look for Rust and Cracks
As you’re inspecting the exterior of your home, keep an eye out for any signs of rust on iron doors, fences including latches, and railings. A little rust may seem normal and like not a big deal, but a little rust can easily “snowball” over the winter months. Just scrape the rust off with a wire brush, rinse and let dry, then apply an acrylic paint.
Also inspect for cracks, gaps and crevices into your home. Not only do these provide welcome entrances for insects and critters looking for a winter weather reprieve, but they can be sources of inefficiency for your HVAC system. Seal any cracks and gaps with an acrylic caulk and touch up with more leftover paint if you like.
Keep the Cold Out
Speaking of keeping your heat in and the cold weather out, consider storm windows and doors if you don’t already have them, or check for any defects in your existing storm doors. These little tools can be essential in keeping out rain and cold air, as well as keeping your energy bills lower. Some even qualify for tax credits. You can also add a weather strip to your doors. These are inexpensive and can be trimmed to fit your door perfectly. And if you have a fireplace, seal it when it’s not in use. An open fireplace is like a huge hole in your home for cold air to come in and warm air to go out.
Check Your AC and Heating System
If you didn’t have a professional check out your HVAC system and maintain it in the fall, definitely do it now. It will be much easier to repair and replace anything now than on the coldest day of the year when the heat stops working. Companies like Kingwood Air Repair offer maintenance plans, as well as urgent service requests. Kingwood also offers a discount for seniors, teachers, law enforcement and hire fighters. Stay on top of your winter air conditioning and heating with one call to (281) 441-4500!