As the temperatures begin to drop, it's also now the start of the process to winterize your home in Austin, TX. It's best to practice precautions and measure before the actual temperature drops to its lowest. Winterizing will keep your home on its tip-top shape and save money on energy bills throughout the winter season.
Some homeowners prefer help from the experts when it comes to this type of maintenance, although this can be inexpensively on your own or with help from a friend or family member. Protect your Austin investment property this holiday season by following these tips on how to winterize your home in Austin, TX.
1. Fill and Seal the Gaps
Protect your home from pests, insects, and water from coming in by filling in cracks and gaps between your doors and window frames. Make use of a foam filler for large gaps, while you can use a sealant or caulk to seal small cracks or worn-out ones. Installing weather stripping does the job done too. Don't miss to check your roofing! Keep an eye out for leaks around your entire house and potential places where water might enter. For a trouble-free and comfortable winter, maintain your home as early as today.
2. Repair Damaged Surface
Driveways, patios, and retaining walls can resort to cracks due to weather changes. Even if the concrete is a strong material used for surfaces, there are times where it the changes in weather affect its appearance and durability. Small cracks and lead to larger ones in the future since freezing and thawing can affect your driveway surface. Make sure you don't overlook this even the smallest cracks on your surfaces!
3. Clean Gutters
Leaves and other debris can clog your gutter. If you're new to Austin, you'll need to keep in mind that winter is when precipitation occurs so expect some rainy days. Therefore, it's really important to declutter your gutter to avoid branches, leaves, and debris from blocking water going down the gutter. No one wants a damaged roof that will lead to costly repairs in the future, right?
There are some plumbing pipes that are prone to thawing and freezing which can result into suddenly breaking apart. Frozen pipes are definitely one of the things to prevent. It can cost a fortune if this happens. Insulate your pipes with rubber sleeves and add some heating tape. Drain all garden hoses, AC pipes, and if you are leaving for a vacation, set the heat on at least 55 degrees.
Trim trees and branches that are close to your house or to electrical wiring. If you have plants that are sensitive to temperature, place them indoors. One good thing about the winter season is that you won't be needing to mow your lawn. You might also want to plan ahead for spring by planting flower bulbs and lift bulbs that don't freeze during winter.
6. Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Make sure your home has a safe level of carbon monoxide. Before the temperature drops to its lowest, make sure that your carbon monoxide detectors are functioning. Replace, recharge, and test your detectors to make sure they are working correctly. Place a carbon monoxide detector in the kitchen if you are using a gas stove, near your furnace, and near your water heater. Make sure you also have a fire extinguisher in place, avoid keeping fire extinguishers that are older than 10 years.
7. Clean the Fireplace
If you have a fireplace, ensure that your chimneys and woodstoves are cleaned before you use it during the season. According to the National Fire Protection Association, it is recommended that you clean your chimneys at least once a year, Ash build-up can lead to chimney fires which can cause extreme damage to property. Inspect the damper and the mortar between the bricks and tuckpoint. You might want to call for a professional to help you out with this. Check out our list of utility companies in Austin that can help you in preparation for the winter season!