After a long, hot summer, fall is finally upon us. That means it’s time for football games, changing leaves and at last some cooler weather. Before we get too excited about the dropping temperatures though, let’s take a moment and prepare our homes. Although this may seem like a bit of a stretch here in Texas where the winters are somewhat fleeting, the cold and ice that comes truly can cause serious damage to a property. So air on the safe side this winter and use some of these easy tips to ensure your home will be safe this chilly season.
So let’s start with the basics. According to The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), it is important to have some basic necessities on hand. These must-haves include tools like shovels to avoid heavy snow damage, ice-melting agents to dodge slippery paths and fuel to maintain your home in case of a power outage.
In order to protect the inside of your home, make sure you consider a few things. When the weather really starts to cool down and your kitchen or bathroom sinks share a wall with the exterior, consider leaving the cabinet doors under the sink open. This allows warm air from your home to flow through the pipes so they won’t freeze or burst. Also consider letting faucets drip when the temperature gets below freezing so there is a constant flow and your pipes will not freeze. To make certain that you have alternate methods of heating if your generator fails, clean all of your fireplaces and chimneys as well. To round out the preparation of the interior of your home, have your furnace inspected as well as your thermostat and air filters.
To ensure that the exterior of your home is safe, a few more precautions are necessary. For starters, walk the perimeter of your home to make sure there are no loose materials such as faulty shutters or janky siding. Also take note of walkways outside the home that are uneven and could become dangerous when covered in snow or ice. Along with these exterior tasks, make sure you check all of your pipes and make sure that they are wrapped in insulation that will keep them from busting. You can even stretch your dollar and make your heating more efficient this winter season by adding weather stripping to doors and windows. This will help your home to hold heat better as well as save your money on your utilities bill for the month.