Whether we like it or not, winter is fast approaching (or has already arrived, for some of the US). And while many parts of Texas don’t see snow or colder temps, there are still many areas that do. Plus, these things are still things that need to be done, or should to help your energy efficiency and home maintenance.
Making sure that your home is secure and properly maintained to be able to protect you and your possessions is one of those things that you probably will want to do sooner rather than later. After all, there’s something so nice about sitting in front of a fire with your favorite hot beverage and know that you’ve covered all the bases, right? Exactly. Let’s get started on these Texas-specific winterizing tips for equally specific protection.
Flush out your water heater/tank
There’s never a good time to run out of hot water or have your water heater tank malfunction, really, but the middle of winter is certainly got to be one of the worst! Take some time to flush out your water heater and make sure everything is working as it should! Maybe insulate it, too, to help with energy efficiency. This ideally should be done annually.
Have someone give your HVAC a once-over
Your HVAC is one of the most important pieces of equipment to keep your house and health safe and comfortable in the winter months (especially since no one keeps their windows open). You’ll want to have an HVAC technician come in and do bi-annual maintenance (one before summer and one before winter) to make sure that it’s clean, in great working order, and perfect!
Check your doors and windows for leaks and drafts
There’s nothing like paying to heat the front and backyard. Yet, most of us have leaky doors and windows that are responsible for leeching our electricity outside! Consider bringing in an experienced pro to check for drafts, or get draft guards or curtains for your doors and windows for some added charm while you’re at it!
Have your gutters clean and ready to flow
Clogged gutters are a common problem year-round and more so if you have a lot of trees in your yard or around you. So, depending on that, might determine how often you need to do this. Gutters need to be cleaned as they can cause bigger problems - roof leaks, mold and damage to shingles, not to mention damaging or weakening your foundation! Schedule a professional cleaning so that your gutters can be clear for whatever weather comes.
While you're at it, check around your roof for signs of weakening or debris. You’ll want to clear your roof of anything that could damage it in a storm (including low hanging branches).
Make sure your walkways, porches, and rails are secure
No one wants a slip during the winter months (well, or ever), but it’s very common and can be harmful! Make sure your walkway from the car to the door is in good condition and that your porches are strong and sturdy with no rotting wood. Do the same thing with any and all railings. Pay special attention to the one that is at your front steps, as you’ll instinctively grab it if you start to fall!
Winter is a hard time for most of us, but doing these kinds of home improvements -- most of which are surprisingly easy with just a phone call or two needed, and cost-effective -- will keep it a safe and manageable season until spring arrives once again!
Even if you don’t have snow around where you live, these things can still be done to help maintain your home. Be sure if you make any home improvements, new roof, additions or the like to contact your insurance agent to update your homeowners insurance policy. And hey, it’s never a bad idea to have an annual review of your insurance anyways. Contact Harbour Insurance Services with any questions about your home insurance as well as any other personal insurance needs or business insurance too!