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home maintenance

Winter Home Maintenance Projects

December 20, 2016

Winter has graced Texas with its presence this week and you may be kicking yourself for the seasonal chores left undone. Here are five winter home maintenance projects to prioritize, especially with all the extra hands that are home for the holidays!

HVAC Maintenance

We know we’ve said this a thousand times, but we also know it is one of those tasks that homeowners intend to get around to, but often forget to make the appointment. We’ll make it simple – contact us if you haven’t made your HVAC maintenance appointment this year! Some signs that your HVAC system may not be functioning properly include; rooms at noticeably different temperatures or odd smells and noises coming from your HVAC.

Winterize Pipes

Austin has the occasional freeze and it is best to take precautions in order to avoid busted pipes. Here are tips from Houzz on winterizing your pipes:

  • Insulate pipes — at least those by windows and doors, and in unheated areas of the home.
  • Disconnect your hose from the outside hose bib (outside faucet).
  • If prone to freezing, leave faucets dripping slightly — the theory is that running water does not freeze.
  • Keep the heat set no lower than 55 degrees Fahrenheit (12.7 degrees Celsius) when you are away.

Tend Your Garden

We work so hard during the spring to grow our garden and we diligently care for our plants throughout summer, but it can all be undone in one winter season. Research the type of plants you have and take note of what type of attention they need. Clay pots are at risk of cracking in the cold, so bring them and any other potted plants inside if you have room. If you don’t, it is best to actually plant them since roots have a better chance surviving underground as opposed to above. Here are more tips from HGTV on protecting potted plants, although Austinites can probably ignore the “overwintering” section.

Clear Gutters

It’s a good idea to clear out your gutters this time of year in Austin because leaves, and the temperature, are still falling. We know the weather can be quite unpredictable in Central Texas, and KXAN has cautioned that homeowners should be prepared for possible ice and snow this winter. Heavy rain, snow or ice can put stress on your gutters, causing damage not only to your gutter, but to your roof and siding as well. We suggest you clear your gutters now to avoid fixing them later!

Weatherstrip Your Home

If your HVAC system is in tip-top shape, but you’re noticing an undesirable draft throughout your home, then the obvious culprits like windows and doors may need some attention. If you want to seal your home 100%, then you’ll want to check electrical outlets, switch plates, baseboards, vents and fans, and anywhere else air can enter your home. Here are some helpful articles on how to effectively detect air leaks, choose, and apply weatherstripping.

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