December home maintenance tips

    ‘Tis the season for cold weather, hot chocolate and family! It’s easy to let winter maintenance go by the wayside during the busy holiday season. However, Texas winters are hard on your house and some maintenance upkeep and prevention goes a long way. Cold weather is here and you’ll probably be at home more often to avoid Mr. Winter, so it’s a great chance to get a leg up (err … catch up) on some home maintenance before temperatures drop to downright unfriendly levels. Check out these tips:

    1. CHRISTMAS DECOR — Let’s start with a fun one! It’s time to bust out the Christmas lights and the plastic Santa (if you are so inclined)! While you’re up on the roof making sure Blitzen is positioned correctly, do a spot check for any loose or missing shingles. It’s also a great time to check all your exterior electrical components — from exterior lights to plugs, just to make sure nothing seems wonky.

    2. WRAP OR BUST — Disconnect all your garden hoses and wrap all exterior pipes and spigots. Also, if you don’t have central heat, you may want to consider wrapping interior pipes or at the very least, keeping the cabinet doors open — especially those plumbing fixtures mounted on exterior walls. Busted pipes are not very festive.

    3. DON’T BE A DRAFT DODGER — Cold drafts coming into your house can mean some annoyingly cold nights and higher energy bills. To find hidden drafts, light a candle near each door/window. If the flame flickers (or if you suddenly feel a cold breeze go up your robe), then you’ve got a draft. Seal all openings with caulk or with weather-stripping.

    4. MAKE IT SAFE FOR SANTA — Make sure you aren’t harboring fugitive birds or creosote buildup in your chimney — Santa’s dry-cleaning bill is too high already! Before you light that first fire of the winter, be sure to check your chimney (or better yet, have it professionally cleaned) for buildup. Chimney fires are completely preventable, so clean it to be safe!

     

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