Winter Home Maintenance Checklist Texas Style
Luckily, no one’s San Antonio home is going to be buried in inches of snow any time soon, but there are several precautions you can take to keep your home well-maintained during the winter. Texans have a whole different ballgame when it comes to protecting your home against Mother Nature and Old Man Winter. We may not have snow, but other signs of nature come full force starting in November and lasting through even March. We’ve got a list of winter home maintenance tips that will keep your humble abode in tip-top shape.
Double-check the fireplace – Hopefully, you did a full inspection of your chimney back in November when the colder days started, but if you didn’t, nows a great time. Have a professional do an annual check-up and ensure there is no buildup or dangerous materials in the chimney or flue. In fact, any fire you start inside or outside of your home should be set cautiously and carefully. If you have any wood-burning stoves or other antique oil lamps that you like to use during the winter, take extra care to not cause toxic smoke and chemical buildup in your home, and change oil very carefully so as not to spill.
Wrap exterior water pipes – Know what’s worse than standing out in the freezing cold, wrapping an exterior pipe? A busted pipe. Wrap yourself in a scarf and coat and head out to the hose spigots and any exposed water pipes to cover them with an insulating material to prevent costly leaks. If you haven’t made it to the home improvement store and don’t intend to trudge out in the bad weather, you can take an old garage towel and wrap it several times around the pipe, tying the loose ends with a small rope – items you already have in your garage. Don’t skip this step or you’ll be dealing with a huge (and wet!) mess.
Check the roof for damages – We know you probably don’t just bust out the latter and hop onto the roof of your home very often, but taking the time once a year to inspect your roof can be so helpful in the long run. Shingles can get easily damaged throughout the year during Texas hail storms and general wear and tear. Flashing material can begin to fall, and gutters can get clogged. Nail down loose shingles and repair any small items you can handle yourself, but call a roofing professional for other items that involve dangerous work. Checking your roof can save you the hassle of finding a problem when it’s too late and you have a leak in your ceiling.
Look out for critters – As we all begin to bundle up in our homes during the colder months, so do our friends in nature. Snakes, opossums, raccoons, squirrels, birds, and even some insects can seek shelter in your warm and toasty domicile, so don’t ignore any squeaks or noises you hear in the attic. As cute and cuddly as they are, wild animals can cause a lot of damage to your home. If you’re feeling really altruistic, put an animal crate or empty storage container outside with a blanket for any wandering animals that you can’t bear to leave in the cold. Wildlife rescue centers can help retrieve any big critters you may come by.
Taking care of the physical aspects of your home is always a good plan. SOGO Insurance can help you with a home insurance policy that protects you when things don’t exactly go the way you planned them all along. Stay warm, and get in touch with our agents today.
In case you missed it: “Holiday Rules for your pets” walks you through some important decisions to make when considering whether an animal is an appropriate gift this holiday season. While we’re going over important decisions, make the most important one today by deciding to protect your greatest asset: your home. Our home insurance policy options will help you rest your head and dream of sugarplum fairies. Call us or email us now.