Home DIY Tips: Prepare Your House For Winter This Autumn

by Martin Morales, owner of 1st Choice Roofing & Construction

As a roofing and construction contractor, we enjoy the opportunity to help a lot of people. Sometimes we help repair or replace an old or storm-damaged roof. Other times we’re building-on an outdoor kitchen or remodeling a home interior. But sometimes we see repair issues that possibly could have been avoided if simple DIY maintenance steps had been taken. Here are a few ideas for you to help prepare your home for winter weather, and avoid some of the side effects of the changing seasons.

Photo by Heather / Flickr: 58754750@N08
Photo by Heather / Flickr: 58754750@N08

Clean Your Gutters
During autumn months, it’s common to have your rain gutters fill up with leaves and pine needless. If they’re left clogging up your gutters, winter rains can overflow onto your roof causing damage, leaks, and mold. If you’re unable to clean your own gutters, or if you have a particularly high roof, it’s worth it to hire a specialist.

Caulk Your Windows
Houston summers get extremely hot, and you may find that the caulk sealant around your windows has pulled away from the glass. In this case, be sure to recaulk to prevent water leakage, insulate your home for the colder months, and keep bugs out. This will also help lower your utility bills because it helps keep your heated air inside, and winter air out.

Get Your Roof Inspected
This is a no-cost preventative measure that many people don’t know about. A legitimate roofer or roofing company should offer free roof inspections. Go ahead and schedule one now. That way, if you have any loose shingles, wear and tear, or storm damage to your roof, you can find out now instead of the hard way after winter rains cause leaks into your home.

Weather Strip Your Door
You may have noticed, especially during the winter, that outdoor air streams in under your exterior doors. Replacing the weather stripping – in winter or summer – is a great way to keep your conditioned air in, and nature’s air out. This is another project that will save you money on your electric bills by insulating your home better. It’s also relatively cheap and easy to do by yourself.

Insulate Your Pipes
If you have exposed pipes outside, such as around a hose or AC unit, be sure to insulate them. While in Houston we usually only get a few freezing nights per winter, leaving them exposed is not worth the risk. The expense and hassle of having to replace burst plumbing is something you definitely want to avoid.

Mulch Around Trees & Shrubs
A fresh layer of mulch will help protect your tree and plant roots from the occasional cold snap. Try not to pile mulch against your foundation though, as it can make it easier for bugs such as termites and fire ants to find their way inside your home, and during the winter, they often look for warm dry shelter.

Clean Out Your Garage
This cool autumn weather is a great opportunity to clean out your garage and make room for what’s supposed to be in it – your vehicle! If you dread rushing out the door on winter mornings to encounter a thick layer of frost on your windshield, now is a great time to ensure that you avoid it altogether.

Martin Morales is the owner of 1st Choice Roofing & Construction in North Houston. They specialize in both commercial and residential roofing, as well as home renovation and remodeling. Please visit www.1stChoiceRoofs.com or call 281.378.2431 for more information.

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