December Home Maintenance Tips for your East Texas Home
Tis the season for chilly nights, hot cocoa and family! It’s easy to slack on winter maintenance during the holiday season. However, Texas winters are hard on a house and a little maintenance upkeep 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:
PUT A REINDEER ON IT! –Let’s start with a fun one! It’s time to pull out the Christmas lights, merry wreaths and the plastic reindeer! While you’re up on the roof making sure Rudolph is perfectly positioned, 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. (“Wonky” is the East Texas technical term for broken or just not quite right.)
DON’T BE DODGY—Cold drafts coming into your house can mean some annoyingly cold nights and higher energy bills. To find hidden drafts, light a candle near the suspected door/window. If the flame flickers (or if you suddenly feel a cold breeze go up your Santa suit), then you’ve got a draft. Seal all openings with caulk or with weather-stripping.
VENTED – Clean them out (because, let’s be real…you haven’t cleaned them since who knows when.) It’s a HUGE fire risk and easy to do!
WRAP IT—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 one of the least festive things I can think of.
PRE-SANTA SWEEP—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 for buildup, or better yet, have it professionally cleaned. Chimney fires are preventable, so keep it clean!
FILTER YOURSELF—The perfect finish to a holiday season maintenance list because this is a 1-minute fix! Change your air filter. It will help your system run more efficiently and cut down on allergens.
The most important tip I’ve got is to enjoy the season with warm nights cuddled around the fireplace with dear friends, family and whatever show you are binge watching. Happy Holidays!
Lisa E. Priest can’t wait to get her picture with Santa and is a Broker/REALTOR® with Picket Fence Realty, Inc. You can call her via phone or text at 903-948-3343 or read more at BuyPalestine.com