Home Improvements for a Winter-Ready Home
DFW homeowners are lucky to encounter true winter weather far less often than many other parts of the country. But when Mother Nature decides it’s time for winter to come to Dallas/Fort Worth, it sometimes arrives with a vengeance.
DFW homeowners are lucky to encounter true winter weather far less often than many other parts of the country. But when Mother Nature decides it’s time for winter to come to Dallas/Fort Worth, it sometimes arrives with a vengeance. Ensure your DFW home is ready this year for the winter weather ahead with these key home improvements.
Begin at the Top
While we may only see snowfalls over a few inches deep on the rare occasion, the DFW area is prone to nasty sleet and ice storms. And ice is heavy — which means that if your roof has any weak spots, your home can be in for some major damage. Carefully look at your roof inside and out to check for areas that may have been damaged during spring or fall hail storms or where aged structure and shingles may be deteriorating. Fix those problem areas now, before ice and sleet turn them into far larger issues.
Down Through the Chimney
More things can come down through your chimney than Jolly Ol’ Saint Nick — birds and debris and broken off bricks, oh my! Before firing up your first blaze of the year in your fireplace, you need to check out your chimney thoroughly. Placing wire screening at the top can ensure nothing falls down in, and hiring a chimney sweep or using creosote logs will take care of grimy buildup that can expose your home to significant fire damage.
Heating Throughout — Or Not
Your furnace has been patiently at rest since last winter, sidelined by your hardworking A/C that kept you cool all summer. Whether electric or gas, your furnace needs to be checked out as you turn it on for the first time. Before turning your furnace on, first change your filter — and remember that filters need to be changed every few months. It’s normal for a bit of nasty smell to emerge at first — that’s a sign that collected dust is being burned off. Any abnormal smell that lasts longer than a few minutes can be a sign that your furnace isn’t working properly. Also pay attention to grinding noises and furnaces that seem to turn on and shut off repeatedly. Those are all signs that you’ll need to engage a heating (HVAC) professional.
IMPORTANT WARNING: If you smell natural gas for any more than a few moments after igniting your furnace for the first time in the winter, turn it back off immediately and contact your gas provider. Gas leaks can be very dangerous to both your house and health.
While the winter months are short in the Metroplex, you’ll still want to keep your household comfortable and safe with these winter home improvements.
Image Source: Flickr/Steve Rainwater