Disaster PreparednessWinter cozy house in front of a tree

Winter is just around the corner in Houston, TX. Before you hang up holiday decorations and sit by the fire with hot coco, make sure your home is prepared to handle the harsh weather. Consider the following tips in order to avoid water and mold damage.

Insulate Pipes

All pipes, whether in a heated area of your home or your attic, are at risk for freezing. Because water expands as it freezes, a burst pipe or leak may follow. Ensure you don’t wake up to a burst pipe after a particularly cold night. Insulate your pipes with pipe wrap, foam pipe sleeves or heat tape. Even if you don’t anticipate many frosty nights in your neighborhood, insulating pipes have additional benefits. Warm water pipes retain heat more efficiently and condensation on cold water pipes decrease when insulated.

Patch Exterior Wall Damage

Inspect the exterior of your home. Patch any cracks or damage you find. Make sure you research the correct method for patching damage on your home. Stucco and siding require different tools and techniques.

  • Repair stucco by scraping off damaged areas, mixing the stucco with the correct tint and applying it with a rubber float after wetting the wall. Before you let it thoroughly dry, create the texture you desire.
  • Patch siding by unlocking the damaged piece from the rest. Next, cut out the damaged section and replace with a patch that is slightly larger than the gap. Lastly, secure with adhesive.

Protect Flooring

Enforce a no shoe house this winter. Carpets and hard surface flooring are damaged more this time of year than any other. Tracked in mud and moisture can lead to mold and permanent stains. Place a bench, shoe rack and durable throw rug in your entryway or mudroom. That way guests and family members will have no excuse for leaving their shoes on. Also make sure you have a doormat in front of every home entrance to catch the worst of it.

Cover Outdoor Furniture & Faucets

Place weatherproof covers over outdoor furniture. Not only will they keep your furniture out of rain and cold breeze, they’ll also prevent fading in the summer. In addition, don’t forget to cover your outdoor faucets. Faucet covers are made out of foam or hard plastic. Use them to protect your faucets from freezing this winter.

Insulate Attic & Basement

Make sure the non-heated areas of your home are protected from the elements. Add insulation to the attic and basement if needed. This will not only keep the rest of your home warm, it will help protect pipes in these areas. While you’re adding insulation, make sure all openings are sealed. Critters are notorious for seeking shelter during the colder months.

We hope these home maintenance tips help you avoid a winter disaster. If you experience water or mold damage in the Houston, TX area, ServiceMaster Advantage can help. Contact us 24/7 to request emergency restoration services.

Photo by: © Oleksandra Naumenko | Dreamstime.com