Guest Blog By Natran Green Pest Control
How to Prepare Your Home for Fall/Winter
Preparing for fall and winter here in Texas looks pretty different from some of our northern neighbors.
While some folks are stocking up on supplies like snow shovels and sidewalk salt, our communities are more likely to be planning a camping trip to celebrate a break in the unrelenting summer heat.
But some preparations are universal. Here’s a list of some most-do chores to make your fall transition as smooth as pumpkin pie.
- Clean and repair your gutters
Your gutters are just a fraction of your home, but their impact is huge.
The main purposes of gutters are to protect your roof, protect your home from leaks and water damage, prevent soil erosion, prevent window rot and even give your curb appeal a boost. If your gutters are dirty, blocked or damaged, you can encounter big problems fast.
A whole host of issues can arise from unkempt gutters, not least the arrival of pests like rodents, termites and mosquitoes, flooding, and mold. These are much more costly to fix than basic gutter maintenance.
Regular gutter cleaning makes sure that your gutters are in proper working order all year round. Once your gutters have been cleaned (and repaired or replaced when necessary), you can consider adding guards to keep gutters clear of debris. Gutter guards are particularly important during the fall, when it’s really common for falling leaves to clog up your gutters.
Advantage Pro Services is a Houston-based home maintenance company and specializes in gutter cleaning, pressure washing, soft washing and window cleaning. Click here to get a free quote for gutter cleaning services or other home maintenance services.
2. Replace or install your weather stripping
Weather stripping is the adhesive felt, rubber, vinyl or foam strips found in door frames and window frames. They’re there to seal any cracks, stopping light and air creeping in and out of your home.
You may be surprised to hear that 23-30% of energy usage is due to heat and cooling loss through windows and doors. And improper sealing around garage doors, windows, and exterior thresholds are common entry paths for rodents.
You should check and replace (if necessary) your weather stripping every year, especially during the fall and winter, or if you notice moisture on your walls, draughts, and/or difficulty heating or cooling your home.
Tip #1: You can test the quality of your weather stripping using a piece of paper. Simply close the door or window on a strip of paper. If you can easily slide the paper out, it’s time to replace the stripping!
3. Stock up on firewood and prepare chimneys
Nothing makes a brisk evening more enjoyable than s’mores around a backyard fire pit. And in case of power outages, indoor fireplaces can become essential to keep the home and family warm.
But it’s important to consider where and how to store firewood to ensure the wood stays dry, and reduce the likelihood of termite infestation.
Store split wood on a rack 8 or more inches above the ground, bark side up; keep it dry with a weatherproof cover; keep the rack at least 3 feet away from a fence. Also, never stack wood against or near the home or garage.
Tip #1: The end of summer is the perfect time to have your home’s chimney inspected and swept. Cleaning your chimney annually significantly reduces the chance of a fire in the home, carbon monoxide poisoning, and the inspection can reveal structural issues early on.
Tip #2: Make sure the home’s fire detectors are working properly and have fresh batteries.
4. Book a rodent exclusion inspection
When the temperature drops, (even moderately) rodents such as squirrels, rats, mice, raccoons and opossums sense the change in seasons and seek refuge in the warm attics and walls of our homes. Not only can a rodent infestation be scary, it can also be downright dangerous.
Having your home sealed before rodents start trying to make their way in prevents the horrible consequences of a rodent infestation: potential diseases in your home, droppings, costly repairs, and fleas.
Rats can squeeze through gaps the size of a quarter, while mice can fit into gaps as small as ¼ an inch, so unsealed cracks, gaps and crevices might not even be noticeable to the untrained eye. The good news is that getting a free inspection from a pest control expert can reveal a lot about your home’s vulnerability to rodent infestation.
Natran offers green pest control service to the greater Houston area. We never use harsh chemicals – instead we use effective, botanical and strategy-based solutions to quickly remove pests from your home without risk to your family or pets. Click here to learn about how you can schedule your free inspection from Natran.
Tip #1: This is also a good time to have your home inspected for termite activity. Rodent and termite inspections require the inspector to access your attic, so why not feed two birds with one scone?
5. Clean on an around your HVAC units
Your heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system is likely going to need some TLC. Foliage like leaves and weeds can obstruct your HVAC units, significantly reducing their efficiency.
For best results, sweep and clear any debris from around all of your HVAC units. Turn the units on before you clean the interiors to loosen up the dirt and dust. Then, clean the inside: vacuum the air ducts, change the filters, clean the air registers, and clean the blower compartments.
If you’re not able to clean your HVAC units yourself, or you simply don’t want to, there are companies that will be able to thoroughly clean them for you.
From our family here at Natran to yours, we hope you have a wonderful fall!
*Make sure to Mention North Houston Moms to get your initial service for only $79!