Saturday, November 30, 2013

10 Tips to Winterizing Your Home

Making Sure Your Home is Ready for Winter's Arrival

Here are 10 tips to prepare your home for winter:

1. Gutters

Clean your gutters and remove any leaves and debris that may have collected; spray down the gutters and downspouts to make sure they are all clear and that water is draining properly. Doing this will ensure that rain and melting ice will have a place to go and avoid creating an "ice dam" in freezing temperatures. An ice dam can form when water from melting snow re-freezes at the edge of your roofline. The ice dam may grow large enough to prevent water from draining off the roof. The water can then back up underneath the roof shingles and make its way inside your home, causing damage. Wet leaves and debris can also get heavy in the gutters and increase the chances of damage. 

gutters full of leaves and debris
Image credit: © 2013 Jennifer Crutcher
2. Roof

Check your roof for any missing, damaged or lifted shingles. Replace or reseal. Check all flashings and penetrations (around pipe jacks, vents, etc.). These are most often the source of leaks or potential leaks. Reseal around all penetrations. 

3. Insulation

Have your attic inspected to make sure you have the proper amount of insulation. Regardless of where you live in the U.S., you need at least 12 inches of insulation in your attic. If you can see the ceiling joists in the attic then you most likely do not have enough insulation because ceiling joists are at most 10 or 11 inches.  Hot air is aggressive and is constantly seeking out cooler air. Therefore in the winter, the warm air in your home will be seeking the colder air outside and in the summer the warmer air outside will be trying to find a way to get to the colder air inside. Proper insulation can help you keep your home at the appropriate temperature year round and also help you save on your electric bill.

Owens Corning Atticat Insulation Installation
Owens Corning Atticat Expanding Blow-In Insulation

4. Furnace and Heating System

Have your heating system checked and tuned up by a qualified professional each year. Check your filters and change them. If you have a gas furnace, you should have it checked every year for carbon monoxide leaks and consider installing a Carbon Monoxide detector in your home. Install a programmable thermostat. The Department of Energy says you can save as much as 1% on your energy bill for ever degree you lower your home's temperature during the winter. By installing a programmable thermostat, you can control the temperature while you are not at home during the day or during extended periods while on vacation. Some electricity providers have programs where they will even provide you with a free thermostat.

5. Reverse Your Ceiling Fans

Many of us forget this one small thing, but reversing the direction of your ceiling fans will help to push the warm air from the ceiling down towards the floor.  When looking up at the moving fan, it should be moving in a clockwise motion (counter clockwise for summer).

6. Fireplace & Chimney

While it may not be necessary to have your chimney swept every year, it should be inspected for foreign objects, wildlife, creosote or soot buildup and to make sure your damper is working properly. If you see any missing mortar between bricks or in the joints, it should be fixed immediately as a fire can spread through these openings into the stud wall. Consider installing a chimney cap or screen to keep foreign objects and wildlife out of your chimney.

7. Flush Your Waterheater

Sediment can collect over time in the bottom of your water heater and affect its efficiency.  Flush the water through the drain valve to clear out any particles and help keep your heater working its best.

8. Eliminate Drafts

Check and seal any gaps around your windows, doors, ducts, electrical outlets by using weather stripping, foam sealant or caulking. Use draft dodgers at the bottoms of your doors. There are some you can buy that are two sided and slip underneath the door. According to EarthWorks Group, the average American home has leaks that add up to a nine square foot hole in the wall!

9. Pipes and Plumbing

If you have ever had your pipes freeze or burst, you know, it is not a fun thing to deal with! Know where your water main is should you need to shut off your water in an emergency. Drain and disconnect all unused water hoses. Insulate all exposed plumbing pipes and spigots. If you have an automatic water sprinkler, consider installing a freeze sensor. (Some cities have an ordinance requiring this device. Check with your local municipality if you are unsure.)

10. Smoke Alarms and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Now is a good time to check to make sure all of your alarms and detectors are in good working order and replace all the batteries. 

Please note these tips are for homes that are occupied. Homes that are vacant should undergo a more advanced winterizing that includes draining the plumbing, etc.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

From all of us at Outback Roofing, we wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving!

May your stuffing be tasty
May your turkey be plump,
May your potatoes and gravy
Have nary a lump.
May your yams be delicious
And your pies take the prize,
And may your Thanksgiving dinner
Stay off your thighs!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Baby, It's Cold Outside!

Weather in Texas be like....

Winter storm warnings are already in effect for parts of Texas and moving East. Stay warm and safe y'all! 

Friday, November 15, 2013

Elves in Disguise 2013

We are grateful for another year and another opportunity to be a part of a holiday home makeover event for one special family through Elves in Disguise (New Hope Foundation). If you would like to learn more or get involved, you can contact New Hope Foundation through their website at


Thursday, November 7, 2013

Toys for Tots

Outback Roofing is an official drop off location for Toys for Tots. Bring us your unwrapped toy from now through December 13, 2013. Mention this post and we will match your toy donation, toy for toy!

17618 Davenport Road, Suite 2
Dallas, TX 75252