Every year, chances are you have an annual physical, just to make sure that everything is working as it should be, and to head off any problems at the pass. You should be doing the same thing with your home, and because it is easy to remember, it is a good idea to make your home’s annual checkup a New Year’s resolution.
Even when the weather outside is frightful, you can make your home more delightful. Here is a list of things you should be doing every year to keep your home operating as it should:
- Change the batteries in smoke and gas detectors.
- Have your fire extinguishers checked by a professional.
- Check the pressure relief valve on your hot water heater.
- Give your home a thorough clean, declutter, and add organization storage so you can start the New Year off organized.
- Vacuum refrigerator coils. Dust and lint build up can cause your fridge to work harder, which will cost you more money and shorten the appliance’s lifespan.
- Check the grout and caulking in your kitchen and bathroom, and repair as needed.
- Check indoor plumbing fittings and pipes for leaks.
- If you have a wood burning fireplace, have the chimney cleaned.
- Tackle DIY projects during the winter. Painting, building or assembling shelves and reorganizing areas like mudrooms and entryways will make the New Year a lot less stressful for the whole family.
- Remove ice dams and icicles, and remove items (like cables) that are causing ice buildups. This is a perfect job for the New Year, because you will be taking down Christmas lights anyway!
- Test seldom used electrical outlets to make sure that they are still working correctly.
- Take a walk around your home with a screwdriver, and tighten screws, door handles and other items that may be loose or wiggling.
- Clean and repair your basement. Check for any issues that may need to be addressed by a professional.
- Arm yourself with a can of oil or a tube of graphite powder, and take the squeak out of all the doors in your home.
- Walk around your home, identify squeaky floorboards, and either have them repaired, or apply talcum powder along the seam of the board to remove the noise.
- Treat plumbing valves that are prone to rusting with WD40 so that they remain easy to open when you need to.
- Clean out the exhaust filter on the stove, and the clothes dryer vent.
- Replace hoses and cords. Over time, hoses for washing machines and dishwashers can lose their flexibility, and cords can become brittle. While you are inside for the winter, it is a great time to check yours, and replace any that are not looking great.
- Plan, schedule and book spring repairs and maintenance, including air conditioning servicing, gutter cleaning, drainage checkups, landscaping and window screen repairs.
It may not be easy to tackle outdoor home repairs and maintenance in December or January, but you should be able to address most minor indoor problems, and plan and book spring projects well ahead of schedule, which can mean a lot less stress and cost savings.