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Month-to-Month Guide to Home Maintenance Pt. 1

Happy New Year! With a new year comes a new round of home maintenance. Home maintenance most often makes me think of spring or fall. However, there is more you can, and in some cases, probably should, do in the winter and summer months as well! To keep ahead of costly expenses and repairs, check out the list of home maintenance tasks you can be doing each month. The first post will focus on January - March, and the remaining months will be posted in subsequent blogs.

January

  • Holiday Cleanup - Lets face it. It can be easy to let this one slip off the to do list if it isn't done quickly after the holidays. In the first week or two of January, take down the lights, dispose of your Christmas tree, and put away any decorations you put up inside the home too.

  • Protecting the Pipes - leaving pipes exposed to freezing temperatures can cause cause extreme damage, especially if a pipe bursts. Before freezing weather, make sure to insulate exposed pipes around your home and drip your faucets inside to help prevent damage.

  • Check for Storm Damage - If you live in an area that gets winter weather, after a significant snow or ice storm, it's a good idea to check your gutters, roof, siding, and yard for signs of damage. Additional items to check could include pool equipment, sheds, or out buildings.

  • Get Rid of Hidden Dirt - Some places don't need to be cleaned as frequently, but definitely could use an annual scrubbing. Tackle your range hood, grilles, refrigerator coils, tops of ceiling fans, light fixtures and bulbs, and HVAC vents.

  • Tighten Hardware - After a year of use, things are bound to get loose and dull. Tighten doorknobs, hinges, loose cabinet pulls and nobs, and check if cabinet doors need leveling.

  • Declutter - Tackle it all. Drawers, closets, paperwork piles, attic, are more. If the task feels overwhelming or you have limited time, remember you don't have to finish it all in one day.

  • Think Green - Start planning for your spring garden now! You can even get ahead of the curve and start purchasing seed, bulbs, and more.

February

  • Fresh Paint - You indoor walls, trim, doors, and cabinets get a lot of use and sometimes need a refresh. If a good scrubbing doesn't do the trick or you uncover some chips, now might be a good time to freshen things up!

  • Tackle the Laundry Room - Organizing your laundry room can create more space, get rid of broken items or items you never use, and give you an opportunity to give the room a deep clean.

  • Clean Your Dryer Vents - Clean the duct that connects from the back of your dryer to outside vents. Not only does this make your dryer more efficient and save you on your energy bill, it can also help prevent a fire.

  • Clean Refrigerator Coils - You'll be amazed by how must dust accumulates over time! Dust or vacuum with the upholstery attachment to keep your refrigerator working efficiently, save on energy, and to extend the life span of your appliance.

  • Clean Out Your Sump Pump - This applies to folks with basements. Before the spring rains come, check to make sure your sump pump is working properly.

  • Flip Your Mattress - Vacuum those box springs and both sides of the mattress and then flip the mattress when you're finished.

  • Check for Leaks - If you're able to wait until it rains, you may have an easier time spotting leaks by looking in your attic. Inspect the exterior of the roof and look for missing or damaged shingles or vent boots and then look inside the attic for signs of moisture. It's also a good time to inspect your foundation, too.

March

  • Clean the Gutters - Leaves and other debris accumulate and cleaning them out will help your gutters and downspouts work more efficiently and help prevent damage to your roof, siding, and foundation.

  • Clean the AC Condenser - Dirt, dust, and debris can accumulate over time. Not only will it make the condenser look better, but it will help your AC run more efficiently.

  • Prep Your Yard - Clear out those dead leaves, branches, and prune bushes and plants as necessary to be ready for things to come out of dormancy in the coming weeks and months.

  • Clean Your Siding - Dirt and grime can build up over time. It can even cause mildew and that can decrease the lifespan of your siding. Give your siding a nice cleaning for a fresh start!

  • Clean and Repair Outdoor Decks - Clean off dead leaves and dirt on top of an in-between boards to increase the longevity of your deck. Also inspect for protruding nails and loose boards and repair as needed.

  • Inspect Windows and Doors - Check the caulking around your windows, doors, and trim and repair as necessary to keep out leaks and increase energy efficiency.

  • Inspect Driveway and Walkways - Winter can be tough on asphalt and concrete, especially if you live in an area that freezes. If you spot any cracks, repair them by sealing them up with a material specific to the material.

  • Inspect Your Roof - Check your roof shingles, flashing, and boots for broken, missing, rusted, or cracked parts, and repair as necessary.


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