New Year Home Maintenance Checklist

New Year Home Maintenance Checklist

December 24, 2021

Happy Holidays! I hope you and your loved ones are having a safe, happy time together this holiday season. With 2022 right around the corner, it’s a great time to get re-organized, and while you’re at it, there are some things you should be mindful of in your home this season.

Winter is especially harsh on your home, and depending on where you live, you may face frigid temperatures and extreme winds that can cause water damage and more over time in places you wouldn’t think to look. There are many things you can do to prevent damage and keep the value of your home up during the winter without breaking the bank or needing extra help! If you’re considering selling your home in 2022, it is especially important to stay on top of these things.

1. Inspect the outside of your home, including roofs and gutters.

Your gutters protect your roof and home from water damage! Keep your them free of leaves and debris, or at least clean them properly before a freeze, so that water can flow properly. Use a roof rake or similar item to clear the ice from your roof safely, but do not hack at the ice on the roof, as it could damage the wood beneath and make further headaches for you down the road. Ice dams can accumulate in different areas around the home and even up on the roof. Icicles are a sign that water is accumulating and could also cause water damage later on. Keep up the exterior of your home by raking away these icicles and dams often during the winter. If you need a professional, contact me for a referral!

2. Check your pipes

Damaged or frozen pipes can be a massive problem in a home, and you should always keep up on checking the pipes for cracks and freezing in the winter. To avoid pipe damage, shut off any water to the outdoors and drain the faucets so they don’t freeze. Insulate pipes that can be reached, and open cabinets under sinks to let in some warm air to the pipes. Running the faucet at a drip can help to keep water moving in the pipes during freezing temperatures. Keep your thermostat steady and don’t let the temperature get too low when you leave the home. Check for leaks in the basement as well, as this is a sure sign of trouble. Keep exhaust vents clear of dust and debris so air can flow properly throughout the home to avoid any kind of mold or water build up.

3. Change your air filters

Dust can accumulate faster in the winter with less circulation, and the spring allergy season is around the corner! Make sure your air filters are in good condition to keep the air in your home fresh and clean.

4. Replace smoke & CO2 detector batteries

This is something we rarely think about, but is so important for the safety of your family. Make sure that your detectors have charged batteries and are working properly.

5. Flush your water heater

Your water heater can accumulate lime and other minerals that will lower its effectiveness and eventually shorten its lifespan. The longer you go without flushing, the harder it is to remove, so it is good practice to flush it every few months. Why not now?

6. Check your generator

As Alabamians know, electrical systems can be knocked out or damaged by storms, and tornadoes are a risk as we transition to warmer whether. If you don’t already, consider having a generator as a back-up for these moments, but make sure to keep it clean and have fresh fuel ready, as it is not ideal to keep old fuel in the tank. Stock up on wood for the fireplace and make sure your chimney is clean before use each year. Keeping the home well regulated will only help to make sure electrical systems and pipes don’t freeze up as easily as long as the other precautions are being taken.

7. Protect your HVAC

If you have an outdoor AC unit, it’s a good idea to cover it with a tarp during the winter and cut off airflow there when not in use. This protects it from debris and the elements until it’s ready to use again. Check your weatherstripping and make sure all windows and doors are well sealed and closed while the heater is going in the home for winter.

It is so important to monitor these things in order to protect the value of your home! Seek out an expert if you discover any damage, but hopefully this list of tips will protect your home from potential weather damage. If you are considering selling your home, contact me today to get your home market-ready!

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