Depending on the time of year, what you need to do for your home changes. Here’s some tips on how to handle the warm and cold:
When it’s getting warm
- Check condition of putty, caulking and exterior paint. Replace or paint as needed.
- Inspect roof for snow damage and get necessary repairs done.
- Check for evidence of termites.
- Check and clean gutters and downspouts.
- Check and repair cooling system when temperature reaches 70 degrees.
- Fertilize and seed your lawn.
When it’s getting cold
- Remove outside hose connections, timers, hose-splitters, and attachments to avoid freezing. Winterize your sprinkler system as well to avoid frozen lines.
- Keep driveways, walks, and steps free of ice and snow to avoid damage and prevent hazardous walking conditions. Don’t use salt or damaging deicers on concrete.
- Keep garage doors closed to cut down heat loss.
- Inspect all doors and windows for tight fit and proper insulation. Clean all window tracks, clean and adjust the door thresholds, check weather-stripping at windows and doors. The tighter your home, the more energy efficient it is.
- Lubricate door hinges, latches and hardware.
- Check the attic insulation to be sure the entire ceiling area remains covered. Vents must remain unobstructed to vent the attic space and prevent condensation buildup.
What to Keep in Your Home
Having the right items at home can help make home maintenance easier. Here’s what we recommend having:
A tool kit. Having a few basic tools lets you make quick fixes when needed. Some suggested tools:
- Medium-sized adjustable wrench
- Standard hand pliers
- Screwdrivers, small, medium, large and Phillips head
- Claw hammer
- Assorted nails, brads, screws, nuts and washers
- Caulking gun
Here’s some other handy items to keep at home:
- A fire extinguisher. Every homeowner should own at least one. Each member of the family should be familiar with its location and operation. Have it checked annually to be sure it functions properly and is fully charged. Be sure you and your family know how to turn off the electricity, gas and water in the event of an emergency of any sort. You should not use some types of fire extinguishers for electrical fires.
- A first aid kit. Keep a home first aid kit or its equivalent in a convenient location. Buy and keep with it a booklet on first aid and home safety.
- Duplicate keys. When you take a vacation, it’s a good idea to leave a key with a neighbor in the event of an emergency. If you forget to tend to something, the neighbor might be able to take care of it.
Some parts of home maintenance require regular check-ups. Read the tips below to learn how to keep your home beautiful year-round.
- Have your heating and air conditioning systems cleaned and repaired if necessary.
- Periodically check cords and plugs of all electrical appliances for wear.
- Test smoke detector for proper operation monthly. Check to be sure the unit is clean using a vacuum or swab, and replace the batteries when necessary.
- Make a careful safety inspection of your home, inside and out, to seek out problem areas that could cause injuries.
- Inspect the hoses to your washing machine. Look for leaks and/or deterioration of the hoses.
- Clean or change furnace and microwave filters.
- Fill settled areas and depressions around your home’s foundation.
- Don’t let your homeowner’s insurance lapse. You need to protect the investment you have made in your home at all times against disasters like fire, wind and hail damage.
- Call your insurance agent immediately when you have any loss or damage due to wind, rain, snow, hail or other hazards for which you have coverage. Read and understand your policy. It is wise to reevaluate your amounts of coverage periodically. Increasing values or construction costs may leave your home underinsured if replacement becomes necessary.
- Make periodic checks of storage areas, backs of closets, basement corners, etc., to be sure no oily rags, gas cans, painting supplies or flammable cleaning materials have been forgotten. You should discard these items because they could be a fire hazard.
- Check stairs, steps and ladders for broken steps that could cause an accident. Check handrails and railing for sturdiness and reliability.
- Try all the lights located in infrequently used spaces to make sure they work when needed.
- Replace any frayed electrical appliance cords and take any overloaded extension cords out of service. Regularly check all connections to your electrical system to correct any possibly hazardous situations.