As February dawns, and we settle back into our day-to-day routines after the joy of the holidays, the issue of home maintenance is likely to come back to the top of a homeowner’s to-do list. Taking care of your brand new home is not only necessary, but wise: the time that you invest now into the care of your home helps to maintain it’s value, and a bit of precaution can prevent potentially expensive problems before they arise. So why not take a few moments this month to walk your home and make note of any home maintenance projects that should be undertaken this month? Here’s a quick checklist to guide you and help ensure a safe and healthy start to 2012.
Test smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors to make sure that batteries are still strong. Replace batteries or outdated units as necessary.
Make note of small maintenance tasks in the home that need to be addressed, such as replacing burnt-out lightbulbs, oiling door hinges, spackling holes left by removed pictures/paintings, etc. February’s reputation as the month in which people “get their lives in order” means that many of the items you need in order to follow up on these tasks are both in stock and on sale at your local home or hardware store.
Look for any major problems that may be brewing, particulary structural or roofing issues. Existing home owners may wish to use the winter to invite contractors in for estimates on the work that may be done, while owners of new homes should alert their homebuilders about their concerns. LGI Homes buyers can rest easy here: LGI Homes‘ generous 10-year structural warranty against structural issues means that our owners’ concerns will be quickly and easily addressed, at no cost to the homeowner.
Assess outdoor watering systems and exposed pipes for their potential to be affected by mid- and late-winter freezes. If your winter is typically wet, flush watering systems and remove watering timers, to prevent a deep freeze from bursting underground lines and damaging timing equipment. Exposed pipes on the outside of the home should be wrapped or fitted with insulation sleeves that can protect against freezing.
Revisit your storage needs, which may have changed after the holidays and the gifts you received (as well as the decorative items you may have purchased). Many stores offer substantial deals on storage and organizational items this month, meaning it is the perfect time to stock up on things like plastic bins, office organizers, adjustable shelving, etc. Check major storage areas (such as closets, garages, attics, basements, cabinets, and drawers) to see where your storage system is working, and where it needs some help.
Finally, the post-holiday organizing zeitgeist is the perfect time to revist your belongings as well. As part of your storage survey, consider what you need to keep, what you can divest yourself of, and that with which you simply can’t bear to part. The cold days of winter are perfect for sorting through photos, organizing bookshelves, and going through closets in order to weed out the unnecessary. Used items in good condition can be donated to a local charity or thrift store, and items that are broken or un-useable should be thrown away. Remaining items can then be organized for optimum storage, and for optimum usage throughout 2012.