During this time of social distancing some of us may be looking for things to do around the house. It is a perfect time to do some home repairs and maintenance. First things first, get a paper and pen or use your phone to make a list of needed repairs. Start by doing a site check around your home inside and out. Yes, there is still snow on the ground, but you can still go outside and perform a few simple tasks, and maybe get a bit of fresh air at the same time. It doesn’t matter where you start just start somewhere because regular home maintenance is a must for every homeowner. Fixing things in your home before stuff starts to deteriorate is very important to help save you money and maintain a safe healthy home for you and your family. Here’s a list of a few things you can do to maintain you home and property.
- Check smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors make sure they are in working order and add a fresh set of batteries to make sure it is working when needed. Better to be safe then sorry.
- Make sure fire extinguishers are checked and in working order.
Clean filters in major appliances and other mechanical units in the home.
Things like range hood filters, refrigerator grill, central vacuum filters, exhaust fans in bathrooms or other exhaust fans in the home, furnace filters (or change filter if necessary). Schedule regular maintenance with a HVAC professional to make sure your furnace is safe and operational.
- Clean the dryer vent pipe and clean lint so vent isn’t blocked. Look for and holes or cracks in vent pipe.
- Check washer to make sure pipes are not leaking and are well connected.
- Look for leaks, check plumbing under sinks, around plumbing fixtures, and any area that you have access to pipes.
- Check caulk around sinks and bathtub/shower and if it is in bad shape remove caulk and recaulk to make sure it has a good seal.
- Check your sump pump (if you have one), make sure it is draining properly. Pump and pit should be clean and free of debris
- Do a perimeter check around the outside of your house. This should be done again when the snow melts as well. Look around the outside walls of house and if snow is piled up against basement windows remove the snow. Also remove any large piles of snow that are sitting against the foundation walls of home. Example: if you have been shoveling your driveway and piling snow against a section of the foundation you should remove the pile before the heavy melting season starts.
Check all downspouts and make sure they are operating properly, and they are doing the job they are designed for. Down-spouts are designed to move water away from your house. If the down spout is not hooked up right, split, broken or there is no extension pipe then you could have some problems once things start to melt. Check downspouts at least twice a year.
Check gutters for ice build up this can be a sign of a problem. Ice can build up due to gutters being plugged or heat loss causing snow to melt on roofs or in gutters. This could be a sign of a more serious problem. Call a professional if you think there is a more serious problem.
- Check the roof shingles (if the snow is gone and shingles are exposed) and judge weather they are in good shape or you may need roofing repair. If you still have snow on the roof look at how even or uneven snow is or if there is ice build up. Signs of heat loss can be seen when there is no snow in certain spots, lots of snow in other areas or if ice is built up in areas. If things don’t appear healthy then call a professional to assess the situation. Could also save you from future leaks.
- Inspect foundation for cracks and make sure window wells are free and clear of snow and debris.
- Check railings to make sure they are secure and stable.
- Check windows are operation and inspect the caulk around windows and siding. Caulk can become dry, weathered, flaky and begin to peel. Remove old caulking and recaulk windows and siding where needed (as weather permits). At same time secure any loose siding.
- Inspect any of your children’s play equipment outside to make sure it is functioning and safe to play with for the coming spring season.
This list should keep you busy during this time of social distancing and if you run out of things to do sit back and enjoy this time with your family.
Be safe and wash your hands.