Any homeowner knows that the list of maintenance tasks is endless. From the foundation to the roof, the interior and the exterior, it’s a nonstop job. Why not make maintenance more manageable by breaking tasks down into monthly chores? January is the perfect time to get out your paper or digital calendar and make a few home maintenance resolutions.
Here’s a sample of some – but certainly not all –of the tasks a typical homeowner might include. Depending on how handy you are, some of these you may opt to do yourself, and some you’ll hire out.
January Resolutions: Clean and inspect the area around your hearth
How is your hearth holding up? Check any brickwork for wear. Give it a good cleaning. If you have an exterior slate hearth, wash with water, dry thoroughly, then coat it with lemon oil. For a brick hearth, you can buy special brick cleaner from a fireplace shop.
February: Repair windows and window screens
Soon it will be time to throw open the windows for a little springtime air. Check the screens and repair any damage. Clean the panes.
March: Aerate your lawn
Just like you, your lawn wants to drink, eat and breathe. When you perforate the soil, your lawn absorbs water, nutrients and air all the way down to its roots. A more vigorous and verdant lawn will be your reward.
April: Clean your exterior dryer vent
You probably remember to clean the lint out of your dryer, but when’s the last time you examined your exterior dryer vent? If you can’t remember, it’s time to clean it out. Clogged exterior dryer vents are a major fire hazard.
May: Inspect the roof
Before the summer gets too hot, take a look at the roof. If you see damage or leaks, you made need to call in the pros.
June: Repair the deck
Carefully inspect your deck. Summer is a good time to clean, restain and/or replace warped boards.
July: Check Your Chimney
Stand back and gaze upon your chimney. Is it leaning? Do you notice chipped bricks, holes or cracks? If your chimney is metal, check for stains or corrosion. A chimney cap with a mesh screen protects your roof from sparks, and prevents critters from coming down your chimney.
August: Build your disaster preparedness kit
The sun will be blazing, so let’s plan an inside task for August. If you don’t already have a disaster preparedness kit, now’s the time to build one. You’ll need food, water and other supplies to last 72 hours. Check out the FEMA website for all the specifics.
September: Schedule a chimney sweep
Book a chimney sweep for an annual cleaning. The chimney sweep will clean your smoke ducts, chimneys, flue pipes and fireplaces, protecting you from gas emissions and soot fires. Professional chimney sweeps are well-trained in fire prevention.
October: Flush hot water heater
Flushing the hot water heater and removing built-up sediment improves your water heater’s efficiency and longevity. Do-it-yourselfers can handle this one, or you can seek out pros.
November: Inspect and clean gutters
Gutters should direct winter rains away from your roof and walls. But if you have large deciduous trees in your yard, the gutters might be full by the end of November. Time to blast out the leaves and keep the rain water flowing. While you or your handyman are up there, make sure all the gutters are securely affixed to your house.
December: Vacuum fridge coils
You know those dirty coils on the back of your refrigerator? They could be interfering with efficiency and driving up your electricity bill. Time to get out the vacuum.
Scheduling a home maintenance resolution for every month will help you stay on top of house issues. Make it even easier by setting reminders on your electronic calendars. Your reminders should include any supplies you’ll need for do it yourself projects.
Your friends at OWS hope that you have a very happy new year, and that your home has a happy and well-maintained 2016, too. Our resolution is to keep providing the world’s most beautiful mantels and to provide excellent customer service. So if a new mantel makes it onto your 2016 wish list, give us a call.