The new year is here, which means a lot of us are thinking about ways we can grow and be better in the year ahead. For homeowners, this might mean taking a closer look at the ways that you can show your home the care that it needs so that you have fewer repairs, problems, and hiccups to deal with along the way. As such, here are a few resolutions that you might want to add to your list.
1. Check your alarms once a month
Your carbon monoxide and fire alarms are supposed to keep your family safe, but they’re not likely to do a great job of that if you don’t know how well they’re working. Don’t let their low battery warning be the first time you pay attention to them this year. Check to see if your carbon monoxide and smoke alarms are working as well as they should be. After all, your and your family’s safety truly do depend on them.
2. Change your furnace and ventilation filters
Whether it’s for your heating system, your air conditioner, or the ventilation that runs throughout the home, anything that uses a filter is going to require you to change them as least once a month. Their aim is to keep dust, allergens, and anything else that could reduce the air quality in your home from spreading. However, filters get less effective over time, so you need to make sure you replace them.
3. Take a look at your roof this year
It’s something that you should be doing once a year but a lot of people tend to forget that their roof needs a little love and care as well. Damaged or loose tiles, cracks, air leaks, and other issues can all affect the effectiveness of your roofing, so schedule to have an expert climb up once a year to take a look at it. If your roof is older than you can remember, you might need to prepare for the possibility of replacing it, too.
4. Check and repair your cracks
Both the exterior and the interior of the home can see cracks appearing. Sometimes, they might not seem all that harmful so they can be easy to ignore. However, even minor cracks can have meaningful impacts on your home, whether they’re a sign of spreading dampness that could be as much of a health issue as a housing issue or potential problems with the foundation. Don’t let any cracks linger, take a closer loose and crack the case of the mysterious crack.
5. Get your trees checked out
As with all that is green in the garden, your trees are going to be growing throughout the year and you need to think about when they need to be kept in check. It’s a good idea to ensure that they’re trimmed towards the end of spring or else heavy branches can become potential safety hazards. If you haven’t done it in a few years, you might want an arborist to check on the health of your trees just to make sure that they’re growing healthily, too.
6. Inspect your grout and caulking
Maintaining the waterproof effectiveness of your bathroom is an essential part of its care. If things like the grout or caulking around your bath, toilet, tiles, or windows start to fail, then that could give moisture the foothold that it needs to grow and spread, leading to damage to the materials beneath, the spread of mold, and more. As such, you should take the time to inspect in the spring, when any broken seals are going to be a lot more visible and easy to act on.
7. Mind your gutters
Just as you should keep an eye out for what’s going on up on your roof, you should take a closer look at your gutters, too. Debris, such as leaves and other plant particulars, can get picked up by the wind and dumped into your gutters, where they might block the drainage of water from your home. This can cause water to start seeping into your brickwork and under your roof tiles, which can be dangerous for your home, so make sure your gutters are cleaned, especially in the fall.
8. Keep an eye out for air leaks
It’s not water that can leak in your home. When the months start getting chiller, you should pay close attention to any drafts that you might feel. Air leaks can dramatically decrease the effectiveness of your heating, not to mention your energy efficiency. They typically appear around your doors and windows, which may mean that they have been improperly sealed or, in some cases, that they might be due for a more secure replacement.
9. Check your plumbing
Water leaks, even small ones, can devastate your home, leading to very expensive repairs for water damage. It’s important to take a look at the plumbing of the home at least twice a year, during spring and then again in fall. Even small plumbing problems, like a faucet that’s a little stiff when you try turning it off, could be the sign of a problem that’s about to get a lot more major, so you should take the time to make repairs for any issues you spot in your pipes.
10. Don’t forget your loft
One area that often goes under-maintained is the loft, or the attic, or the space above any false ceilings that you might have. We don’t use these rooms as much, but they can become potential havens for mold and dampness, not to mention a common refuge for pests, especially in the colder seasons of the year. Check up there at least once in the fall and once in the winter to make sure that everything is as it should be, or if you need to call any experts out.
If you want to make sure that you stick to these resolutions, then consider adding the tasks mentioned below to a calendar, ticking them off as you go along, resting assured that you’re giving your home the care that it deserves.