Archives For Home Maintenance

Now is a great time to start getting your home ready to handle the colder temps and rougher weather months ahead. Below we’ve provided a list to make sure you are prepared.

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Interior

  • Replace batteries in smoke and Carbon Monoxide detectors (use the equinox or “fall back” time change date as your annual reminder)
  • Ensure all heating vents are unobstructed.
  • Have furnace or heat pump serviced to ensure it’s working efficiently before the temperatures get too low.
  • Replace (or remove and clean) furnace air filter on the following schedule:
    • High-efficiency and electrostatic filters need to be replaced once per quarter.
    • Simple fiberglass or paper filters should be replaced monthly.
    • Reusable mesh filters should be cleaned monthly (do not reuse filters unless they are specifically intended for it).

Exterior

  • Check foundation for cracks. If found, document with photos for future comparison – if cracks are over 3/16” wide or have increased in size since your last inspection, consult a professional.
  • Examine areas where different materials meet and where pipes or wires enter the house for any gaps. Seal with caulking.
  • Visually inspect roof for leaks, missing or damaged shingles, or rusting flashing and schedule repairs if you find any damage.
  • Make sure the seal between garage door and the ground is tight to prevent drafts and keep out small animals. Replace weather-stripping if necessary.
  • Inspect driveway for cracks. Clean out and repair any damage with driveway filler, then coat with a commercial sealer.
  • After leaves have fallen, clean out the gutters and downspouts, flush them with water, inspect joints, and tighten brackets if necessary.
  • If you remove your window screens, clean and repair them before putting them away for the winter.
  • Clean windows and reinstall storm windows and doors if stored in the spring.

Cracked Foundation

  • Have chimney cleaned; make sure flue damper closes securely.
  • Remove window air-conditioner units and store in a dry location. Protect permanently placed units by wrapping in a tarp or weatherproof cover.
  • Winterize outdoor faucets: Detach and drain all hoses. Shut off outdoor water supply valve, and then open all outdoor faucets to drain water remaining in the pipes. Cover faucets and exposed piping with insulating foam covers to keep pipes from freezing.
  • Drain and winterize in-ground sprinkler system.
  • Trim all trees and bushes back to a minimum distance of 3”-6” from your house.
  • Drain fuel from mowers and other gas-powered lawn equipment before storing for the winter.
  • Cover and store outdoor furniture and barbecues in a protected area.

Patio Furn

The days are finally getting longer and warmer weather is just around the corner. Apartment Therapy put together this home refresh plan to help ready your house for the season ahead. (We think the suggestions below are just as useful for agents working on getting a home market-ready.)

1. Clean the kitchen. Get your kitchen ready with a deep clean—counters, floors, appliances, and surfaces. Clear out your pantry and fridge and scrub them down. This way you can be ready for all the fresh fruits and veggies that you’ll be bringing home from the farmer’s market.

2. Lighten up your linens. Take inventory of your warm-weather bedding to see what needs replacing. Also make sure to wash your heavy quilts before you store them away.

3. Buy something colorful. Move away from dreary winter colors and buy something cheerful! It could be anything from one bright patterned pillow to a framed art print—just choose something that makes you smile.

4. Wash the windows. Don’t wait until the sun shines to realize how dirty your windows are from snow and rain. Give them a good wash now to save you some time later.

5. Bring in something alive. Add potted plants or artfully arranged flowers to living areas to help get your mind in springtime mode.

6. Take stock of your closet. Get ready for that first warm day by digging out your spring clothes and taking stock. Take care of any repairs and figure out what new items you will need to buy.

7. Clean your ceiling fans. Clean off the blades of your ceiling fans so that a layer of dust doesn’t fly off when you go to turn them on.

8. Consider your curtains. Switch out your thick, heavy curtains and replace them with some light and airy ones that will bring the sunshine indoors.

Photo: Apartment Therapy