When the rains start to fall and the man in the big red suit has come and gone, it may be the best time to think about planning for spring, as it will be here before you know it.
January is the time of emergence and regrowth. If you book your contractors and handymen this month, you’ll get a jump on scheduling your maintenance so that things don’t break down as quickly. If you wait until a problem happens, you might not get a good person as quickly and things could cost you more because it’s an emergency.
Here are some things you should consider looking at sooner than later:
The fireplace. When was the last time you had your wood-burning fireplace cleaned? When a fireplace and flue are cleaned, those cozy nights by the fire become more efficient. Plus, when you light a fire the following season, after your chimney has been swept, you have less pollutants in the air when you start the fire and less sore throats at the start of the winter season. Book your chimney sweep for March or April, and schedule it now.
Your roof. Now is the best time to see if your roof has performed. Take a flashlight with you for a journey into the attic. Are the gutters clogged with leaves? Are you missing roofing tiles from all the windy days during October and November? Even if the roof didn’t leak, it would be best to take care of it before it becomes a problem. Roofers are the busiest in the months before the rain. Stay on top of things before it becomes an issue by scheduling a necessary, roof repair.
Your water heater & furnace. Is the water heater or furnace making noises that you have never heard before? Check the date of installation, it may be time for an upgrade before it breaks down. A water heater has a suggested service life of about 8 to 12 years, and a furnace has about 16 to 20 years. Remember how little Johnny was only 6 years old when you last replaced the furnace? Now he’s going off to college…where did the time go?
Your deck. How does your deck look? Will it need any parts of it to be replaced or repainted? This is part of regular maintenance. Get on it before it causes a problem.
Your yard. The grass is starting to turn green and maybe your roses need to be pruned back. Clearing greenery from around your home so that it doesn’t touch the exterior siding will help eliminate moisture conditions before they start.
Your crawl space. What does the crawl space look like? Is there standing water? Missing ventilation screens? Moisture under the home and poor ventilation could lead to problems you can’t see until it’s too late. Plus, you don’t want to unintentionally invite critters to cohabitate with you by taking up residence under the house.
A few more things… Caulking and sealing around windows and doors help with your heating bills and efficiency. Are the toilet tanks leaking onto the floor underneath? Is it time to get your septic tank pumped? How about those in-sink garbage disposals? Putting ice cubes down them cleans and sharpens the blades.
Lastly, don’t forget to test your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. We do this every January 1st. That’s a super easy one and well worth the time to check.