Home Maintenance | General Heating and Air Conditioning

January Home Maintenance

Photo credit: http://www.alertelectrical.com/15/buying-guides/guide/29/heating-in-the-home
January may be winding down, but these ideas for home maintenance are good long into the next months to come. These are tasks that likely shouldn’t take you super long, but you will reap the benefits. Bonus: They have safety benefits as well.

1. Check for ice dams:

You want to check both your roof and gutters for ice dams. How do ice dams form? Your house is covered in snow, but the attic is warmer than the outdoor weather. Therefore, the ice or snow that was originally in place over your attic now moves to the edge of the roof/gutters, and the melted ice refreezes at your gutters, near the eaves. This creates an issue when there is buildup of ice or water, since it can stop water from actually draining off your roof.

Why should you worry? The water can go under your shingles, and as a result, leak into the attic.

It is much easier to prevent ice dams than it is to remove them. Many prevention methods deal with your attic. You want to seal air in your house, away from the attic by adding insulation or sealing any cracks/leaks that lead to the attic. You also want to clean your gutters prior to the snowy season to make sure they are clear of any debris. One last prevention tactic is removing some snow from your roof after it falls; you want to only remove as much as you can safely get from the ground, as you do not want to be climbing on the slippery roof. Safety is the priority!

2. Clean your drains:

Just like your trash eventually gets full, the drains around your house do have a capacity. To avoid any issues, you want to clean out your drains periodically. Though it may not  be the most glamorous job, it is fairly simple.

First step: remove anything you can from the drain itself to allow yourself access to debris and other grime inside. You want to clean these parts with something like an old toothbrush.

Second Step: Insert a plastic drain stick and move it around to remove any debris. You will want to remove the stick and clean it off, then repeat the process several times to ensure you remove all the debris.

Third Step: Use bleach, Draino, or a similar product and dump a bit down the drain. You want to let it sit for at least 15 minutes, as this will be actively killing mold and mildew down in your drain or in your pipes. After this is done, you can put the first piece(s) you removed back in place.

And that’s it, your drains are now ready to go. You want to repeat that process for each drain to keep water running smoothly through it.

3. Schedule a general “fix-it day”:

Take one day and label it as a fix-it day. This can be a day for you to replace burned out light bulbs, fix the squeaky door hinge, pound a screw back into place – whatever you have to do, this is the day for it. It is a good way to get lots of odds and ends jobs done at one time. By doing these together, you save time since your tools are already out, and you can simply go from one area that needs attention to the next.

Did you like this article? Check back weekly for more tips and tricks about your home.