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Home Improvement  /  February 3, 2016

Indoor Maintenance for the Winter Months

With the weather outside getting more and more frightful, now is a great time to attend to those indoor home maintenance tasks you’ve been putting off.

You know the ones. They’ve been sitting on your long-term honey-do list for a rainy day. It’s easy to become blind to disrepair when it sits too long and gets deprioritized in favor of other projects. Here’s a reminder to bring your minor indoor-maintenance neglects back into sharper focus.

  1. Have your chimney, flue, and fireplace inspected and cleaned. It’s a shame to have that beautiful centerpiece in your living room that gets ignored all winter long because you’ve put off maintaining it. Stop using your hearth as a clutter magnet, and start sitting around it with the family again. Pick up a Yule log and put some hot cocoa on the stove!
  2. Schedule a heating system inspection. If you change your heater filter religiously every two to three months, you might not need to vacuum dust and debris out of your heating ducts. Of course, you would be a rare breed. Most of us can use the help getting our furnace and heating system up to its maximum efficiency. At the very least, change the filter now — and set a reminder to do it again at the end of winter, if not before.
  3. Clean and inspect dryer hoses and vents. Dust and lint collects here as well. Also make sure the vent that carries dryer exhaust outside isn’t blocked by snow or objects stacked against your home.
  4. Check fire extinguishers and detector batteries. If you didn’t perform these tasks when daylight-saving time ended, better late than never. You should have a carbon monoxide detector near the floor in your ground floor or basement, and a smoke detector on every floor at the very least. It’s best to change out their batteries every six months like clockwork, so do it now while you’re thinking about it. Fire extinguishers don’t hold a charge forever. Check the manufacturer’s guidelines, pressure gauge, and the age of the extinguisher. They will often lose pressure after five to ten years, or in less time if they’ve been used even once. Some models can be recharged relatively inexpensively. If you’re unsure of the age or efficacy of your extinguisher, don’t be hesitant to replace it. Remember, you spend scads each month on property insurance of one kind or another. This is your ever-present fire insurance policy, and it isn’t worth cutting corners on.
  5. Do some basic bathroom maintenance. Since you’re about to be confined indoors by lousy weather, now’s the time to start an indoor project you’ve been putting off. Check the bathroom ceiling for peeling paint and mildew, and take this opportunity to dig in. Take care of grout and porcelain stains at the same time — and that towel rack someone pulled half out of the wall.

It doesn’t take long to stop seeing the little fixes that need to be made around the house. If you’re itching for a project — or just some brownie points with the family — pull out your tools and do a full scan for minor miscellaneous breakages. If you run into bigger projects or want some help dialing in your home handiwork, call us! We’re here to help.

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