It’s January, it’s cold and you’ve got the winter blues. You’d like nothing better than to curl up in a warm blanket perhaps with some hot cocoa; watch a football game or read the good book you received for Christmas.
Sorry my friends… Winter is the season for the greatest vigilance in your home-maintenance routine. Here are some DIY January Home Maintenance Tips you should consider:
The most important DIY January Home Maintenance Tip is to head off damage to your home from frozen and bursting water pipes:
1. Particularly vulnerable pipes are those exposed to the cold including hose bibs, pipes in outside walls and pipes in unheated attics, basements and garages
• If practical, insulate any pipes exposed to the cold.
• Check out these State Farm Insurance Videos on how to insulate your pipes and shut off your water in case of an emergency
2. Seal any leaks that are letting cold air in around dryer vents and pipes and where electrical wiring enters the house.
3. Search for uninsulated water supply lines in the attic, garage, basement and crawl spaces and in bathroom and kitchen cabinets adjacent to outside walls.
4. During a cold spell, open cupboard doors in the kitchen and bathroom so the home’s heat can reach them.
• Reminder: Put harmful household cleaners out of the reach of children
• Keep garage and outside closets/cupboards doors shut tight during
5. Locate your home’s water shut-off valve; learn how to turn off the
water quickly in case a pipe bursts.
6. Keep temperatures inside the house at 55 degrees Fahrenheit or
above, night and day, even when you’re gone.
7. Don’t close vents to crawl spaces. If you live where pipes can
freeze and the floor becomes very cold, insulate pipes and under
the floor. Vents play an important role in controlling condensation
beneath a house.
8. Promise yourself that when the weather improves you will add to the installation in the basement or crawl space and attic.
It’s not over yet … You want to protect your investment don’t you? Here are some other DIY January Home Maintenance Tips to work on:
1. Cold weather drives mice and chipmunks into the walls of your home, even unheated parts of the house.
• Mice can get in through a dime-sized hole; so seal any cracks where these pests can enter.
• Empty compost and garbage frequently.
• Keep food covered and put away; keep counters clean.
• Check basement, attic, crawl spaces and the back of cupboards and cabinets for mice droppings or holes. If you find evidence, install traps immediately or call a pest-control service.
And if you are bored, here are a few more DIY January Home Maintenance Tips to tackle:
1. Organize your home improvement files. Review product warranties and manuals. Check on recommended maintenance for furnaces, equipment, appliances and tools. Mark your calendar to track scheduled upkeep and service.
2. Inspect furniture, cabinets and vanities for loose knobs, pulls and hinges.
• Tighten or repair as necessary.
• Lubricate squeaky door hinges with lightweight machine oil.
• Free sticky doors by trimming edges or shimming hinges with thin pieces of cardboard.
• Make a list repairs to tackle later.
3. Make a room-by-room inventory of everything in your house. In the event of fire, flood or other disaster, it will be important in filing an insurance claim.
• Save receipts for valuable home purchases and for work you have done to upgrade the interior or exterior of your home.
• Back-up your inventory on a CD so you can get it even if your computer is destroyed. Photographs or video of your possessions can also be helpful.
4. Check the labels on the switches in your electrical circuit-
breaker panel and make new labels if necessary.
5. Check your furnace filter monthly in the winter to see if it
6. Use a vacuum-cleaner tool or a long-handled brush to clean
under and behind the refrigerator, including the coils.
7. Clean lint from under laundry appliances, especially the dryer, carefully work the cleaning tool down into the lint filter; outdoors, clean the dryer vent outlet, reaching as far as possible into the pipe.
8. Gather product documents and warranties into a folder. Go through the contents and discard outdated materials.
OKAY … Now you’re done. Now you can relax knowing that you’ve done everything you can to protect your home with these DIY January Home Maintenance Tips.