In this series of articles, Ownersite Technologies looks at home maintenance by the seasons to see how each period in the year brings a new set of responsibilities for maintaining your home. These valuable tips are all part of the company’s unique online home maintenance and inventory system that can help you maximize your biggest investment.
Oh, the weather outside is frightful…but inside is so delightful and chock full of home maintenance projects that you can do to ensure the value, safety, and reliability of your biggest investment.
Unlike summer where you wanted to spend the majority of your time outside, the winter months have you cooped up. Instead of flopping in front of the television, this is the best time to take care of some maintenance issues that previously fell to the bottom of your list. So, while it is miserable outside, bring some cheer to the inner workings of your home.
A Honey-Do List for the Holiday Season
While many of these tasks seem tedious, everything makes a difference to stretching the quality of your home’s condition. Many of the tips listed below are easy and do not require a lot of time or expertise.
If you did not attack some of the projects listed in the fall maintenance article, you do not have to wait until next year when they can still be done during the winter. These might include:
- Changing the air and furnace filters.
- Checking smoke and carbon monoxide alarms as well as replacing batteries, as necessary.
- Get your fire extinguishers inspected by a professional or check the date on the extinguisher as you may need to replace them. Remember that you should have one in the kitchen, garage, and at least one on each floor of the home.
- Continue to check for leaks around the home, including the plumbing, roof, windows, doors, and ceilings.
- Vacuum the refrigerator coils and clean out the vents around the clothes dryer.
- Store all patio furniture and cover up outdoor appliances and equipment.
- Put a cover over your air conditioning unit to prevent rain, ice, and debris from damaging it.
- Refresh any emergency kit and be sure to have plenty of candles and flashlights due to loss of utility service.
Quick Outdoor Maintenance Projects
Before the weather gets too harsh in the winter months, there are still a few outdoor maintenance issues to address:
- Remove the window and door screens and, if you live certain parts of the country, get the storm window and door coverings out to inspect and install. Storm windows cut down utility costs as well as protect the windowsills from water that could lead to wood rot.
- Put all your garden hoses away.
- Drain air conditioner pipes. If it has a water shut-off valve, then turn it off.
- Reset your sprinkler settings to run for a minimal time period or turn them off completely if you live in an area that experiences periods of heavy rain.
- Double-check that the falling autumn leaves have not re-clogged the roof, gutters, and downspouts. If there are more leaves, it’s time to give them a quick clean. Be careful working in these areas because the cold weather could have already created black ice or ice patches that could lead to an accident.
- Take care and inspect all holiday decorations that involve electricity so that there are no exposed wires or other issues that could lead to a fire.
- Shelter plants that tend to be sensitive to freezing by bringing them into a greenhouse or into the home.
Special Swimming Pool and Spa Maintenance
The cold weather and ice in many parts of the country can wreak havoc on an outdoor pool and spa because the water can freeze, damaging the pool equipment and tile work. It is in these areas where winterizing your pool becomes part of the tasks during the cold season. Here’s what you will need to do if you plan to leave water in your pool rather than draining it:
- Balance the water chemistry, including pH, alkalinity, and calcium hardness to protect the pool’s surface.
- Add a winterizing chemical kit to your water will help keep it blue and clear.
- Do not use chlorine or bromine tablets because the excess chemicals will cause damage to the pool’s plaster or vinyl liner.
- Install a freeze detector that senses when the temperature drops, which will switch the pool on to keep the water flowing through the pipes. Water that is moving and in constant flow will not freeze in the pipes.
- Cover your pool to keep as much debris out as possible. It is important to check on it and scoop out as much as possible because leaves and other objects could stain the plaster or vinyl liner.
It’s best to consult with your pool professional on how best to take winter care of this major investment or opt for a technician to regularly maintenance the pool and spa for you. While similar steps are recommended for above-ground pools and spas, it is probably best to drain these and just wait until the weather warms up again to fill them up.
Your Partner in Maintenance Record-Keeping
Ownersite Technologies is making it their business to help you maximize the investment in your home through a valuable Web portal where you can record and track all types of information related to the maintenance and care of your home. Their low-cost site membership provides you with a helping hand that takes the tasking effort out of tracking your home maintenance records.
Home Ownersite provides an easy way to quickly set up a home maintenance schedule to keep your home looking like new. The more you put into the care of your home, the longer its original beauty will last. Not only will this improve the quality of your daily life, but proper maintenance and record-keeping will yield a desirable re-sale property and a tidy profit.