The holiday season is typically a very busy time of year for most people. Although COVID 19 may impact the amount of time spent at holiday parties and family gathering, it is still sure to be spent celebrating in other ways. But, be sure to dedicate some time to your home. Keeping up on important home maintenance will help you avoid future hassles and costly repairs.
Regularly Check for Ice Dams and Icicles
Ice dams and icicles form when water from melting snow re-freezes at the edge of your home’s roofline. If left unchecked, ice dams may grow large enough to prevent water from draining off the roof. This can cause the water to potentially back up underneath roof shingles and leak into your home. To prevent ice dams, make sure to clean your gutters before winter, ensure your downspouts are functioning properly, and keep your attic well insulated. You should also try to remove at least the lower 4 feet of snow from the roof edge immediately after every storm – a tool called a roof rake can be handy for this job.
Remove Showerheads and Clean Sediment
It is important to routinely clean your showerhead to avoid sediment and mineral deposit build-ups, which can affect your shower’s functionality. For an easy clean, simply fill a plastic bag with white vinegar and attach it to your showerhead with a rubber band. Leave the bag on for about one hour and then turn on the water to rinse the showerhead. For a deeper clean, you may need to remove your showerhead, scrub it with an old toothbrush, and soak it in a bowl of vinegar overnight. There are many tips and videos online to help with this process.
Inspect Hoses on Washing Machine, Dishwasher, and Icemaker for Leaks
While an appliance failure can sometimes cause sudden and major flooding, water damage from a leaky appliance may happen gradually and may not be noticed until the damage is significant. It is important to routinely check appliance hoses a couple times each year. Be sure to look for kinks, cracks, or dampness around the hose connections, and replace hoses when they are defective or worn out.
Check Sinks and Toilets for Leaks
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), 10 percent of homes have leaks that waste 90 gallons of water or more per day. Most of these are common leaks, including worn toilet flappers, dripping faucets, and other leaking valves. All of these are easily correctable. Check your faucets, showerheads, toilets, and outdoor irrigation systems. The EPA says that fixing these minor household water leaks can save homeowners about 10 percent on their water bills.
Test Carbon Monoxide and Smoke Detectors
The Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends that consumers test their smoke and carbon monoxide detectors every month to ensure they are properly working. Smoke alarms should be placed on every level of the home, inside each bedroom, and outside sleeping areas. If you do not have a carbon monoxide detector, be sure to get one. These should also be installed on every level of the home and outside sleeping areas.
Visit the Greater Lansing Association of REALTORS® Facebook page for more home maintenance ideas.
This article originally appeared on Lansing State Journal: December Home Maintenance Checklist