Winter is in full force. The holiday season is almost behind us, and now is the time when a lot of people enjoy the comfort and warmth of their own homes. And when you’re hunkered down in your home this year, it’s time to look around the house to see what maintenance tasks you might be able to complete.
DIY home maintenance and project tasks anyone can do include:
1. Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detector Tests
Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors can save your life, but they need to be fully operational to work properly. Experts recommend checking these devices one per month while other sources state to check your devices every six months.
A once-a-month test can save your life.
Performing the test requires a push of the “test” button. If the battery is depleted, change the battery and check the test off of your list.
2. Replace Weather Stripping to Lower Heating Costs
When was the last time you replaced your weather stripping? Chances are, it’s not on the top of your to-do list when you have a day off of work. You’ll want to:
- Check windows, siding, doors, and vents for weather stripping issues
- Make notes of any weather stripping issues
Weather stripping can save you 5% to 30% on energy costs annually. Caulk small gaps or use expanding foam to fill in larger gaps and cracks. Home improvement stores will have all of the equipment you need to be able to weatherproof your home properly.
3. Winter Drain Cleaning
Cold weather may require you to leave your faucets dripping during the winter. The cold can lead to drain problems, and a lot of countries deal with routine blockages due to fats and grease being put down the drain during the winter season.
A proper drain cleaning in the winter is recommended and will eliminate:
- Bad smells from kitchen drains
- Blockages in the drain
You can call a professional to clean your drain, or a few tips that homeowners recommend are:
- Pour boiling water down the drain weekly
- Pour ½ of baking soda and 1 cup of vinegar down the drain. Flush with boiling water after five minutes
There are commercial products available at home improvement stores that can help, too.
4. Insulate Plumbing Pipes
Leaving your water dripping wastes water, and the idea is to stop the water in your pipes from freezing. When your pipes freeze, this can lead to a very costly plumbing bill. Average bills for fixing a burst pipe are $900, but the cost can swell to $3,000+.
Insulating your pipes will:
- Prevent pipes from freezing
- Lower the risk of burst pipes
Pipes need to be insulated in key areas, such as unheated rooms, near windows and near doors. Pipe insulation needs to be purchased from a store and is easy to apply. Don’t use rags or other forms of “insulation” in an attempt to insulate your pipes.
Additional items on your to-do list should include: testing your sump pump, installing door sweeps, fixing ice dams and cleaning debris off of your roof.