December Home Maintenance
The winter season is in full force with the beginning of December. Here are some home maintenance things to complete in December to protect your home and get it ready for the winter months.
Get ready for guests
With the holiday season coming, there is sure to be plenty of guests coming to stay with you and your family. Get your guest room looking like the perfect getaway. Wash sheets and blankets, or buy brand-new bedding for a new look. For a nice touch, fill a basket with water bottles, snacks, and tiny tubes of shampoo and conditioner to make your guests feel like they’re staying in a hotel.
Repair and hang decorations
If you decorate the outside of your home, now’s the perfect time to get decorating. Pull out your lights, untangle the strands of lights, and check to make sure they work. Throw away strands of light that are frayed or are not functioning. If you have incandescent lights, consider replacing them with LED lights. LED lights are more energy-efficient. They use less power, last longer, and are less of a fire hazard.
Clean your chimney
Whether you have a wood-burning fireplace or a gas fireplace, cleaning your chimney is a must. Dirty chimneys are the leading cause of house fires. While you can clean a chimney yourself, it’s recommended to bring in the professionals for this job. A standard inspection costs anywhere between $100 and $250, but can fluctuate depending on roof accessibility and the type of chimney.
Prevent icy accidents
There are many things you can do to prevent accidents caused by ice. Turn off water to exterior spigots, drain them, and leave them open to minimize the chances of frozen pipes. Wrap any exposed piping in your basement with heat tape. Make sure outdoor stair railings are stable, to prevent people from slipping and falling on icy steps. Finally, trim any overhead branches that could cause any damage to the roof if they snap under the weight of heavy snow and ice.
Prevent ice damming
Ice damming occurs when ice builds in your gutter and on your roof, preventing water from draining and pushing it into your home. Install heating cables to prevent snow from freezing. Fifty feet of cables costs an average of $230. If you decide to bring in a professional, it can cost an average of $800 to get heating cables installed. The bigger or steeper your roof, the more you’ll pay.
If you are using a snow blower, be sure to fuel and oil up now so it’s ready to go when you need it. Start in the middle of the driveway and blow the snow to one side, then turn around and do the other side. This prevents you from having to adjust the chute over and over. If you are using a shovel, clear the snow after every two to three inches of snowfall. This helps to not strain your back, arms, and legs as much as it would waiting for all the snow to fall before beginning to shovel.