There’s No Place Like Home For The Holidays: 8 December Home Maintenance Tips
Tis the season…for home maintenance?! Okay, okay…that’s definitely not the highlight of the season. However, Texas winters are definitely hard on your home and a bit of prevention goes a long way this time of year. Cold weather is here and you’ll probably be at home more often to avoid Mr. Winter, so it’s a great chance to get a leg up (err…catch up) on some home maintenance before temperatures drop to downright unfriendly levels.
8 Tips for December Home Maintenance in your East Texas home:
- CHRISTMAS LIGHTING –Let’s start with a fun one, shall we? It’s time to bust out the Christmas lights and the plastic reindeer (if you are so inclined)! While you’re up on the roof making sure Blitzen is positioned correctly, do a visual check for any loose or missing shingles. It’s also a great time to check all your exterior electrical components—from exterior lighting to plugs, just to make sure nothing seems amiss.
- MAKE IT SAFE FOR SANTA—Make sure you aren’t harboring fugitive critters or creosote buildup in your chimney—Santa’s dry-cleaning bill is too high already! Before you light that first fire of the winter, be sure to check your chimney (or better yet, have it professionally cleaned) for buildup. Chimney fires are completely preventable, so prevent one at your house.
- DRYER VENTS – Clean them out! I include this on almost every monthly checklist (because, let’s be real…you haven’t cleaned them since you moved in.) It’s a HUGE fire risk and an easy fix! If you did do it last month, then even better news, you’ve already checked one thing off!
- DON’T BE A DRAFT DODGER—Cold drafts coming into your house can mean some annoyingly cold nights and can have big impacts on your utility bill. To find the hidden drafts, light a candle near each door/window. If the flame flickers (or if you suddenly feel a cold breeze go up your robe), then you’ve got a draft. Seal all openings with caulk or with weather-stripping.
- WINTER OR BUST—Unhook all your garden hoses and wrap all exterior pipes and spigots. Also, if you don’t have central heat, you may want to consider wrapping interior pipes or at the very least, keeping the cabinet doors open—especially those plumbing fixtures mounted on exterior walls.
- WINTER GREEN—Now is a good time to prune back your shrubs and bushes and bring in any potted plants to give them a fighting chance to survive the winter.
- VARMINT SWEEP – Varmint–that is the scientific term for squirrels, mice, rats, raccoons, etc. in East Texas! Do a quick walk around your property looking for any spots where the critters are coming and going. If there are any holes (and especially if the holes contain a pair of eyes looking back at you), figure out a way to secure the opening and kick those pests out!
- FILTER CHANGE—Let’s end with a 1 minute job! Be sure to change your HVAC’s air filter. It will help your system run more efficiently and cut down on allergens.
Cheers to a warm and productive December! The days of turkey are over and the wonder and merriment of the Christmas season is here!
Lisa E. Priest can’t wait to get her picture with Santa and is an East Texas Area REALTOR® with Picket Fence Realty, Inc. You can call her via phone or text at 903-948-3343 or email Lisa@rentpalestine.com or visit her on the web at BuyPalestine.com.