Do you want a home checklist? I have 7 tips for things you need to check on a regular basis to keep your home working like clockwork.
We often forget that our homes are more than just cozy living rooms and stunning kitchens. There is a whole new world of “exterior” that we need to give attention to, and while these spots might not need as much attention to make them make the “regular” list, they’re still very much an integral part of ensuring that your home remains in tip-top condition.
Now, let’s take a look at some of the oft-forgotten but über essential maintenance tasks that you cannot forget about.
Let’s get started on our home checklist
#1 SUMP PUMP MAINTENANCE
Unless you’re planning on returning home from a vacation to have your basement converted into an indoor swimming pool, you definitely want to make sure that you’re sump pump get’s all the attention it deserves. Most issues occur purely because of neglect, and the aftermath of water pumps, wet/dry vacuum cleaners, and moving fans around is just not worth the effort.
So to avoid your next backstroke in the basement contest, make sure that your pump has a vertical float switch. Check your pump at least a couple of times a year by dumping water into the basin to ensure that all works as it should and you’ll be A for away.
#2 EVER HEARD OF A “WINDOW WEEP HOLE?”
I never heard of it myself, but it turns out it’s a pretty important thing. Most sliding windows and vinyl replacement windows have these things called “weep holes” on the exterior of the bottom frame. Now, these holes have been designed to drain rainwater away that could otherwise collect in the frame’s bottom channel. Now, these weep holes get plugged with dead bugs and other debris and when that happens, guess where that rainwater is going – yep, straight into your house.
And it’s easy enough to check and repair – spray some compressed air into the hole and watch the dirt fly.
#3 THE EXTERIOR IS WHAT PROTECTS THE INTERIOR
Unless you’re one of those home improvement types that HGTV seems to punt as the ideal man (or woman), then you’ve probably not given this aspect too much, though, but it’s so crucial that you do. Not only does it look great when you have Smart Exteriors, but they also offer an added “buffer” to the elements, last a really long time, and did we mention – they look great!
#4 DO A WINDOW CHECK, ALL AROUND
We don’t just mean the seals and the caulking and all of that good stuff; we mean the actual windows. Scratches, chips, and cracks, no matter how small, can turn into something way more extensive in a short space of time, and that messes everything up. Windows, for whatever reason, tend to be those home elements that don’t just mess up the object in question (in this case, the window), but they also seem to take the frames, lining, and sealant with them.
#5 CHECK YOUR WATER HEATER
Now, this doesn’t matter if you have one of the new generation heaters that are supposed to monitor itself or if you have those old school old faithful that needs a little extra attention; you still need to check out your water heater from time to time. Check for limescale, check for dirty water, blockages, and all of that good stuff.
In fact, before the freezing nights and days come, run your heating system on max for an hour or so; sure, your kids might think you’re crazy but just monitor how long it takes to heat up and just how hot is it getting? Check each room and while you’re at it, check the windows and vents and see where draughts may be coming through because that will add a significant amount to your heating bill. If you encounter any problems that you can’t fix yourself, get the heating guys out to give it a service and a once over. Whatever it costs you to do now, it’s going to be worth it when you don’t have to be “caller number 132” on Christmas eve, and it’s minus something stupid on the thermometer.
#6 CHECK YOUR GARAGE DOORS, SHED DOORS, AND WORKSHOP DOORS (ASSUMING THEY’RE NOT ALL THE SAME SPACE)
This seems a little random, but it’s something you want to do sooner rather than later.
Start with the overhead torsion springs mounted above roller tracks in your garage door, coat these with lubricant, and be great, mind you, because all springs, no matter what the manufacturer promises you, will eventually break, and this is caused by metal fatigue and perhaps corrosion. This is another task you want to be done before winter comes because it’s uncomfortable at the best of times, much less when it’s freezing outside.
Want to know more about building a garage? Check out my tutorial at Building a Garage and Driveway Paving
#7 REVERSE CEILING FAN BLADES
This is one of our favorite winter home hacks. You turn your heating on in the early afternoons (or if you’re from Canada, you probably never turn your heating off!) If you have ceiling fans, switch them to reverse and start them simultaneously. This simple trick helps circulate warm air around your home faster and way more efficiently than just having your heating turned on.
These tips should work for most homes in North America, but you need to be conscious of where you’re located. For example, suppose you live in Alaska or Michigan, up State New York. In that case, you’re going to need to be very conscious about your outside paving and your driveways, where trapped ice and snow can wreak terrible damage over time, and it happens before you know it. So take the time to shovel that snow. It’s a great cardiovascular workout and will go some way to sorting out those abs you’ve been worrying about getting into shape.
We love winter. It’s a great time of year to bring your family closer around cozy fireplaces and midnight tobogganing (even on a school night – just once per season, mind you), and it’s also a time of year that naturally lends itself to some soul-searching and introspection. Everything you want to focus on in the year that lays ahead has its seeds in winter. Also, Halloween is coming, so remember to get out there and let your inner child loose – your kids will love you for it, and so will you.
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