In addition to holiday decorating, backing and shopping for presents for your family and friends, there are a few home maintenance tasks you should do in December. The peace of mind from finishing these tasks is worth taking a quick break from the holiday season fun.
1. Protect Your Pipes. If you haven't done this already, plan to do it very soon. We've already had a couple cold snaps and the time it takes to protect your pipes from freezing is minimal compared to the mess and expense should one burst. In the event of an emergency, know where your main water shutoff is located.
2. Check the Oven Seal. If your over is older, or if you notice longer cooking times, give the oven seal a quick inspection. Check the seal for cracks or breaks and if you find something suspicious, reseal the oven door. Just be sure to unplug the appliance first.
3. Only You Can Prevent [House] Fires. Christmas trees, dirty chimneys, Hanukkah candles, old space heaters and your favorite scented candles and your home in the winter can be even more dangerous. Have your fireplace cleaned and inspected before lighting any fires this year. Keep your Christmas tree well watered and away from any heat sources. If your space heater is very old, it may be time to invest in a newer, more energy efficient model anyway.
4. Prevent Ice Damming. An ice dam is a ridge of ice that can form on your roof or in your gutter. Not only is this dangerous when it finally comes sliding off your roof, but the extra weight can put pressure on, and damage, your gutters. To prevent an ice dam, keep your gutters clean and functioning and invest in a snow rake to clean off your roof if you typically get a lot of snow.
5. Master Home Security. With all the travel of the holidays, now is a great time to review your home security. Not only do you want to prevent break-ins while you're out of town, but don't forget the packages that are left on your porch. Make sure the exterior of your home is well lit, bushes are trimmed up, and doors and windows lock properly. You may even want to invest in a security system.
Tis the season for home maintenance... and other things of course. Complete these quick tips to see how you can better protect your home through the holiday season.