January has arrived and now it’s time to get back on track and prepare your Windsor home for buyers. Chances are, you are like many and have been concentrating on the holidays in the last couple of months than making home repairs for your property. However, take time this weekend to walk around with the included home maintenance checklist to ensure that your home is in good shape for those interested in looking at your home.
As we all know, the dead of winter is when we need to keep our eyes open for any sudden home repairs. One of the more important things you can do for your home is to check for water and dampness. This is common especially this time of year with frigid temperatures: Pay special attention to:
- Groundwater and rain leaking into your home and basement.
- Leaky pipes inside the walls
- Pipes bursting from freezing and thawing.
After a winter storm it’s important to go outside as soon as you are able and walk around your property to check if you have any damage from wind and/or broken tree limbs. Look up at your roof and see if you can find any missing shingles.
However, the most common issues we see this time of the year is water damage, especially to indoor and outdoor pipes that are exposed to cold and freezing temperatures. These include pipes in outside walls, garden sprinklers, swimming pool pipes, and pipes in basements, garages and attics.
Make sure to do the following so you can protect your home from these costly repairs:
1. If you are able, insulate any pipes that are not protected from the cold. Go to your local hardware store and seek assistance if needed.
2. Make sure you seal any leaks around dryer vents and pipes.
3. Check any uninsulated water lines in garage, basement, attic and crawl spaces.
4. To protect pipes during temperatures that fall below zero, allow water to trickle from both hot and cold faucets to relieve pressure.
5. Know how to turn off the water quickly when and if an emergency occurs.
6. If you will be away from your house during a cold spell, have a neighbour check on your home. It is not unheard of for homeowners to come home to be greeted by several inches of water.
7. Don’t turn off your heater when you are gone. Keep it at 55 degrees.
8. If you don’t have it, make sure to add installation to your basement, attic and crawl space for next winter. You will be grateful you did.
Yes, mice and other creatures are driven into homes thanks to the cold weather. It’s amazing that the smallest of openings is big enough for a mouse to crawl through. And once you have one mouse, well, you know the story, you will then have several. If you are selling your home, the last thing you want your prospective buyers to see is evidence of mice.
1. Seal any areas, cracks or holes where pests can enter.
2. Make sure your garbage is emptied regularly.
3. Keep kitchen counters clean and seal all food.
4. Don’t ignore leaky pipes and fix them as soon as possible.
5. Call a pest service if the problem doesn’t correct itself with mousetraps. Again, the last thing you want your buyer to see are traps scattered throughout your house.
6. Carefully store bird seed as this is attractive for mice and other creatures.
7. Check your basement, attic and crawl space for any mice droppings.
Again, mice don’t pack up and leave on their own. The problem needs to be treated immediately.
Other good January projects include:
Make an inventory of all of your valuable household possessions. This is good to do for insurance purposes. If a disaster occurs, such as a fire, flooding, etc., then you can submit with your insurance claim to receive replacement value. And don’t worry about making this elaborate. It’s just a good idea to be able to document what was lost. It’s amazing what we forget when we have been faced with a devastating event.
Other good ideas is to make sure you save all receipts for valuable home purchases, such as computers, televisions, artwork and such. Keep this information, along with your inventory list, in a safe-deposit box at your bank.
Finally, a few more tasks to keep your January filled
1. Clean under your refrigerator with a vacuum cleaner tool and remove dust from coils.
2. Clean lint from laundry appliances.
3. Throw away any outdated warranties or receipts you no longer need.
4. Walk around the inside and outside of your home with a screwdriver and tighten any loose knobs. Write down any repairs you will need to make later.
5. Check your furnace filter to see if it needs replacing.
Remember, a home that looks well cared for will be a huge plus when you sell your home.