Getting Your Home Ready for the New Year

Even though we’ve all been spending more time at home this year, that doesn’t mean we’ve had the time — or motivation — to tackle that growing list of chores that need to get finished. But what better time is there to start checking items off the list than now, when you may be lucky enough to have a few days off for the holidays? You may even be able to get your kids to help since you’ve likely heard them repeatedly tell you how bored they are!

And you’ll have a great feeling of accomplishment as you enter 2021 with a completed (or partially completed) list of home tasks. So, regardless of whether you need to do a full reorganization of your garage, or only need to take care of a few things here and there, take a look at some of the often-overlooked jobs we’ve put on our home maintenance list to be sure your home is ready for the new year ahead.

Exterior home maintenance during the winter

Even though we’ve made it to the end of December, there’s still plenty of winter left for us to bear — that is, unless you live in an area that experiences pleasantly mild winters! Perform a visual inspection of the outside of your home, being sure to pay attention to the following:

  1. Gutters: Have heavy winds and snow or ice storms caused parts of your gutter system to become damaged? If so, get these areas repaired or replaced before the next storm hits.
  2. Concrete surfaces: The constant freezing/warming of the earth around your home during the fall and winter months could result in a shift in the soil under driveways, sidewalks, patios, staircases, and any other concrete surfaces around your home. Make note of any surfaces that have damage and contact a concrete professional for assistance with repair work.
  3. Trees and bushes: It’s no shock to many homeowners that the brutal winds and snow/ice that come with winter can result in damage to trees and bushes. Pick up any fallen branches or shrubbery on your property to prevent it from being a trip hazard. This may also be a great time to trim back any limbs that could potentially fall on your roof, car, etc. during a winter storm.
  4. Lawn furniture: If you haven’t put your outdoor chairs and patio table away, do it before the weather gets any worse. Remember — we still have a few months of winter weather to get through!

Interior home maintenance during winter

After you’ve taken care of outdoor maintenance, turn to a few projects on the inside of your home.

  1. Drafts: If you’ve noticed that cold air passes through any window or door frames of your home, add enough caulk and weatherstripping to prevent cold air from getting inside and warm air from getting out.
  2. Heating system: If you haven’t yet scheduled a maintenance appointment for your furnace this season, contact a heating professional in your area as soon as possible! Routine maintenance can help your furnace run more efficiently all season long, and it may also help prevent an untimely and expensive breakdown.
  3. Outlets: After you’ve put away your holiday decorations that require electricity, check your outlets for any signs of damage. It’s best to get any outlet or wiring issues taken care of before they result in damage to the things plugged into them or potentially cause a fire.
  4. Carbon monoxide and smoke detectors: Test these alarms to be sure they are working as they should. If fresh batteries are needed, now is a great time to install them.
  5. First aid kit: Check your home safety kit to be sure it’s well stocked with non-expired medications, bandages, gauze, and so on. Restock any missing or expired items. Also check on the winter safety kit you may have in your car.

Additional things to consider when prepping your home for 2021

Now that you’ve taken care of maintenance work inside and outside of your home, don’t forget to protect your vital appliances, service lines, and systems with one (or more) of our affordable protection plans. We offer everything from Heating and Cooling Maintenance Plans to plans that cover repairs for your outside water and sewer lines. To see what plans are available in your area, visit us online and enter your ZIP code in the box in the upper right corner of the page.