Homeowners – Start 2016 Off On the Right Foot!


January starts a brand new year and another opportunity for smart homeowners to start off on the right foot. They use this time for a new year’s check-up to make sure their home is healthy and damage-free outside. Additionally, they ensure that the rooms within are clean, tidy and comfortable. This is time well spent during winter months after the bustle of the holidays.

As decorations are put away, it’s smart to get your home back into top shape. Start with the bathroom. If it appears that grout lines have gotten dark and discolored, there’s a quick, simple fix that makes a huge impact. Grab a spray bottle and mix equal parts water and vinegar, then spray those dirty, dingy grout lines generously and let them soak for ten to fifteen minutes. Next, take a brush and dip it in baking soda to add a bit of abrasion, then gently scrub your grout. A thorough once-over should do the trick. If not, go one step further and add some hydrogen peroxide on top of the baking soda. Allow it to foam.This powerful mixture should get out even the toughest stains.

Next, as snow and ice thaw, take some time to inspect your roof. It is one part of your home that is working overtime during winter months, keeping everything inside protected from the elements. Snow, sleet, rain, hail, wind, and cold weather wreak havoc on roofs during winter months, so it’s a good idea to check the condition of your roof before spring rain. Walk around outside and make visual observations. How sound are the roof shingles? Gusty winter precipitation pounds on roof shingles, often pulling and curling them up, or worse, completely removing them from the roof. If your visual inspection identifies missing shingles, take action quickly to avoid water seeping into your walls. Additionally, look for ice dams at the edge of your roof. These dams prevent melting ice and snow from draining off of the roof. Water then backs up underneath the shingles and can cause substantial damage. Take a moment to inspect your gutters to make sure water can drain away from the home’s foundation. Don’t forget to check your windows, too. Remember, not all roof damage is visible from the outside. Take a minute and check the attic, living room, bathrooms, bedrooms, etc., for signs of leaks. With a sound roof over your head you can relax and welcome the remainder of winter.

Also this winter, look for opportunities to stock up on necessary supplies. You can be hard pressed to find simple equipment like shovels, power generators, and ice melt when a winter storm comes knocking. However, as the storms become fewer, your opportunities to prep for future seasons increase. Keep an eye open for winter equipment sales and don’t shy away from making purchases early if they’re within your budget. If you already have all of the equipment necessary to make winter months a breeze, make appointments to have it serviced as time and weather allow. Always keep any fuel for your equipment in approved safety containers and never store it near heat or flame. Please remember that you should never store fuel in your basement.

January also marks an ideal time to check your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Finally, if you haven’t yet changed or cleaned your furnace filters this season, take a few moments to do so. This not only promotes better circulation of air within your home, it can prevent hazards such as fire.