February Home Maintenance

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MSN Real Estate has another great home maintenance list to help you get your house in tip-top shape! The February list features some great advice on taking the opportunity to use the cold weather to help you identify heat and water leaks around the house, which could ultimately help save you money. Finding and fixing these issues early will keep your home running smoothly!

Here are a few more of the item’s on MSN’s February Checklist, click here for the full list and to get helpful tips!

Batten down the hatches. Find and seal energy leaks. Grab a pad and pencil to note any spots that you can’t address right away. Arm yourself with a tube of caulk to fill small cracks and a spray can of insulating foam sealer for larger gaps. Tour your home feeling for cold air entering through cracks in chimneys and window and door frames, and cracks around appliance vents, electrical and plumbing fixtures and furnace ducts. Remedies might include adding weatherstripping to a door frame or applying fresh caulk to window frames.

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Conduct a home energy audit. If you’ve sealed the obvious leaks and your home is still inefficient, you’ll get more detailed information from a professional energy audit. The auditor can recommend energy-saving improvements and point out those that will most improve efficiency. 

Clean out storage areas. Get a head start on spring cleaning by attacking a cluttered storage space. Whether you go after the garage, attic, laundry room or garden shed, your home benefits when you get rid of rusting tools, leaking fluids and household chemicals. Start by taking everything out of the space and piling it up outside. Clean the empty space, then go through the items, trying to let go of everything you haven’t used in the last year. Make four piles: stuff to keep, trash, donations and recycling, and hazardous waste. Open paint cans to dry the paint completely before disposing. Recycle batteries so the lead they contain doesn’t contaminate ground water. Rules for disposal vary by locale. Call your waste-disposal company or the county landfill to learn where and how to dispose of hazardous waste.

Get a fire extinguisher. Better yet, get several. Buy fire extinguishers for each type of fire you might encounter at home and place them where you’ll need them. For example, use the A-B-C class for living areas and in workshops and garages. For the kitchen, get a specialized extinguisher capable of putting out class B (grease) and C (electrical) fires. For living and sleeping areas and fireplaces, get a multipurpose A-B-C that also works on fires consuming wood, cloth, trash and paper. Inspect extinguishers regularly to ensure the gauges read 100%.

Check for storm damage. While you’re outside, walk around the house looking for missing or damaged siding and shingles. Remove fallen branches and storm debris from around the house.

Clean the gutters. It’s easier to scoop up the leaves and debris in your gutters when the stuff is wet, so pull out your ladder and clean the gutters after a soaking rain. You should do this at least twice a year, but may need to do it monthly if your home is surrounded by trees. 

Mulch garden beds. By the end of the month, the ground has thawed in many parts of the country and it’s time to start warding off weeds. If you didn’t mulch in early winter, now is the time to add a layer to discourage weeds.

 

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