Whether you are a first-time home buyer or already a homeowner, there are always new things to learn about your home and property, like winter home maintenance, that will help hold your home’s overall value and keep repair costs down. As with many things, working proactively with home maintenance and home repairs will help any homeowner improve the equity and long-term performance of their home.
Many home professionals suggest seasonal maintenance tasks to keep your home in tip-top shape and we agree! Doing a short list of seasonal tasks now will inevitably pay off in the long run. Here you will find our suggested winter home maintenance tips to help your home weather the winter better and with less damage.
Top 3 Winter Home Maintenance Tips
Check Doors & Windows for Leaks
Checking your door and window seals now could save you water damage costs later. Gaps in window and door seals are also far less energy efficient and will likely increase your heating bills throughout the winter season. This is especially true if you have older windows and seals that could be more prone to cracking and moving. Open and close each window, while looking for any gaps between the seals. If you do see any gaps, it if simple enough to add new weather stripping.
Clean Gutters & Check Any Exterior Drainage Areas
With the change in seasons come snow and increased levels of rain for Southern New England. As a homeowner, you can be sure that if you do not clear your gutters this season, you will be dealing with unusual drainage patterns at some point. A clogged gutter can overflow and break, putting strain on the roof. If a clogged gutter fills with ice, this can cause thawing damage and also adds strain to your guttering structure itself. The best way to avoid any of these issues is to simply clean your gutters. Scooping out the gutters by hand works, as well as using a leaf blower or other specifically designed tools.
It’s also a good idea to check your basement for any signs of water damage, including stains or actually wet areas. Checking your attic space for any signs of mildew or mold can also be a great way to avoid a huge problem later. Catching issues in the beginning stages is much easier to rectify than full blown and costly issues. Both mold and mildew are red flags that your drainage system isn’t carrying the water far enough away from your house. This can be common in older homes. If you do see signs of dampness and/or water stains, these are clear signs you have a problem. If possible, homeowners can re-adjust any downspouts that could redirect water further away from your house.
Clean Your Dryer Vents
Seems like a small and easy task, however many homeowners forget to do this simple step, which can lead to disaster. In fact, according to the National Fire Protection Association, “In 2010-2014, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated average of 15,970 home structure fires involving clothes dryers or washing machines each year. These fires caused annual averages of 13 deaths, 444 injuries, and $238 million in direct property damage.” Cleaning your dryer vent now can certainly reduce your risk of being included in these statistics. Follow these basic instructions to maintain your clothes dryer:
- Regularly remove built-up lint from the dryer screen or lint filter typically located at the front of the dryer. This will help reduce fire risk and improve energy efficiency. Slide the filter out, scrape off lint, and replace filter.
- Clean the lint vents located on the back of most dryers. If you have trouble locating the link vents, try checking the manufacturer’s instructions, which can often be found of searching the make and model online. You’ll want to hold the vent upright and use a dryer brush to brush down the piping collecting the lint. Gently swipe the lint to collect it and repeat this until all the lint in the vent has been removed.
- Reconnect the vent and turn your dryer on for a few minutes. This forces air through the vent and will blow out any lint that may have been in the tubing or stuck in the outer vent.
Are you an Income Property Owner?
If you’ve owned multiple income generating properties for any length of time, you know managing a rental property can be financially rewarding, unless neglected repairs pile up and you are unable to maintain those properties to their highest potential. In the beginning, a do-it-yourself approach may have seemed valid, however perhaps you are realizing that maintaining such properties may be more than you bargained for. Have you ever considered hiring a property manager? This could be the right and logical next step for you.
Hiring a property management expert, such as Noonan Lombardi Realtors, could be exactly the help you’ve been looking for! As experienced property management experts, Noonan Lombardi Realtors is knowledgeable regarding adjusting rental rates based on real estate in the area, lease agreements, collecting and depositing monthly rent payments, marketing and advertising your property, finding the right tenants, managing tenants, managing vendor relationships, and ensuring compliance with housing regulations and property laws; all while working to maximize the profitability of your time.
With over 50 years of collective real estate team experience, Noonan Lombardi Realtors is the expert property management team you’re looking for. Call our team today for more information (401) 580-8672, or find us online at www.NoonanLombardiRealtors.com.