MyKey Presents: New Year’s Resolutions for Your HomeJan 10, 2022
It’s a New Year! You’ve no doubt made a list of ways you are going to improve your life, including keeping better tabs on your health, your finances, your relationships, or any number of things.
Doesn’t your home deserver the same level of introspection to ensure it either becomes or remains its best version of itself?
Not only will doing a few simple annual check-ups ensure your house continues to get a clean bill of health, but it could also potentially save you a tremendous amount of money and prevent the loss of precious possessions.
MyKey recommends the following New Year’s Resolutions for your home.
Inspect Your Roof
Especially after the snowy season, this is important to check for damage, missing shingles, or other evidence that the integrity of your roof is compromised. Other signs could be water damage spots on the ceiling within your home.
Clean the Gutters.
Remove any leaves or other debris to prevent blockages, especially ice dams. And while you’re at it, double-check that all your downspouts are directing water away from the foundation of your home to prevent flooding.
Trim Tree Branches.
Tree branches that hang over your home, garage, or shed – or a neighbor’s – can break off due to heavy snowfall or freezing rain and do significant damage. Trim any problem branches to avoid this.
Clean the Fireplace and Chimney.
Removing ash and soot from the fireplace and chimney can help prevent a fire. Remember – fires can start inside your chimney if the remnants of previous fires reignite, and chances are you won’t know it’s happening until it’s too late.
Check for Gaps Around Window Frames.
Gaps allow cold air in and your warm air to escape in the winter. And the opposite can happen in the summer. Inspect the weatherstripping and replace as needed. Other options include frame sealant, decorators caulk, or mortar. Try to match what is already there for the best results and appearance.
Clean Your Carpets and Rugs.
Even if you have a “no shoes” policy. Even if you have no pets. Even if you are the cleanest person you know, carpets and rugs (upholstery too!) should be deep cleaned professionally or by using a rented carpet steamer/shampooer annually. This deep clean collects and removes dust, germs, dander, dead skin cells, and other things you can’t see.
Check Your Refrigerator Rubber Door Gasket.
Over time and with extended usage, the rubber gasket seal on your appliance can become ripped, saggy, separated from the door in places or otherwise damaged. This in turn leads to energy leakage that makes your refrigerator work harder and burn out sooner. After giving it a visual inspection, try to Dollar Bill Trick. Insert a bill halfway in and shut the door on it. If the bill is held tight, your seal is still good! If it slips out fairly easily, it’s probably time to replace the gasket.
Clear Your Dryer Vent.
Over time, lint can build up in the dryer vent duct that protrudes from the rear of the appliance and leads outside. The build-up can at best cause your machine to work harder and therefore wear out faster, and at worst cause a fire. Pull the appliance away from the duct to clear it out. Check where it vents to the outdoors too to ensure it is clear and free of things like nests and beehives. One tip is to insert a leaf blower or Shopvac into the duct leading outdoors to help blow out the accumulation of dust and lint.
Adjust Your Humidifier.
Setting the proper humidity in your home based on external temperatures will help regulate humidity and prevent things like frost build up in the winter. Many furnaces have a humidifier built-in and will even include a guide on what to set it at based on outside temps. A good rule of thumb however is 35-45 percent humidity in most climates but around 20 percent when temperatures drop to single digits.
Drain Your Hot Water Heater.
To extend the life and effectiveness of your hot water heater you need to manage the build-up of sediment. Your best defense is to at least partially drain it annually to remove said build-up.
Do a Home Inventory.
Your homeowners’ insurance policy will only cover what it is written to cover. If you have made any significant changes or additions to your home, or made any expensive purchases such as jewelry, artwork, or technology, be sure to make a record of them and let your agent know to ensure your policy is updated to cover them.
A Complete Temporary Housing Solution
These are just a few things you can do once a year to best maintain your home, save money and prevent potential disasters.
If something unexpected does occur, however, and you find yourself displaced from your home due to a repair or insurance claim, MyKey is here for you.
We work with insurance providers across North America to match policyholders with the perfect temporary accommodations. We’ll consider your family size, any pets, locations needs, amenity preferences, and any other special requirements to ensure you will have the best, most comfortable, and most accommodating home away from home until your real home is ready to be reoccupied.