Climbing out of that holiday daze can be complicated. There are plenty of gifts, knick-knacks and leftovers floating around, and it may be more tempting to relax on the couch rather than perform any home maintenance.
However, January is the perfect time for several key improvements, and the heart of winter requires a number of steps to keep a residence safe, secure and warm. Homeowners who choose to leave things be may end up with many headaches and costly repair bills. Instead of this, it is smart to look around and figure out where any extra attention is needed.
Better yet, a property inspection professional can lend some advice and clarify any concerns or lingering questions homeowners may have.
Constant vigilance is required
January is often one of the coldest months for many homeowners, and rapidly dropping temperatures can pose a serious threat to any structure. Therefore, it is important that the entire house is looked over on a regular basis and all problems are caught early. A home inspection can help with this goal.
A great place to start is with a simple tour, according to MSN Real Estate. After a winter storm, every aspect on the outside should be scanned over, with an eye out for damage. Loose, missing shingles and snapped tree limbs can all be areas of concern. In addition to the roof, homeowners should also be wary of any frozen pipes, especially high-risk ones like garden sprinkler lines, swimming pool pipes and those in attics, basements and garages. A crack from the cold can lead to a major leak and many more problems.
To fix any possible frozen pipes, every one should be insulated where possible, the news source noted. This simple step can keep the water inside flowing as normal, at little cost to the homeowner. What's more, the source of the cold can be addressed. This means any leaks that allow cold air in have to be plugged up. Common cold spots include the attic, basement, garage and crawl spaces. Pipes in the kitchen and bathroom can freeze as well, so the cabinets could be opened to allow heat in. If it is particularly bad, the faucets should be left on a trickle.
Take care of any lingering issues
January can be the perfect time to fix any issues that have been neglected for months. After the holidays, there are often stacks of gifts and other items just lying around, and all of these need a new home. This month can also be a great time to plan for the spring and summer, and get everything in order so any repairs go smoothly. If there are any questions, a home inspection professional can come in a shed some light on the situation.
According to The Washington Post, homeowners should organize in January. While stuck inside, there are plenty of opportunities to clean up closets, basements, attics and everywhere else. Many improvement stores will have a large selection of containers, and clear, straight-sided ones afford the most convenience. Afterward, any serious projects planned for later can be scouted out. January is a great time to shop for supplies, compare prices and consult experts about that next remodel.
While feet of snow on the ground may not inspire very many green thumbs, January is perfect for preparing a garden. The media outlet reported that homeowners can plant bulbs in a planting tray or pot, and let them grow inside during the winter. Then, come spring, they'll be ready to transfer outside. Or, the winter can be ideal for taking gardening classes or other programs to expand one's knowledge.