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  • Writer's pictureThe True North Handyman

The Ultimate January Home Maintenance Checklist

Happy New Year everyone! I hope you enjoyed a safe, healthy, and very happy holiday season. Now that the festivities are over, it's time to look ahead to a bright, shiny new year, one we all hope will bring us good luck and a final end to the challenges we've been facing over the last two years!

And with every new year, we try to have a plan to be more on top of things, creating to-do lists and organizing our schedules. It tends to be the time of year when most of us are really on our games, and if we make a list of things to do, we usually stick with it.

Now that holiday decorations are packed away, gatherings are over, and we're settling back into a less-busy routine, it's time to think about the things that help keep our homes in tip-top shape. So, while you're make financial resolutions or simply organizing your calendar for the year, schedule in some time to cover everything on this January Home Maintenance Checklist!

January Home Maintenance Checklist

The items on our January Home Maintenance Checklist don't have to take a lot of time, but they can save you a lot of time and money down the road.

1. Decide on Big Projects for the Year

At the beginning of the new year, many people sort through their finances and make goals for the months ahead. Consider any big (or small) home projects you want to undertake this year and budget accordingly. Maybe the roof could use a little attention. Perhaps you want to extend the deck or go bold and create an entire backyard oasis. Or it could just be minor fixes in and around the house. Add these items to your yearly financial planning!

2. Change Furnace Filters

Dirt accumulates in filters over time, especially during the winter months when your heating is running all the time. This build-up causes clogs in filters, and when air can’t pass through easily, the system has to work harder, causing overheating and increasing your overall energy costs.

Plus, changing your furnace filter not only helps your furnace last longer and run more efficiently, it also prevents dust, dirt, mold spores, soot, bacteria, and allergens from building up in the air inside your home.

3. Clean out the Fireplace

We've had some really cold days this year, and if you have a wood-burning fireplace, chances are you've used it. But if you don’t keep your fireplace clean, soot, ash, and other debris may start making their way into your living spaces. No thanks. Set aside some time to clean out the ashes to keep it clean and prevent accidents.

Pro Tip: Make sure you wait at least 12 hours after the last fire to do this.

4. De-gunk the Drains

This is not a fun task, but it's so important. Bathroom and kitchen sink drains take a beating when it comes to what makes its way down there. Hair, soap, grease, food, and various other types of debris can build up in drains, impeding the flow and causing water to back up into your tub or sink. Not only is this gross, it lets dirty water to stand in your sink or tub, allowing mold and mildew to grow.

Whether you get right in there by removing the drain assembly and grates covering the drain opening and clean thoroughly, or just get down there with a thin snake to pull out the gunk, you're doing yourself, and your drains, a favour!

5. Check for Ice Dams

This may not seem like a priority with the up and down weather we've been having, but it's not something you want to neglect. As the ice builds up, it can prevent water from draining off your roof. This can cause the water to back up underneath your shingles and leak into your attic. Make sure gutters and downspouts are clear and flowing freely.

Prevent ice dams by sealing any air leaks that could be allowing heated air to rise into your attic and reinforcing it with more insulation, Whenever there’s a fresh snowfall, use a roof rake to remove as much snow as you can safely reach without climbing on the slippery roof. Pro Tip: If you have severe ice dams, bring in a contractor to remove them safely. Ice dams can be very dangerous to remove on your own. Avoid climbing on an icy roof, or using a pressure washer or heat cables that could damage your shingles. And be careful of falling icicles or sheets of ice!

This month, take a little time to go over a few important tasks and you'll be thankful you did. Make your own January home maintenance checklist and get it all out of the way while we're hunkered down recovering from a busy December.

And, as always, if you need a hand around the house, with these or any other home maintenance tasks, reach out! We're here to help.

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