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November is the time of year when we reflect on the things that make us thankful. This year your list might be like mine and include: family, friends, Ted Lasso (a feel good show that makes you believe again), Bluey (a show you are willing to binge watch with the kiddos), and a well-maintained house.
If your list is short one of these items (hint hint, the well-maintained home), don’t worry! Our experts put together 11 tips to elevate your home this November!
Tip #1 – Keep unwanted guests out
It’s not what you’re thinking – we mean pests and other critters. It’s getting colder, and that means everyone wants to find a cozy place to stay. For mice and other rodents, that just might be your house. Take a walk around your home and look for any cracks or holes in your foundation or around your windows. Be sure to fill those in.
Remember your chimney is a big hole that comes right into your home. Be sure it has a cap and your flue is closed when you are not lighting a fire.
Tip #2 – Get your plumbing ready for wanted guests
Your home may be open to a few more guests this time of year, but is your plumbing ready for the extra workload? Ensure toilets are running efficiently and without leaks. If you need a plumber, now is a good time to call them because the holidays become a very busy time, and that can mean more $$ out of your pocket.
Tip #3 – Get ready for that big holiday meal
Prep your kitchen. No one thinks it will happen to them, but fires happen every Thanksgiving. Check to make sure your fire extinguisher is not expired, and you have it readily available in case you need it. Move anything flammable far from the stove and oven. When guests arrive, keep pets and kids at least three feet away from any open flames.
Get more cooking safety tips from the National Fire Protection Association now!
Bonus Secret: Do you know what goes hand and hand with cooking? Alarms! Don’t forget to check your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors before you start to prepare your holiday feast!
Tip #4 – Clear your gutters
The temperature is dropping, and it feels like winter. But technically November is still autumn and that means falling leaves. Remove all leaves and other debris from gutters. Clogged gutters not only can leave your home susceptible to water damage, but they can also lead to dangerous ice dams.
Bonus Secret: Be sure to remove leaves from your lawn because wet leaves can kill your grass. Either bag them up to remove them completely or use a composting mower to chop them into tiny pieces which will actually feed your grass.
Tip #5 – Tuck your AC in for the winter
Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on your point of view) you most likely won’t be needing your AC anytime soon, so switch it off for the colder months. While you’re at it, get your AC a cover to keep it nice and cozy all winter long and ready for when those warm temperatures return.
If you haven’t gotten your furnace serviced by a professional yet, now’s the time to do so!
Tip #6 – Really say goodbye to summer
By cleaning your air vents! When the weather was warmer, you probably had your windows and doors open on more than one occasion. All that dirt, pollen, and other debris could have collected in your air vents. Remove the covers and give them a good scrub and vacuum.
Tip #7 – Get ready for a winter wonderland
As fun as snow can be, having it arrive when you are unprepared isn’t enjoyable at all. Is your snow blower working? Are your shovels in working order? Do you have enough pet-friendly ice melt? These are questions that are best answered before the first flurry falls.
Tip #8 – Prioritize safety for your stairs
Remember ice and snow can make your stairs treacherous. Now is the time to ensure that your handrails and railings are secure. In the unfortunate event that someone does slip, you want them to be able to grab a sturdy place.
Tip #9 – Avoid a cold draft
Inspect your weatherstripping around all your doors and windows. If it is damaged or missing, replace it now before frigid temperatures roll in. This will not only keep you comfy and warm, but it will also lower your heating bills!
Tip #10 – Rain or melting snow means water
Is your sump pump ready for it? If your sump pump is working fine, it might be a good time to invest in a battery back up if you haven’t already. If your sump pump isn’t working (test it by dropping some water into it and listening to see if it clicks on), call a plumber before your basement endures water damage.
Tip #11 – Prevent porch pirates
Your deliveries might be ramping up this time of year. Help prevent porch pirates from striking your home and ruining your holiday with a few quick smart tech installations. Look into investing in a video doorbell or even just a motion detector light. Either of these might be just the thing that deters a would-be thief.
Get additional holiday home safety tips in ‘Tis the Season to Secure Your Home from Burglars and Porch Pirates.
Stay on top of home maintenance
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