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Home for the Holidays: Seasonal Repairs to Deck the Halls Stress-Free

a handyman making repairs.

The holiday season is upon us, and it is the time for festivities! Family gatherings, Christmas crafts, baked goods, DIY decorations, and family gatherings, it’s the time to embrace the holiday spirit.

However, before you dive headfirst into the whirlwind of merriment, it’s important to ensure your home is in top-notch condition. Don’t let home repairs be the Grinch that steals your festive cheer—follow our holiday season home repair guide to make your home cozy and comfortable for the holidays.

Let’s begin!

Heating System Check

 

 home-heating-system

There’s nothing worse than a malfunctioning heating system during the chilly holiday season.

As the cold winter months approach, the last thing anyone wants is to be left shivering due to a malfunctioning heating system. Unfortunately, many homeowners tend to overlook the necessity of regular maintenance until the freezing temperatures set in.

It’s crucial to recognize that waiting until the last minute can not only lead to discomfort but also result in higher energy bills and potential breakdowns. Proactive heating system maintenance can make a significant difference in both efficiency and energy conservation.

With regular maintenance, you’ll get:

  • Enhanced Efficiency: Regular maintenance helps your heating system operate at its optimal capacity. A well-maintained system is more efficient, ensuring that it can effectively warm your home without unnecessary energy consumption.
  • Energy Conservation: An efficiently running heating system consumes less energy, contributing to a reduction in your overall energy bills. By addressing issues promptly and maintaining the system regularly, you can ensure that it operates smoothly and doesn’t waste energy.

Here are some ways you can maintain your home’s heating systems.

Professional Inspection

Hire a professional handyman to conduct a thorough inspection of your home’s heating system. A trained technician can identify potential issues, clean essential components, and perform any necessary repairs. Regular professional check-ups can catch problems early, preventing costly breakdowns later on.

Filter Replacement

Change the filters in your heating system regularly. Clogged or dirty filters restrict airflow, making your system work harder and consume more energy. Replacing filters is a simple yet effective way to maintain efficiency and prolong the life of your heating system.

Bleeding Radiators

If your home uses a hot water radiator system, it’s important to bleed the radiators. Air can accumulate in the system, causing uneven heating and reducing efficiency. Bleeding the radiators releases trapped air, allowing hot water to circulate freely and ensuring consistent heating throughout your home.

Furnace Safety

When handling the furnace, exercise extra caution. Ensure that the power is off before performing any maintenance tasks. If you are unsure about any aspect of furnace maintenance, it’s best to consult with a professional technician. Regularly cleaning and inspecting the furnace can prevent issues such as overheating or carbon monoxide leaks.

Schedule a professional inspection to identify any potential issues, clean out vents and filters, and replace worn-out parts. A well-maintained heating system not only guarantees a comfortable atmosphere but also helps in reducing energy bills.

Seal Drafty Windows and Doors

 

a modern home interior with an indoor plant.

Drafty windows and doors can turn your home into an energy sieve, letting the warmth escape and the cold air creep in.

During the colder months, windows play a crucial role in enhancing the ambiance of a home by letting in the warm sunlight, providing a connection to the outside world, and filling living spaces with a radiant glow.

However, the flip side of having windows in the cold season is the potential for cold drafts, which can significantly contribute to energy loss. Reports indicate that windows account for approximately 30% of energy loss in a house. Fortunately, there are several effective ways to repair and fix drafty windows.

Draft Stoppers

Draft stoppers, also known as draft snakes, are long, narrow fabric tubes filled with insulating material. Placing them along the bottom of windows helps prevent cold drafts from entering your home.

Weatherstripping

Weatherstripping involves sealing the gaps around windows to prevent air infiltration. Adhesive-backed foam or rubber weatherstrips are commonly used to seal the spaces between the window sash and frame, reducing drafts.

Replace Sash Locks

Over time, sash locks may wear out or become ineffective. Upgrading or replacing them can ensure a tighter seal when the window is closed, reducing the likelihood of drafts.

Seal Window Trim or Molding

Gaps and cracks around window trim or molding can contribute to drafts. Applying caulk or weather-resistant sealant along these areas helps seal the gaps and prevents cold air from seeping into your home.

Fix Cracked Glass

Cracks in window glass not only compromise the structural integrity but also allow drafts. Repair any cracked or broken glass promptly to maintain a secure and draft-free environment.

Thermal Window Insulating Film

Applying thermal insulating film to windows creates an additional layer of insulation. This transparent film helps to retain heat and reduce drafts while still allowing natural light to enter.

Thermal Blinds

Thermal blinds are designed with insulating materials to provide an extra barrier against cold air. Closing these blinds during the colder months can help minimize heat loss and maintain a comfortable indoor temperature.

By implementing these measures, you can effectively address drafty windows and reduce energy loss in your home, ensuring a cozy and energy-efficient living space during the colder months.

Roof and Gutter Maintenance

 

a man standing on the roof.

Winter weather can take a toll on your roof and gutters. Before the first snowfall, inspect your roof for loose or damaged shingles and address any issues promptly. Clean out gutters and downspouts to prevent ice dams and water damage. Proper drainage is essential for safeguarding your home against potential leaks and ensuring a stress-free holiday season.

Remove Snowfall from the Roof

Heavy snow accumulation on your roof can lead to structural stress and potential leaks. Use a roof rake or hire professionals to safely remove excess snow. Make sure not to damage the roof surface during this process.

Fix the Flashing

Check the flashing around chimneys, vents, and skylights for any damage or deterioration. Flashing is essential for preventing water intrusion. Replace any damaged or missing flashing to maintain a watertight seal and prevent leaks.

Check the Gutters for Any Buildup

Clean gutters are essential for proper drainage. Remove leaves, twigs, and debris from gutters and downspouts to prevent ice dams and ensure water can flow freely. Consider installing gutter guards to minimize debris accumulation.

Inspect the Attic for Signs of Leaks and Other Issues

 

two men making roof repairs.

Examine the attic for any signs of water stains, mold, or mildew. Inspect the insulation for dampness, as it could indicate a roof leak. Address any issues promptly to prevent further damage and to maintain the integrity of your roof.

Clear Away Debris That Can Destroy the Roof

Trim overhanging branches to prevent them from breaking under the weight of snow and ice, potentially damaging the roof. Clear away any debris, such as leaves and branches, that may have accumulated on the roof. This prevents moisture retention and reduces the risk of damage.

By following these steps, you can significantly reduce the risk of winter-related roof damage. Regular maintenance not only extends the lifespan of your roof but also helps keep your home safe and dry during the colder months. If you’re unsure about performing these tasks yourself, consider hiring our professional contractors to ensure a thorough inspection and maintenance process.

Fireplace Safety

 

a living space with a fireplace.

The fireplace is often the heart of a home during the winter, serving as a gathering point for family and friends, creating a warm and cozy atmosphere for sharing memorable moments and indulging in the festive spirit, perhaps even while enjoying Christmas cookies.

If your holiday traditions involve a crackling fire in the fireplace, prioritize safety with a thorough inspection.

To ensure that your fireplace continues to be a source of comfort and joy, it’s crucial to keep it clean and well-maintained, especially during the colder months.

Remove Any Debris and Ashes

Start by clearing out any debris, ashes, and leftover wood from the fireplace. Using a fireplace shovel and brush, carefully scoop out the ashes, being cautious of any remaining embers. Dispose of the ashes in a metal container, as they can remain hot for a considerable amount of time.

Empty the Vacuum and Firebox

If you use a vacuum cleaner to clean up ash and debris, make sure to empty the vacuum bag or canister regularly. Ashes can be fine particles that may clog the vacuum if not removed promptly. Additionally, clean out the firebox, the area where the wood burns, ensuring that it is free of any loose debris.

Inspect Your Chimney and Clean It Out if Needed

Regular inspection of the chimney is crucial for maintaining a safe and efficient fireplace. Check for any signs of creosote buildup, which can lead to chimney fires. If you notice a significant amount of creosote, it’s advisable to hire a professional chimney sweeper to clean the chimney thoroughly. Creosote is a byproduct of burning wood that accumulates on the chimney walls and can pose a fire hazard if not removed.

Remove Any Soot Stains from the Walls

Over time, soot can accumulate on the walls surrounding the fireplace. To maintain a clean and aesthetically pleasing appearance, use a mixture of warm water and mild soap to gently scrub away soot stains. Avoid using abrasive cleaners that may damage the finish of the walls or fireplace surround.

By following these steps, you can ensure that your fireplace remains a safe, efficient, and beautiful focal point in your home during the winter. Regular maintenance not only enhances the longevity of your fireplace but also contributes to the overall warmth and charm of your living space.

Outdoor Lighting and Decor

Illuminate your home with festive lights and decorations, but do so safely. Inspect all outdoor lighting for frayed wires or damaged sockets and replace any faulty components. Consider using LED lights, which are energy-efficient and have a longer lifespan. Secure outdoor decorations to prevent damage from winter winds, ensuring that your home dazzles with holiday charm without any unexpected mishaps.

Plumbing Precautions

The last thing you want during the holidays is a plumbing disaster.

As temperatures plummet during the winter months, the risk of plumbing pipes freezing and subsequently bursting becomes a concern for homeowners. Burst pipes are a common issue in cold weather and can lead to significant property damage, making it crucial to take preventive measures.

Some types of pipes are more susceptible to freezing and bursting, including those running against the home exterior walls without insulation, swimming pool supply lines or water sprinkler lines that are exposed, and pipes in unheated areas such as garages and basements.

To safeguard your plumbing system during the winter, here are some effective tips:

Leave Faucets Running

Allowing a slow and steady flow of water through your faucets, particularly those connected to pipes that are prone to freezing, can help prevent them from solidifying. Running water is less likely to freeze, reducing the risk of pipe damage.

Keep Garage Doors Closed

If your plumbing runs through the garage, keeping the garage door closed can help maintain a higher ambient temperature. This is especially important for pipes located in unheated areas, as the garage door acts as an additional barrier against the cold.

Seal and Caulk Cracks

Inspect your home for any cracks or gaps that may be allowing cold air to penetrate. Seal and caulk these openings to minimize the exposure of pipes to frigid temperatures. Pay special attention to areas near pipes, such as where they enter the home or pass through exterior walls.

Insulate Exposed Pipes

For pipes running against exterior walls without insulation, consider adding insulation to provide an extra layer of protection. Insulation can help retain heat and prevent pipes from freezing.

Drain Outdoor Faucets

Disconnect and drain water from outdoor faucets and hoses. This prevents any remaining water from freezing and expanding within the pipes, which can lead to cracks or bursts.

Winterizing your plumbing system is an essential step in protecting your home and ensuring a hassle-free season despite the harsh weather conditions.

If you’re planning on being away for an extended period, consider shutting off the water supply to prevent potential leaks. A little preventative plumbing care goes a long way in ensuring a stress-free holiday season.

Ready to start working on your home renovation project for the holidays?

Hire our professional contractors for comprehensive home renovation solutions at Oakridge Remodeling.

Our team of highly qualified and well-equipped contractors has over a decade of experience providing excellent kitchen renovation, bathroom renovation, and basement finishing services.

We take pride in our tailored handyman services in Regina and will go above and beyond to ensure we meet your specific home renovation needs.

Contact us in Regina today for more details about our home renovation services.

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