January 8th, 2023 7:34 PM by Sam Kader
January is the month for new beginnings with the holiday rush over now it's a great time to sit aside and to create your to-do-list for the the month.
Schedule a "fix-it" weekend. Set aside one weekend this month to do minor repairs that take less than a day to fix such as cracked switch plates, burned-out light bulbs, loose screws, missing pads on chair legs and squeaky hinges that need lubrication. As you proceed from room to room, test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and check off the items from your list.
Get organized and create home inventory list. While organizing make a quick inventory of what you have or update an inventory list you might have done in the past. If you ever need to file an insurance claim, having a list of the contents of your home will help you get your claim settled faster and for the correct amount. Cell phones can simplify the process - snap pictures, narrated videos explaining what's on each shelve and contents of each room.
Start planning projects. If you are contemplating major repairs when the weather warms up - prepare a plan and line up a contractor now. A good contractor should be able to advise you about other advance planning you need to do such as if you need an architect or permits from your local building plan. Given the unsteady supply chain ask about lead times for ordering key materials so your project doesn't stall our midway.
Replace water filters - Let the icy weather outside remind you to get on a schedule for replacing water filters you might have for your kitchen sink or the ice-maker in your refrigerators. Since filters should be replaced every six months, doing in January means you'll be right on target to do it again in June just as the summer heat builds. In general, turn off the water supply, remove the old filter, install the new filter, reset the water filter sensor and then run water through the filter to clean it before you start using the filtered water. The amount of water you should run through varies by manufaturer.
Watch the snow and ice. If you see icicles forming along the edge of the roof, you could have an ice dam - a barrier of frozen snow close to the edge of the roof that forces melting snow water from higher up on the roof to collect in a puddle just above the dam. The water can lean into your home and damage walls, ceilings and insulation - all expensive to fix. Insurance company suggests knocking off icicles when they form as long as it's safe to do do.