Happy 2020! With this new year, comes a wonderful opportunity to set some new habits around your home. One we can't recommend enough: doing a little something for your home each month. Those small efforts add up quickly! To make it easier, we compile our top recommendations each month. No need to research, simply follow along and start appreciating the impact around your home. If you want to skip ahead, we have the entire year's plan set out in our 12-month Bay Area Home Maintenance Checklist, plus optional calendar reminders and monthly emails so you never miss an update.
1. Safety! Safety! Safety!
If there is one thing you can do right now that will help throughout the year, it's fire prevention. Make sure you have the appropriate fire extinguishers handy in the kitchen (for electrical fires) and in other key parts of your home so they're always within reach. Don't forget to check the expiration date every January and review operation instructions periodically. And if you didn't do so last month, check your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Lastly, this is a great time to bring in an electrician if you have breakers tripping and fuses blowing on a regular basis. Make sure all of your outlets are grounded while you're at it.
2. Beat Winter Rains
Nothing says "bummer" like rain, and your home agrees! Water is one of the biggest dangers to any home. You'll want to check drainage to make sure water isn't pooling in the yard near your foundation. It could damage your siding and lead to dry rot. The key is to keep debris and leaves clear from all drains: your gutters, down spouts, and diverters. If rain water is pooling already, clear the drain and snake it. Finally, look for any future problems that could be causing the drains to be backed up (like a leafy tree right above). Some homes with excessive pooling will require a more sophisticated solution: French drains. They're composed of underground pipes that take water around the house and divert it away from your foundation.
Pro tip: The other thing you need to worry about with winter rains is high winds hurtling tree brances towards your roof, siding, or windows. Now is as good a time as ever to check and trim any nearby trees.
3. Get Ready for the Super Bowl
Yes, it's almost here already! This year, the Super Bowl is on Sunday, February 2. With the big game coming up, there’s no better time to replace the TV you bought nearly a decade ago (or mount the beauty you received for Christmas — lucky you!). We like The New York Times' mounting instructions, but you can always have us mount it for you.
4. Reverse Ceiling Fan
It's a neat little trick more people should know. Many ceiling fans run counterclockwise to push cooler air around the room, but reverse the direction and they push warm air back down. Because we can't all be 6'3" and actually benefit from heat that stays up near the ceiling!
Pro tip: Dust your fan before reversing the flow. Depending on the last time it was cleaned, there could be quite a bit of build-up there.
Cheers to a brand new year of making homeownership easier and more affordable! Are you planning on any exciting projects for your home in 2020? Tell us all about them by leaving a comment or question below.