The Professional Choice

A companion overview to the popular "Ask Mr. Handyman" radio program airing on Christian Talk Radio, KCRO 660AM Saturdays @ 9:30AM.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

December Home Maintenance Tasks

Now that the cold winter nights are upon us there are a few maintenance tasks that are probably staring us in the face or at least, making us less comfortable in our homes. Be sure the November tasks are completed then tackle this list for December. The following are “must do” tasks:

1. If your home feels drafty try this tip: When the wind is blowing, check for leaks around doors and windows with a candle or burning incense stick.  Watch for the smoke trail. You will be able to see where the cold draft is entering when the flame flickers or smoke blows away from the leak source. If needed install shrink-film on windows and new weather-stripping on leaky doors.
2. Remove any liquid materials (paints, caulking) from unheated sheds or garages.
3. To prevent a slip on ice seal up any leaky gutters that are dripping onto sidewalks or driveways.
4. If you turn the heat down when on a multi-day trip over the holidays leave the cabinet doors open under the sink to help prevent frozen pipes (especially sinks against outside walls)
5. Storm doors need an adjustment in the winter months to close properly. Most modern doors have a winter setting on the door-side mounting pin. The pin should be in the outer-most hole on the closer mount for winter.

The following are convenience tasks, tasks that have been proven to be most beneficial at this time of year: On a warmer December day consider tackling the following:

1. Fertilize your lawn and shrubs now so the melting snow can feed the deeper roots.
2. Prune trees and shrubs
3. Run a hose to deep-water evergreen trees and shrubs. If the snowfall level is low this winter you may just save them from winter kill.
4. Apply your pre-emergent weed killer/crabgrass preventative.