Now that the holidays are over and Northern Virginia is settling into full on winter, it’s a good time to give your home a little TLC to head off any potential problems that can crop up during the harsh weather. Here are some tips, both from the outside as well as inside, to help you keep your home in good shape.
Winter weather can encourage mice and insects to find shelter in the walls of your home. Even an unheated basement is better shelter than the cold outdoors, and you’d be surprised how even a tiny crack can seem like a welcome mat. Seal any cracks you find and empty garbage and compost containers often. Turning your compost pile will discourage critters from setting up house, too. Keep food covered and stored away from countertops. If you do find mice droppings or other evidence, install traps right away or call a pest control service.
Every month rinse your drains with boiling water, and every week give removable drain covers a good scrubbing. A vacuum-cleaner tool or a long-handled brush is great for cleaning under and behind the refrigerator as well as the lint filter on your dryer vent. If your furnace is a forced air model, check your filter monthly, and examine the air duct for leaks. They’re easily sealed with a bit of duct tape.
After a winter storm, take an outside tour of your home. Look for wind damage and broken tree limbs. If you can’t see your entire roof, get out your binoculars for a better look at your shingles. Be sure to check on any exposed pipes, too. Hose bibs, pipes located in outside walls, attics, basements and garages, lawn sprinkler lines, and even swimming pool plumbing. A frozen pipe with just a 1/8th inch crack can leak up to 250 gallons a day.
Winter can be a magical time here in Northern Virginia, and I am ready to help you find the perfect place to enjoy it. Call me direct today at 703-268-6380, send me an email, or stop by the office for a visit at 1307 Dolley Madison Blvd in McLean VA.