The holidays are a special time of year for gathering family and friends. While it is an exciting time, it also brings certain risks that can cause damage to your home if not properly prepared. You want to ensure that your home is as safe and secure as possible for all your guests while also making a great impression. Here are some tips on how to avoid issues in your house during the holiday festivities.
1. Check Your Electrical System
The holidays often bring extra lights and decorations into the home, which means more strain on your electrical system. Before stringing up those outdoor lights, ensure that your electrical outlets are up to the task. Have an electrician check them if necessary and ensure they’re not overloaded or damaged. You’ll also want to inspect any extension cords you plan to use before plugging them in. If they’re frayed or cracked, replace them immediately.
It would be best if you also opted for LED lights, which use less energy and last longer than traditional bulbs. These can also help cut down on the risk of fire due to overloading your system. You’ll also want to check the lighting timers on your decorations and ensure they’re set for the appropriate times. This will help conserve energy and ensure that your lights don’t stay on too long after you’ve gone to bed.
2. Clean Your Drains
The holidays generally mean lots of guests in and out of your home. This means more strain on your plumbing system, which could result in clogged drains if not correctly maintained. Before the festivities begin, it’s a good idea to clean your drains using a mixture of baking soda and vinegar or buy a commercial drain cleaner to keep them clear. This will help ensure they don’t become clogged during the busy holiday season.
But if a clog does occur, be sure to have a professional drain cleaner take care of it to avoid further damage. They’ll know exactly how to unclog the drain and check for other issues causing the problem. Ask around and get references from friends or family to find a reliable plumber who can take care of any plumbing issues.
3. Clean Your Gutters & Downspouts
Rainfall can quickly turn into flooding during winter when the snow starts melting and heavy rains come down. To help prevent water from pooling around your foundation, ensure your gutters are clean and debris-free before the wet season hits full force. Inspect all downspouts for clogs or blockages as well. These must be cleared out so that standing water doesn’t collect around the house and damage your property.
It’s also essential to ensure that any rain runoff isn’t directed toward your home. This can lead to basement flooding and other problems over time. You may need to adjust the placement of your gutters or downspouts to keep water from pooling around your house. If you’re unsure, contact a professional to help you out. They’ll be able to assess the situation properly and recommend any necessary changes.
4. Inspect Your Fireplace & Chimney
If you have a wood-burning fireplace in your home, it is imperative to ensure everything is in proper working order before starting a fire this winter season. Have an inspector check for signs of wear or damage, such as cracking bricks or mortar joints. There may also be animal activity inside the chimney– like droppings or nests- which could indicate a more significant problem with animals taking up residence inside your chimney flue. This can lead to potentially hazardous conditions, so it’s a good idea to have a professional inspect your fireplace and chimney before the winter months.
Additionally, inspect all gas fireplaces for leaks before using them. If you smell gas when turning one on, do not light it until you have had a professional inspect it first! Also, inspect your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, as the holiday season is a great time to check these and switch out any old batteries. You want to ensure your home is safe from fire and smoke.
Preparing your home for the holidays should be taken seriously because there are many potential risks involved with hosting large gatherings of people during this season of celebration. Taking precautions like checking your electrical system, cleaning your drains, clearing gutters and downspouts, and inspecting fireplaces/chimneys will help ensure that everyone has a safe and enjoyable time this holiday season at your house! With just a little preparation, you can enjoy worry-free festivities throughout December and January!