Winter is not the season for doing either maintenance or repairs. It can, however, be a great time to see what maintenance and repairs need to be done. Then you can get a head start on organizing them for spring. With that in mind, here are a few tips on what you should be checking, why, and what you can do if you identify any issues.
Look at your electrical wiring
Proper electrical work is one of those jobs which should always be left to professionals. That goes for both in-depth maintenance and repairs. You should, however, definitely keep an eye on the general condition of your electrical wiring, so you quickly identify when you need to call a professional.
In principle, you can check your electrical wiring while you’re going about your regular household tasks. In practice, however, it’s easy to get so focused on the task you forget about the wiring. This means that, for most people, the better option is to go round the house once a quarter or so and actively check the state of the wiring.
It’s a good idea to do an extra check after the festive season as this is often a time when people are using a lot of electrical gadgets. What’s more, they may well be swapping them in and out of sockets quickly rather than gently. This can cause a lot of damage very quickly and if it does then it needs to be fixed as soon as possible.
Check your water piping
If there are any issues with your water piping (or septic tank), then winter is the time they will be highlighted. The cold temperatures will cause the pipes themselves to contract. If, however, the liquid in them freezes, then it will expand and hence push against the piping. This effect will be made worse if there is anything in the pipes (or septic tank) other than water and human waste.
The easiest way to keep an eye on the condition of your water piping is to run regular “sniff checks” in your kitchen and bathroom and by your drains. Obviously, you need to do these when you’d expect the air to be clean rather than right after you’ve finished using the kitchen or bathroom.
If you have a septic tank, then make a point of checking its condition regularly. If you spot any damage at all, even minor, then call a septic tank service immediately. In winter even minor damage can quickly turn into a major problem if it’s left untreated.
Test your window frames
When window frames are brand new, the glass should sit tightly in the frame and the frame should sit tightly in the window gap. Over time, however, the glass can become loose in the frame and the frame can become loose in the window. In either case, drafts can get in. What’s more, the effect of the wind can cause even more damage.
In the long-term, you may need to have the glass, or the whole window, replaced. In the short term, you might be able to work around the problem by using paste or similar to fix the glass or the frame in place.