Here are Six Home Maintenance Tasks to Tackle this February

In a laundry room, a woman smiling at her toddler son, who sits giggling in a laundry basket.
With some massive winter storms and record freezing temperatures rocking the country right now, it might not feel like spring is right around the corner but before you know it, there will be gardens to tend, exterior walls to paint, and gutters to clean. February is a great time to give your home the once-over both inside and out so you keep the place fresh and prevent problems that might require a professional to fix once they’ve gone too far. Here are six places you can tackle in the home that might benefit from some preventative home maintenance.

 

1. Give the Laundry Room a Makeover

The laundry room is one of the most neglected rooms in a home and that’s why it’s always filled with either undone wash or stuff you never use. You can scrape off dried-on detergent from floors and ridges in your washer, replace damaged or cracked laundry bins, and install a curtain rod over your machines to hang delicate clothes to dry. You can also think about how to use unused space using wall racks or other space-saving ideas to help make the laundry room more aesthetically pleasing as well as efficient.

 

Outside view of a dryer vent.

2. Clean Out Your Dryer Vents

This one is outside but it’s an easy one to check. Turn on your dryer, then go outside and see if the hot air is making its way through the ducts to exit your home. The warm air should be clearly visible in cold temperatures. This one is important because if the dryer vent is blocked, either by debris, lint or something extra creepy like a critter, the vent or dryer could overheat and cause a fire. Fire is bad.

 

3. Show the Bathroom a Little Love

Most people don’t even like to clean their bathrooms, let alone maintain them but you’d be surprised what ten bucks worth of caulk will buy you in terms of aesthetics. Check the caulking and grout around sinks, showers and tubs and repair or replace as needed.

 

A man mopping the kitchen floor.

4. Meanwhile, Back in the Kitchen

The kitchen is the absolute center of most homes and because it’s used so much, it’s a likely place for things to break down. The good news is that most home maintenance tasks in the kitchen are pretty simple to fix. The most practical one is to use a vacuum to clean out the coils using the upholstery attachment (you can also use a hand vac if you happen to own one). It’s also a good idea to vacuum the floor under the refrigerator and give a good dusting to the back wall.

 

5. Your Mattress: Flip. It. Over.

If you don’t rotate or flip your mattress every now and then, you’re just going to find yourself rolling to the middle and lose some of the lifespan of your mattress. It’s also a good idea to vacuum the box springs and mattress.

 

Water and ice going into a gutter.

6. Peruse Your Perimeter

The weather might be awful but February is also a good time to look for problems with the exterior of your home in case repairs are going to be needed when the weather is better. First, ice dams can form from your gutters and downspouts being clogged or damaged. Gutters that are weighted down with debris or ice can fall, potentially causing injury, while damaged gutters can pour rainwater into unexpected places, potentially causing mold. The best way to avoid ice dams is to clean your gutters and downspouts twice every year.

 

While you’re out, it’s also a good time to inspect your roof for missing shingles and check your foundations for cracks that can cause problems later.