“The holidays are a wonderful time of year, but you and your house could feel stress if it’s not ready,” said Joe Todaro, director of operations of Gold Medal Service. “With lots of family and friends visiting, your house will suffer a significant increase in use of appliances, plumbing systems, holiday decorations and more – all of which put an added strain on your home’s systems. To ease your mind and let you fully enjoy your holidays, our professionals stand ready to help you get ready for the holidays.”
Todaro offers these tips for homeowners expecting company this holiday season:
Check the plumbing – Toilets and fixtures get a lot of use this time of year, and now is the time to take care of maintenance and repairs. Check your drains – if they aren’t flowing well and freely, find out why and have them professionally cleaned. Some do-it-yourself drain cleaners can be extremely harmful to your pipes – to be safe, let a professional take care of it. And if hot water sometimes runs cold, it might make sense to have your water heater inspected as well.
Inspect kitchen appliances – Check for loose hardware on the door handles of your refrigerator and freezer, and replace any burned-out lights. For the dishwasher, check the strainer and drain area at the bottom of the wash tub. Remove any food debris and clean off any detergent residue. Your dishes and your guests will thank you.
Make the home safe – You certainly want to eliminate trip and fall hazards, as your guests won’t be as familiar with your home. Check for frayed carpets inside the home or loose treads on exterior steps. Don’t forget to fix loose deck boards or loose pavers on front walkways. For lighting, you want to illuminate both interior and exterior walkway areas. Replace any bulbs that serve the front entrance and walkway, as well as any entertainment areas that you may have. Consider installing automated, motion-sensing lighting for other entrances. Don’t forget to have some driveway salt on hand to make sure your entrances are free of ice. Your elderly visitors especially, among others, will thank you.
Decorate with care – but with safety in mind – Improper wiring is a real fire hazard. Make sure that you only use outdoor-rated decorations for outside in the weather. For both outside and inside, never string extension cords together to extend the reach, and make sure you use only power strips with surge protection. Don’t forget that wires can also be a tripping hazard – keep them out of the way and far from children and pets.
“The holidays should be a happy time of year with friends and family, not a time for panic because of a preventable emergency,” Todaro said. “Preparing the home for the season will help everyone enjoy one another’s company even more.”