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by Susy Alexandre December 30, 2022

5 New Year’s Resolutions for Homeowners

Credit: Unsplash

For many, the New Year signals a clean slate and a fresh start - and of course, a resolution (or two!) 

The concept of New Year’s resolutions typically has people focused on personal improvements in the areas of health, career, relationships, etc - but what about your home? 

If your home base is the foundation for your day-to-day life, as it is for most people, it only makes sense that keeping it in its best shape is in your best interests. 

One great way to set - and inspire - some household goals in the New Year is by turning them into resolutions and establishing an action plan for each to implement throughout the year.

To get you started, Royal LePage - Your Community Realty is bringing you 5 of the top New Year’s resolutions for homeowners in 2023!

Start from the outside-in

Credit: Unsplash

When the exterior of a home is in disrepair, the interior may soon be at risk as well. Starting from the exterior and working your way in ensures your interior structure is protected. 

Consider this: if your roof is falling apart or your foundation is unstable or your insulation is poor - the list goes on - everything within your home is suddenly vulnerable to serious issues that will work their way in from the outside. These major components of a home will often require structural repairs, which can lead to some invasive work that can impact the interior space. This is another reason why you may want to put off those interior reno projects until you're certain the outside and foundational elements of your home are in tip-top shape. 

Establish and commit to seasonal maintenance checklists 

Each new season comes with its own set of property maintenance items, on top of the standard year-round tasks. To ensure you’re on top of it, create a seasonal maintenance checklist that you can follow each season to keep your home in good condition and encourage longevity of all the working elements of your property. 

Better Homes & Gardens offers its “Ultimate Home Maintenance Checklist for Every Season”, making note of seasonally-specific items to watch for, as well as those overlapping all-season items. Remember to seek out professional assistance for any items that fall beyond the scope of “general maintenance” and might require an expert’s take. 

Clear out clutter 

This year, take some initiative against the mounding piles of clutter and unnecessary items taking up precious real estate around your home. 

To avoid feeling overwhelmed by the process, establish a room-to-room system. One space at a time is better than nothing at all, and it will allow you to calmly evaluate what within those designated areas can stay - and what needs to go. Approaching clutter like this will streamline the process and minimize the stress of otherwise attempting to tackle your entire home all at once. 

Once you’ve finished that first room-by-room clearout, commit to revisiting the process each season, to prevent any new buildup of clutter. 

Evaluate the air quality in your home

When it comes to your home’s air quality, some of the major offenders to check for include mould, radon and VOC’s (volatile organic compounds). 

Testing for mould

It’s important to ensure a low spore count in your home and take preventative measures against future growth. Some existence of mould is common and to be expected in any home, but when mould begins producing harmful toxins, home-dwellers may be at risk for several health issues, including asthma, eczema, nasal allergies and more.  

Mould thrives under moist conditions, and feeds on materials such as drywall, carpeting, and of course, wood.

The existence of mould may trigger a musty smell in the surrounding space, but can often be difficult to spot for those without an expert eye. If you suspect you have a mould issue in your home - or if you’re just looking to get ahead of future issues - you’ll want to bring in a professional inspector. They will inspect your home, evaluating the property’s air quality and sometimes taking air samples for testing at a lab, to produce a thorough list of findings for homeowners. 

Testing for radon

A colourless, odourless radioactive gas, radon can become problematic when it finds its way into the home and is trapped without space to disperse and dilute within the atmosphere. At high levels over time, accumulated radon levels have been known to cause cancer. 

Testing for radon levels in your home is possible via test kits (offered in both short-term and long-term kits) that you can buy in order to test the air quality yourself. Also available are radon alarms that will alert you if indoor air quality becomes dangerous. 

Testing for VOCs and formaldehydes 

VOCs and formaldehyde are a byproduct component, commonly found in a variety of building supplies. Over-exposure to VOCs has been known to cause irritations in the eyes, throat and nose, as well as dizziness, nausea and headaches. Formaldehyde at high levels is a known carcinogen. 

Conscious choices, like selecting cabinetry and other building finishes with low to zero “VOC finish”, natural carpet fibers over synthetic and hardwood over vinyl flooring are your best bet in prevention of hazardous levels in your home.

New-build homes (as well as those which have recently undergone renovations) will initially show higher levels of VOCs, which is why proper ventilation and “airing out” is key. 

A few key ways to maintain healthy air quality in your home:

  • Get your air tested (every few months, seasonally being the best way to remember to do this routinely) 
  • Invest in a high-quality air purifier (with so many models and variations available, there are convenient and ductwork-free options for every home’s specific needs)
  • Weather permitting, open windows to circulate fresh air whenever possible (and comfortable) 
  • Have ducts professionally cleaned 
  • Get into the habit of using kitchen and bathroom fans 

Stay on top of energy usage 

Conscious energy consumption may not feel second-nature, but it’s a good habit to get into when trying to maintain a “healthy home”. Shutting lights off as you leave a room, being aware of not setting your thermostat too high unnecessarily and investing in some “smart” devices around the home (like a “smart” thermostat) will not only help you to reduce energy consumption, but also save you in monthly bills. 

Remember, setting realistic goals with achievable - and actionable - steps is the best way to get started and get your home space on track in the New Year!

Wishing you - and your home - a healthy New Year! 

Royal LePage Your Community Realty is Canada’s largest independently-owned Royal LePage franchise, with 1000+ agents and 10 office locations to serve you and your clients. 

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