MOBILE, Ala. (Oct. 31, 2016) – With the holidays fast approaching, America’s Home Expert, Danny Lipford, is offering his go-to checklist to help homeowners skip the stress and enjoy the season. Whether plans include hosting guests or holiday gatherings, Lipford’s advice will help turn any home into a haven for seasonal festivities.
“There are three basic areas of the home that people need to take a look at when getting ready for the holidays: safety, comfort and aesthetics,” says Lipford. “Now is the time to address any areas of need before the avalanche of holiday activities arrives.”
- Heating – With the risk of home fires increasing during winter months, Lipford places heating safety at the top of his checklist. Before gathering around the hearth to enjoy the first fire of the season, he advises homeowners to have an annual fireplace inspection. Getting a professional to review the integrity of the structure and point out any hazards will stop potential problems in their tracks. Since space heaters are also a main source of home fires during colder weather, Lipford recommends reviewing proper use and guidelines for their safe use. Some specific strategies include: operating heaters on a flat, even surface; keeping them at least 3 feet away from any bedding, draperies or other flammable materials; and ensuring they have a guard covering the heating element or flame. Additional space heater safety tips are available at TodaysHomeowner.com.
- Secure Steps and Walkways – Snow and icicles may look beautiful during the holidays, but they also put pedestrians at risk for slips and falls. Lipford recommends homeowners inspect handrails for stability and make needed repairs before surfaces get slick. In addition, he suggests adding traction to steps and walkways to increase safety. Some easy and inexpensive solutions include adding self-adhesive, anti-skid strips and even sprinkling household kitty litter over icy surfaces.
- Clear the Air – Cold weather means more time indoors, and often-compromised immune systems with cold and flu season. “With people spending up to 90% of their time inside, it’s important for to keep the air indoors as healthy as possible,” says Lipford. “The first line of defense is using a high-quality electrostatic air filter, and changing it regularly.” As an added tip, he suggests placing a few drops of essential oil (peppermint, vanilla, cinnamon) on filters prior to installing. Since air passes through filters 3 times per hour, the scent will quickly permeate the home and create a warm, welcoming environment.
- Avoid Frozen Pipes – Nothing puts a damper on holiday festivities more than frozen pipes. To keep guests comfortable and avoid this inconvenience and expense, Lipford advises homeowners to insulate exposed pipes well in advance of the threat of freezing temperatures. There are a variety of ways to wrap pipes including recycling old pool noodles.
- Freshen Interiors – Many homeowners look for ways to update their spaces before hosting guests and holiday parties but often find themselves short on time and money. Lipford offers some quick, cost-effective projects homeowners can tackle in a weekend give their homes a quick face-lift such as adding an accent wall or fresh coat of paint to a room ($25), replacing old, discolored caulk in bathrooms ($10), and steam cleaning carpets ($30).
- Create Curb Appeal – Freshening the home’s exterior can also be cost-effective and provide a welcoming feel for the holidays. Lipford’s recommendations include adding pine straw to beds ($30), powerwashing the exterior ($40), and cleaning gutters (free).
About Danny Lipford
Danny Lipford is a 38-year veteran remodeling contractor and media personality known to audiences as Host of the Emmy-nominated and nationally-syndicated home improvement TV show and nationally-syndicated radio show “Today’s Homeowner with Danny Lipford.” Lipford served as the home improvement expert for CBS’s “The Early Show” and The Weather Channel for over a decade and has made more than 170 national television appearances. Lipford has been a longtime contributor to Better Homes and Gardens magazine and BHG.com, and continues to serve as a source for hundreds of other popular magazines and news outlets each year.
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