Disaster PreparednessMan holding a cutter

New Year’s resolutions about health, wealth and fitness are common. This year try focusing on goals that will help you jumpstart your home maintenance to-do list. As a homeowner, repairs are seemingly never-ending. At ServiceMaster Advantage in Houston, Texas, we have expert technicians on standby 24/7 to help you when you need it most. Until then, add the following home maintenance tips to your New Year’s Resolutions.

Create an Emergency Plan:

Meet with everyone in your household to create an emergency plan. Talk about escape routes, meeting spots and personal needs. Other important aspects of an emergency plan are supply kits, out of town contacts and emergency numbers. Don’t forget to consider the ages of your household members, dietary and medical needs.

Inspect Foundation:

Look around your home for cracks in the walls, sloped floors and malfunctioning doors and windows. These are all signs you may need a professional foundation check. Additional signs caused by insects are holes, wood shavings and weakened wood. If you think your foundation may be damaged, call a professional.

Reinforce Exterior Doors:

Exterior doors are supposed to keep your home secure. However, old deadbolts and flimsy door hinges are common. Deadbolts are classified into Grade 1, 2 or 3 based on strength. Install a Grade 1 deadbolt and use 3-inch screws to secure strike plates and hinges. Door jamb, hinge and strike plate shields are helpful if you need extra stability for your door.

Clean Dryer Ducts:

Lint traps aren’t the only place in your dryer that lint can collect. Dyer ducts often become overloaded with lint, causing a fire hazard. To clean, unplug your dryer and turn off gas. Then, take apart your ducts and use a vent cleaning brush to pull out lint. Once completed, reassemble your ducts, plug in your dryer and move it back to its original place being careful not to smash ducts or cords.

Improve Air Quality:

Make sure your indoor air quality is healthy. Open windows and let in fresh air whenever possible. Use fans when cooking or using harsh chemicals. The benefits of air duct cleanings are inconclusive so it’s best to rely on other air cleaning strategies.


Test your emergency alarms to ensure they are functioning properly. Replace batteries on smoke and carbon monoxide detectors regularly. Look around your home and inspect electrical appliances. Frayed cords or overused power strips can be a fire hazard. Leaks are not always easy to spot. Check around faucets, toilets and dishwashers for excess water or mold. Basements and attics are common spaces for exposed water pipes. Inspect these pipes for damage small and large.


We hope these New Year’s Resolutions for your home in Houston, Texas helps you stay ahead of disasters. At ServiceMaster Advantage, we offer water and fire damage cleanup services as well as carpet cleaning and commercial janitorial services. If you experience a disaster, contact us anytime day or night for emergency cleanup services.