While preparing your home for guests during the holidays, it can be easy to focus on the visible things and forget about the underlying home systems that will face increased use and stress. This is why, family owned and operated, Southern Trust Home Services from Roanoke is offering preventative tips that homeowners can use to prepare their homes before guests arrive.

“People don’t want to struggle with faulty systems when friends and family are visiting,” said Ted Puzio, owner of Southern Trust Home Services. “Fortunately, there are simple yet impactful things homeowners can do in advance to ensure their guests enjoy a comfortable stay in their home.”

Southern Trust Home Services provides the following 10 tips to prepare a home for the holidays:

  1. Clean the drains. Clogged kitchen and bathroom drains are frustrating. If they aren’t flowing freely, find out why and get them cleaned before it becomes a major problem. There are do-it-yourself methods homeowners can use to unclog drains, but it can be messy and don’t always provide a long-term solution. For an effective, long-term, and safe fix, we recommend calling a professional.
  2. Check the toilets.  Unfortunately, most of us don’t give toilets much thought until a problem arises.  Perform a self-evaluation of the condition of your toilet by asking these questions: Does it take more than one flush? Does it clog frequently? Does the water run continuously? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, now is the time to take care of any malfunctions.
  3. Check your garbage disposal. Remnants of each meal tend to find their way into your garbage disposal, so it’s not uncommon for unseen clogs to cause bad odors or poor performance.  However, before you attempt to remedy this yourself, note that hundreds of people are sent to the emergency room each year with garbage disposal injuries. Call a professional if you believe your garbage disposal may be clogged.
  4. Consider a tankless water heater. Tankless water heaters allow water to be heated as needed. With multiple guests in your home, provide all the hot water your household needs without wasting energy to keep full tanks of water heated.
  5. Check your air quality. You can improve the indoor air you and your loved ones breathe with just a short conversation with a licensed professional. Poor air quality can be a risk to your health, so consider investing in an indoor air quality solution.
  6. Inspect your heating system. You pay for every moment your heating system is running, so make sure it’s running efficiently. Call a professional for an inspection of your heating system to ensure you are feeling the benefits that you are paying for.
  7. Consider a bathroom remodel. The bathroom is likely one of the most frequently used rooms in your home. Give your bathroom a facelift that will add value to your home and increase comforts. Fixtures and lighting are a fantastic place to begin, but don’t forget other affordable ways to improve this frequently used room such as a new vanity, toilet, and flooring.
  8. Check your smoke alarms. Test all your smoke alarms, replace old batteries and make sure they are properly installed. You should have smoke alarms on every floor of your home and outside all sleeping areas.
  9. Think about electrical safety. Don’t overload electrical sockets with multiple extension cords. Also, inspect all your holiday lights before putting them up. Throw away light strands with frayed or pinched wires, and consider using low energy LED Christmas lights which will help lower energy costs.
  10. Practice sound space heater safety. Place space heaters on a level, flat surface and make sure it’s at least three feet away from anything that can burn. Don’t leave them unattended. Rather, switch them off when you leave the room.

“Applying these simple tips will help give you a happier home for the holidays,” Puzio said. “While there might be some costs to prepare your home for the holidays, there is peace of mind that comes from knowing a task has been done correctly, and your home will be comfortable for your guests.”