The Ultimate Home Maintenance Checklist

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Home Maintenance

You’ve heard that homes are an investment. That’s true in multiple ways. Not only is it a financial investment in your future, it’s also an investment in the present comfort and happiness of your family. Unfortunately, most of the time we have no idea what needs to be done until it’s too late. Being reactive when something goes wrong can put financial and emotional stress on you and your family that can be alleviated with a regular home maintenance checklist. You should have an idea of what to keep an eye on, what it looks like when something’s in need of maintenance, and what is going to be in need of regular upkeep.

Monthly Home Maintenance

Whether large or small, your home is made up of so many parts that, most of the time, you’re not even aware of until suddenly they’re not working. And a lot of these unseen gears in your home need to be part of your basic home maintenance.

  • Clean garbage disposal: You’ll notice pretty quick when this one stops working. In general, kitchen sink garbage disposals get a lot of mileage in any home. There’s a simple way to maintain cleanliness of the garbage disposal monthly. Simply grind up a mixture of ice cubes and vinegar to clear it out.
  • Degrease range & hood filters: This is another simple, easy-to-do maintenance step on your checklist. Simply take any automobile quality degreaser and some hot water and let the filters sit in the mixture for a bit before wiping them off and putting them back, good as new.
  • Check HVAC filters: Depending on the size of your household, you may not need to change your HVAC filters every month, but it is worth a monthly inspection. Simply change out the filters as they need it.
  • Test smoke & Co2 detectors: All your detectors should have a “test” function. Simply press the button and listen for the alarm, if there isn’t one, it’s time to change out the batteries. If new batteries don’t do the trick, check for corrosion and clean it out accordingly.
  • Grease garage door tracks: You might not think about it until the garage door is struggling to open or making a heinous sound while doing so. But any lubrication agent and a rag will do to keep the garage door tracks smooth and clean

Yearly Home Maintenance

Some simple checks can go on your yearly home maintenance checklist. You should still make time to do them, but there’s no need for them to be as frequent. These are some yearly checks you should do, regardless of the season:

  • Replace detector batteries: While you’ll want to check the smoke and Co2 detectors regularly, you need to make time to change the batteries each year, regardless.
  • Vacuum refrigerator coils: Your refrigerator is responsible for a huge chunk of your energy bill. You can save yourself a substantial amount of money in yearly in your electric bill by making sure the coils get a nice cleaning once a year to ensure the best energy flow to the appliance.
  • Test the pressure relief valve: The water heater in your home can build up mineral deposits which can affect the pressure and possibility of a leak. A quick check for any build up will help keep it running efficiently.
  • Do at least one deep clean: Despite monthly and weekly cleanings, there are places that just don’t get reached. It helps to schedule a deep cleaning of the whole house at least once a year. You could even turn it into a family event for even more hands to assist.

Seasonal Home Maintenance

There’s some cleaning maintenance that is specific to seasonal damage, or preparation for the oncoming season. Winter is the time to look to the interior of your home, spring and summer are all about the exterior, and fall is the best time to prepare your home for the winter months. Each season has a lot to tackle and it’s helpful to have a maintenance checklist specifically for seasonal needs, on top of your regular monthly and yearly checks.

Winter

  • Test your electricity: A power loss in winter can be not just uncomfortable, but dangerous. While it’s always safest to have a professional take a look, you can test outlets and even rewire them on your own.
  • Check for ice dams and icicles: This will be an ongoing process through the winter. You can prevent build up, however, with deicing cables. But regular checks throughout winter for ice build up will prevent water damage or erosion damage on your home.
  • Check grouting in bathroom: Inspect the grouting between tiles in your bathrooms for any cracks and regrout as needed.
  • Clean shower heads: This is a great time to tackle your shower heads. Take a look at mineral build up and clean them off with a simple vinegar solution soak.
  • Check & clean storage spaces: The storage spaces in your home, such as the basement, attic, and other closets, can get overlooked, even on a yearly deep clean. Take time in the winter to be on the lookout for critters seeking shelter, dusting needs, and other cleaning that needs to be done.

Spring

  • Clean the gutters: It’s dreaded but necessary. Leaves from the fall, grime and sentiment from melted snow, and any other debris could have accumulated in your gutters over the winter months. Clean them out for the new season.
  • Check exterior drainage: While cleaning the gutters, take note of any standing exterior water. If it doesn’t drain, or drains towards the house’s foundation, you’ll want to get a professional out to take a look if a quick cleaning doesn’t do the trick.
  • Inspect your roofing: After a harsh winter, your roof may have taken a beating. You’ll want to inspect for shingles or any other material in need of replacing.
  • Inspect windows: Inspect all your windows for any damage, paying close attention to the window screens. Repair and replace as needed.
  • Check your AC: This will dependent on the type of AC you utilize. If you utilize window units throughout your home, it should be fairly easy to tackle any fixes yourself. If you’ve got a central AC unit, it’s best to have a pro come out to deal with any issues you find.
  • Inspect the inside of your home: Some good old spring cleaning. Check for any places you need to fix paint, clear out any dead houseplants, and do a general sweep of the home but not nearly in depth as your yearly deep clean.

Summer

  • Inspect for pests: While winter is the time furry critters might enter your home, summer brings with it the dreaded season of bugs. Check the corners of rooms for spider webs, keep an eye in the kitchen for ants, and be wary of any wasp nests that may form.
  • Check the window wells: This is only necessary if you have a basement. The window wells can fill in with leaves, debris, and even the remains of dead animals. You’ll want to take a look each summer and clean them out.
  • Wash deck & patio: This is a great time of year to give your deck or patio a nice power wash. You can rent a power washer, or hire a professional to do it for you.
  • Clean out garage: Now that the weather is more forgiving, you can take a look at your garage and make sure it’s cleaned out and well organized since it tends to get a lot of traffic in the summer as people leave the garage door open.

Fall

  • Winterize AC: If you have window AC units, now is the time to bring them indoors. If you utilize central air, you’ll want to cover the unit with a tarp to keep it safe from the oncoming winter elements.
  • Clean the chimney: Few houses have functional chimneys any more, but if you do, you’ll want to inspect it now and clean it out well before you start lighting fires in the winter. This is as much about safety as it is about comfort.
  • Inspect pavement: Now’s the time to make sure any cracks in your driveway or sidewalk are taken care of. Snow and ice build up during the winter can cause erosion and expand the cracks, making them even more difficult to repair, or even dangerous.
  • Winterize outdoor faucets: You’ll want to winterize your sprinkler system, as well as flush and stow any outdoor hose you have in the yard.
  • Inspect heating system: Now’s the time to make sure your heating system is ready. Make your vents are open, clean, and not blocked by furniture.

The Importance of Basic Home Maintenance

Your home is your shelter and, well, your home. Keeping it safe and comfortable for you and your family should be a no-brainer, and having an organized list to do so only makes it easier. There are certain things that should never go unchecked, others will help save you money in repairs or certain utility bills. Take this list and design your own list of home maintenance tasks on a monthly, seasonal, and yearly basis. And if you ever need help checking things off the list, or find a problem as you do, you can always find an experienced and helpful Home Pro at eLocal.com.

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