Owning a home is not much different from owning a car, at certain milestones of your ownership there are tasks that the manufacturer recommends that you complete.
For a car, it’s changing the oil, replacing filters, checking out the brakes and tires and even changing out hoses. Getting these tasks completed on a regular basis will keep you from landing on the side of the road without wheels, and the same goes for your home maintenance. While these tasks can be tedious, they are critical to ensuring that your home continues to function and care for you and your family for years to come.
Since there are a number of different tasks to complete on a monthly, quarterly and annual basis, it may make sense to come up with a calendar of sorts, or at least a home maintenance checklist of the different items and how often to perform them.
Spring Time Home Maintenance Checklist Tasks
When the weather starts warming up, there’s another raft of things that you’ll need to do to ensure your home is ready for the high-water, allergen-infested wonder that is spring. While some of these are the same as what you’ll need to do in the fall, it’s helpful to have everything in one place. Here’s the list:
- Prune your roses or other plants in the very early spring to give them the best start for the year.
- Check bricks, walls and siding for deterioration or a need for deep cleaning. Pressure washing can help siding that is turning green as well as clean mold and moss off of your deck.
- Wash your windows and check window screens for tears and damage.
- Clean the leaves and buildup from the fall and winter from your downspouts.
Fall Time Home Maintenance Checklist Tasks
Obviously, when the weather gets a little chilly is the time to start checking out your weatherstripping, heating equipment and waterproofing. Here’s a quick checklist to get you started on these tasks:
- Check your garage, attic and basement for pests who might be trying to find somewhere warm to hang out for the winter.
- Be sure that the caulk around your ceilings and doors is not crumbling or cracking – replacing the caulk alone can save you more than 10% on your heating bill this winter.
- Cover up outdoor faucets with insulating materials, checking to make sure they are not leaking or dripping in any way. Drain any standing water out of hoses and roll them up for the winter. Leaving water in your hoses or leaving hoses attached can cause them to freeze and burst – which is a problem you do not want to have!
- Bring in cushions and umbrellas from your patio to save them from storms and cracking, and cover patio furniture or bring it in if possible to maintain the finish.
- Clean downspouts and gutters (or you can just wait until you’re putting up the Christmas lights for this step!)
- Make sure all the shrubs and plants are trimmed to at least 4” from your home.
- Inspect bath fixtures and kitchen appliances for leakage.
- Check grout and caulk in the kitchen and bathrooms, fixing as necessary.
- Do emergency fire drills or other home drills to ensure your family knows where to get out and meet up in case of a problem.
- Schedule a professional chimney cleaning, and consider having your heat pump serviced or your heating system checked before the start of the season.
- Light the pilot light on your gas heater or fireplace, if needed.
Monthly and Quarterly Home Maintenance Checklist Tasks
While the “big stuff” happens in the spring and fall, there are monthly tasks that it’s good to stay on top of as well. Some of these are cleaning, some are checking – and some require action. Be sure to check these items on a monthly basis:
- Run some vinegar ice down your sink. Okay, sounds a little crazy, but vinegar is a super-strong cleaning agent, and ice will help sharpen the blades. Simply freeze some vinegar in an ice cube tray and you’re good to go.
- Check and change out your air filters. While most professionals recommend changing out filters in your home on a quarterly basis, it’s always a good idea to check them and see if they need to be changed more regularly. High levels of dust or pollen could cause additional build-up – which not only impacts your family’s health, but also the overall efficiency of your heating and air conditioning system.
- Test smoke and carbon dioxide detectors. This step cannot be emphasized enough. Yes, smoke detectors can be a pain when they go off every time you burn something on the stove, but they are critical to keeping your family safe. Don’t wait: replace those batteries if there’s even a small question about whether they’re in full working order.
- Vacuum your fridge coils. It’s not painful, and can save you up to $100 in energy savings over a year.
- Test your water heater’s release valve. This is the little gadget that keeps your water heater from combusting, and water heaters are expensive – and the test is quick.
Keeping your home in top condition doesn’t have to be a full time job. Instead, follow these home maintenance checklist steps and you’ll be able to enjoy a home that is sturdy and efficient for many years to come. Being a homeowner is a big responsibility, but with some foresight you can maintain your home without spending a fortune in repairs – simply by performing some routine maintenance and checks on a regular schedule.