Home Maintenance “To Do” List

Owning a house doesn’t just end once you’ve moved in and are settled. There are a lot of things to keep track of for you to be confident that your home is still in tip-top shape even after years of occupancy. Here’s a list of tasks to help maintain your home.

MONTHLY CHECK-UP:

  • HVAC Filters – Inspect it and if it needed changing, please do so. Some says it needed to be changed monthly, but if you have no pets or allergies, you may change it every 2-3 months.
  • Kitchen Sink Disposal – Clean this with the use of a lemon, vinegar and an ice cube tray. Just cut the lemon into small pieces, put it with the vinegar on the ice cube tray and freeze it. Then run the ice cubes on the disposal, it freshens it and at the same time sharpens the blade.
  • Range Hood Filters – Clean range hood filters with a degreaser and mix it with hot water. Let the filter sit in it a few minutes, then rinse.
  • Fire Extinguishers – Check to make sure it is within easy access, that the gauge shows sufficient pressure and that there are no signs of wear and tear.

QUARTERLY CHECK-UP:

  • Smoke / Carbon Dioxide Detectors – Test the batteries by pressing the test button, if there’s a sound then that’s a good sign.
  • Garage Door – Test the auto-revers feature by placing a 2x4 on the ground where the door would close.
  • Unused Spaces – If you have bathrooms or sinks that you don’t usually use, run the water and flush the toilets to check if it’s still working.
  • Water Softener – Check it and add salt if needed.

BIANNUAL CHECK-UP:

  • Water Heater – Check the pressure relief valve to help your heater run efficiently.
  • General Cleaning – Clean everything from furniture, appliances, from top to bottom and every nook and cranny.
  • Smoke / Carbon Dioxide Detectors – This only applies if you haven’t changed it during your annual check-up. Make sure your change the batteries every 6 months.
  • Refrigerator Coils – Clean this by vacuuming it so your refrigerator will run efficiently.

ANNUAL SPRING CHECK-UP:

  • Exterior Drainage – Check it to make sure that puddles won’t surround your house for more than 24 hours.
  • Gutters – Clean out gutters from fallen leaves from the fall.
  • Exterior of your Home – This includes paint, siding, holes on bricks, and foundations.
  • Air Conditioning System – Have your system serviced so that it will be ready for summer.
  • Window Screens – Check for any new holes or tears in order to avoid bugs coming into your home.
  • Dead Plants and Shrubs – Plants can make their way into the exterior of your home causing damage.  Prune accordingly.
  • Electric Lines – Are any of your trees interfering with power lines? Have your trees trimmed if needed.
  • Roof – Check for damages and leaks to repair if needed.

ANNUAL SUMMER CHECK-UP:

  • Grouts – Check or repair to prolong the life of your tiled surfaces.
  • Plumbing System – Check for leaks and clean the aerators on faucets.
  • Insect Problems – Insects usually come out during summer so this is the best time to get rid of them.
  • Deck / Patio – Repair it by making sure there are no loose boards and wash it.
  • Window Wells – Clean the things that may have fallen into the window well of your basement.
  • Vents – From dryer vents to exhaust vents, make sure that there are no blockages.
  • Garage – Give your garage a longer life by keeping it clean and tidy, make it a yearly ritual.

ANNUAL FALL CHECK-UP:

  • Water Heater – Flush it and remove sediments.
  • Air Conditioning System – Cover the outside unit with a tarp if it’s a central air unit. If you have a window unit, winterize it by removing the window unit and storing it.
  • Heating System – Get it ready for winter by checking for leaks in windows and doors. Have your furnace inspected annually.
  • Outdoor Water faucets – Turn off and empty them, do this to your hoses and sprinklers too.
  • Chimney – Have it professionally cleaned. 
  • Sump Pump – Test to verify that it is working with active batteries.
  • Driveway / Pavements – Have the cracks resealed before winter to avoid further damage.
  • Winter Gear – Buy a sidewalk salt, shovels, etc. in preparation for winter weather.

ANNUAL WINTER CHECK-UP:

  • Ice Dams and Icicles – Not only are these dangerous, they can also damage the exterior of your home.  Remove promptly.
  • Electricity – Check to verify that all outlets work.
  • Loose screws – Tighten every knob, handle, rack, etc.
  • Locks and Deadbolts – Check all of these in your windows and doors.
  • Showers and Bathtubs – Check caulking and repair if needed.
  • Showerheads – Remove them and clean off the sediment to help with water pressure.
  • Basement – Do a general cleaning of your basement, unclutter if needed.

This is just a guideline; you may do the check-up depending on your opinion and preference. Just like the human body, your house needs a consistent check up to be sure that it is in a healthy state. Give your house the care that it requires and it will provide you the shelter that you need.

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