Maintain a Tip-Top House
A Handy Home Maintenance Checklist
Most people think about financial responsibility when buying a house. It would help if you remembered the labor and time that home ownership requires. Regular oil changes will help keep your car's engine healthy and happy. Home maintenance can also be a great way to avoid future headaches and save money.
These tasks can seem daunting, especially for a first-time homeowner. There are many things to do, and you don't need the experience to do most of them. Google is your friend. If you get stuck, you can call your local handyperson for assistance.
Consider creating a home maintenance schedule to increase productivity and get the job done. You can keep a list of small tasks you need to complete each weekend, online or on paper. Some tasks must be completed monthly, quarterly, or biannually. You will also find a list of tasks that must be completed each season. Many experts have differing views on which tasks should be completed in what season. This list is a partial guideline. Your home will remain happy for many years if you do what is best for your family and your schedule.
- Check and change your HVAC filters. You can change the filters once every 2-3 months for smaller families with no pets or allergies. You can change the filter if it is dirty or if you inspect it again next month. Handymen also advised me to use cheaper filters and replace them less often than the more expensive ones.
- Clean kitchen sink disposal. There are many ways to do it, but vinegar ice cubes are the best and most effective. Let the vinegar cool in an ice tray. Then, run the cubes through your disposal. Ice not only freshens the removal, but it also sharpens its blades. You’re welcome.
- Clean rangehood filters. This is a great way to start cleaning your hood. The Family Handyman recommends using hot water and a degreaser purchased at an auto parts shop. Allow the filter to sit for a while, then rinse it with hot water.
- Check your fire extinguisher(s). Let’s assume that you have a basic knowledge of how to use an extinguisher. It doesn’t take much to inspect your extinguisher(s).
- Test smoke/carbon dioxide detectors. Another easy task is ensuring your sensors have a “test button.” If the alarm sounds, you are good to go. If it doesn’t display, you should replace the batteries immediately and try again. If the sound doesn’t make sense, it could be corrosion at the battery terminal. It will only recognize new batteries if it sounds.
- It can be cleaned and retested. It may not work if it doesn’t, so you will likely need to buy a new detector.
- Test the garage door’s auto-reverse function. This feature was mandated by federal law in 1993 after multiple deaths. Place a 2×4 on top of the door to test it every month. After a second, the door should close. If you have photo-electric sensors, test them by placing something (not your body) in front of them. If the door does not immediately open, there is a problem.
- Use water to flush toilets and run water in spaces that are not being used. This is mainly for guest bathrooms or other sinks/water sources you don’t use often. This is done to prevent any buildup of grime or other contaminants. This can be prevented by running water through the filter now and again.
- Check your water softener and add salt if necessary. It only takes 5 seconds.
- Check the pressure relief valve on your water heater. This will protect your heater from corrosion and mineral buildup. This will make your heater more efficient.
- Clean your house with your entire family. Spend one Saturday every six months cleaning the house. You can dust every corner (including the basement) and appliances. Keep your home clean by keeping it clean.
- Replace smoke/carbon dioxide detector batteries. This is something I had never heard before. It was just an assumption that you had changed the batteries when it began making low-frequency beeping sounds. However, this tip was included in all our research. This tip is important enough to be careful with, but it won’t cost you a fortune. It would help if you changed them every six months.
- Clean out your refrigerator coils. This tip was given to me by a refrigerator repairman. Our research also confirmed it. Your fridge can consume up to 15% of your home’s total electricity, so it must run as efficiently as possible. Your fridge will need more juice as the coils become dirty over time. This is a simple way to save as much as $100 per year.
ANNUALLY (ORGANIZED SEASON-BY-SEASON)
Spring is a busy month for home maintenance, and it's not called "Spring Cleaning" without reason. As your home is just coming out of winter, it will be preparing for the summer heat and, in certain parts, extreme humidity.
- Check exterior drainage. Does rainwater run away from your house? Puddles shouldn’t remain around your house for longer than 24 hours. You can do a few things if water moves towards your foundation or stays. Check your gutters first. You could have a leaky connection or a problem with the spout. They may need to be cleaned. You can also grade the area around the home with dirt. This has worked well for me in the past. For pavement, professionals can come out to raise it so that it drains away from home.
- Clear out gutters. Most likely, they’ve accumulated leaves and snows/rain debris.
- Take a look at the exterior of your house. Are there any signs of paint chipping? Are any sidings damaged by winter? Are bricks cracked? You should look at the entire home and make necessary repairs. Make sure you check our foundation for cracks. You can solve many of your problems with silicone/caulk.
- Make sure your air conditioner is ready for summer by having it serviced. This will depend on your area and your home’s location. Some sites use only window air units, while others use a swamp cooler on the roof. These are primary machines that can be fixed with a quick internet search. For more information on maintenance, see the user guide. Central air is a more complicated system. It should cost around $100 to have it serviced by professionals. This will help you save time and money down the line.
- Replace or repair damaged window screens. Bugs can get in through a crack in the net. Duct tape is not acceptable. It would help if you did not leave it there for too long. It looks terrible.
- Remove dead plants/shrubs. Now is the time if you have yet to trim trees or shrubs during the fall. You can let plants get into cracks or holes in your house, which could cause damage and a shorter lifespan. You can stop it from becoming a problem by addressing it immediately. Pay attention to decorative vines that are on the outside of your house.
- Inspect trees for interference with electric lines. Have them professionally trimmed, if necessary.
- Check your roof for leaks and damage. You may need to hire a professional.
Summer is a great season to concentrate on your exterior, garden, and lawn. You can also open your garage door and use the extended daylight to finish any manly projects you have been putting off.
- Check grout in bathrooms, kitchen, etc. Repair as necessary.
- Check your plumbing for leaks. Clean aerators on faucets. Look at all the toilets and faucets to find any leaks. The aerator is the most likely cause of low water pressure in a tap. It’s easy to fix.
- Take care to take care of any insect issues you might have. The summer is their playground. It won’t take long to spot any insect problems. Ants, spiders, moths, etc. They are all relatively common and easy to control. Make sure to keep cobwebs clean, carry ant poison, and close all doors tightly. This article will give tips for preventing termites from getting into your home.
- Maintain and clean your patio/deck. Re-staining a deck is also necessary. You should also inspect for loose boards and posts and make essential repairs.
- Clear out windowsills. Many things can go down there, including leaves, trash, and animals.
- Clean the dryer vent and any other exhaust vents outside your home. While the dryer is on, ensure the exhaust is flowing out. The dryer should smell fresh. You should check for any blockages if there isn’t much exhaust. A professional may be needed. You may also need to vacuum the dryer’s hose.
- Clean garage. Every man should make it a summer habit to clean the garage. It will live longer if it is kept clean and tidy. However, it can only be addressed if it is taken care of regularly. It would help if you cleaned it more often due to all the dust it collects from manly projects. However, you should give it a thorough cleaning once a year.
Fall is a season in between, and it's when you finish up summer home maintenance and get your home ready to go for winter. You want to pay attention to winter preparations such as snow, cold, and rain.
- Drain the water heater to remove sediment. This extends the heater’s life and improves efficiency.
- Protect air conditioning units from freezing. Take out and store window units. Cover central air units with plastic sheeting or a tarp and secure them with bungee strings.
- Prepare your heating system for winter. Look out for leaks in doors and windows. These can be costly. Check that heating vents are allowed by furniture. At least once a year, but preferably every year, have your furnace serviced or inspected. This should be relatively cheap, as with the AC. Fireplaces are a great option if you have one.
- Turn off outdoor water faucets and flush them. Finally, rinse the hoses and put them away. If you have a sprinkler system, winterize it.
- Clean your chimney if you have one. It doesn’t matter what time it is, as long as it’s done at least once a year.
- Check the sump pump. It’s essential to test your sump pump before you call.
- Inspect driveway/pavement regularly for cracks. Water can freeze in cracks and expand, causing further damage.
- Buy winter gear. Have sidewalk salt, good shovels, etc. Get ready for winter. It’s impossible to predict when the first snow will fall.
Winter is the perfect time to inspect your home's interior and make any necessary repairs. It's a great time for interior projects such as painting or building shelves.
- Check for icicles and ice dams regularly. The de-icing cables at the top of the roof are a good option. As much as your children may want you not to, don’t allow icicles to grow. They pose a risk to anyone who is standing under them. Additionally, they are cumbersome and can cause severe damage to your home. When they melt, they can also cause water damage to your foundation.
- Make sure you test your electricity. Be extra cautious when using electricity. However, you can accomplish a few things by yourself. You can verify that all outlets are working. If they aren’t, you will be able to rewire them yourself.
- You should also test your GFCI outlets. This is a subject that can be debated. Some suggest testing every month, while others recommend trying annually.
- Secure all handles, knobs, and racks. Inspect the house for any loose screws.
- Make sure all locks and deadbolts are checked on doors and windows. Replace if necessary.
- Inspect caulking around bathtubs and showers. Repair as necessary.
- Clean out showerheads and remove any sediment. This will prolong its life span and increase the water pressure.
- Inspect the basement and deep clean it. Clean them up, dust them, and check for mold. At least once per year, give your basement a thorough inspection.
This list is not exhaustive, but it only includes some things you can do to improve your home. What can you do to keep your house in top shape? Are there any tricks that make it easier to do these tasks efficiently and effectively?
Providing Attention to detail
One Home at a Time