Home is a place to which everyone returns for safety, peace, and rest. It is the one place where you can be yourself and relax. While this tranquil image of a home might be enchanting, it is not quite what you would picture while clamoring to catch leaks from the roof or shoveling snow from your driveway. However, like eating your vitamins for good health, keeping to a regular house maintenance schedule is essential to keep your biggest investment safe and healthy. Taking care of some repairs and maintenance tasks regularly can save you hundreds of dollars in the long run.
Some maintenance tasks need to be done at least once a month. To keep track of the tasks that need to be completed every month, create a regular house maintenance schedule on your calendar. Write down tasks that need to be done every month and set aside time on a weekend for each of the tasks.
Monthly Maintenance Tasks
Check the HVAC filters regularly. HVAC filters clean the air in your home and prevent contaminants from circulating in the air. It is recommended that you change the filters regularly. Some experts recommend changing the filters every month. However, in smaller homes that do not have pets or residents with allergies, it might be sufficient to change the filters every two to three months.
Freeze some vinegar into cubes and run the frozen vinegar through the kitchen sink disposal to get rid of odors and sharpen the blades. It is wise to make this simple task a part of your regular house maintenance schedule to keep your kitchen sink disposal gleaming.
Use a degreaser to clean the cooking range hood filters every month. Accumulated grease can get unwieldy over time.
Check that the fire extinguisher in your house is easily accessible and shows an acceptable pressure. Some maintenance tasks may not need to be done every month, but you might want to check on these at least every three months.
Quarterly Maintenance Tasks
Check the water softener and add salt if required. Ensure that the smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors in your house are functioning well. Press the test button on the detectors to confirm that an alarm makes a sound. If you do not hear the alarm, try replacing the batteries or cleaning the battery terminal. If the problem persists, replace the detector as these detectors are indispensable in life-threatening situations.
Check the bathrooms and sinks that you do not use frequently. Flush and run water to prevent dust and dirt from accumulating in unused water sources. To avoid running to the bathrooms for a scrub before your guests arrive, make this a part of your regular house maintenance schedule. Test whether the garage door reverses automatically when you place an object below it. Place an object in front of the photoelectric sensors to ensure the door reverses at once. If the feature does not work immediately, call the repairs and service technician. This should be an indispensable part of your regular house maintenance schedule.
A few maintenance tasks, thankfully, need not be repeated as frequently as others. However, it is wise not to neglect these tasks.
Biannual Maintenance Tasks
Check the batteries in the smoke detector and carbon monoxide detectors. It is recommended that you replace the batteries at least once every six months. It is wiser to replace the batteries and be prepared than to wait for the low beeping indicator for low batteries. This might seem unnecessary, but batteries are cheap and this task should be a part of your regular house maintenance schedule.
Clean and inspect appliances, windows, doors, and everything else in your house once every six months. Make it a family activity so everyone participates in dusting, wiping, and getting rid of dust and dirt throughout the house. If appliances need repairs, it is better to have them serviced after a periodic inspection than wait for them to malfunction.
Test the temperature and pressure relief valve in your water heater every six months. A build-up in the heater can lead to leaks. To test the valve, press the lever up and down continuously to lift the brass stem to which it is connected. This should release hot water from the drain pipe. If water does not flow through the pipe, replace the valve.
Go over your refrigerator coils with a vacuum cleaner. Cleaning coils regularly reduces the chance of build-up over time and helps the refrigerator run more efficiently. This simple task can save you up to 100 dollars in utility bills.
Following the seasons to time your annual maintenance activities is a good way to keep up and fix the most urgent things first. Then, there are things that need to be checked regularly and replaced regularly irrespective of the season. Let us look at a few ideas to keep your house running well and without any complaints or breakdowns.
Annual Maintenance Tasks for Spring
As winter thaws and gives way to spring, this is an opportunity to inspect your house from within and outside.
Winter might deposit inches of snow, depending on where you live. As the weather gets warmer, it is time to fetch the rake and gather any leaves that might have been in your yard through the winter. Line your flowerbeds and hedges with wood chips to protect the soil and prepare for planting. Check trees in your yard for damage or decay. Any dead or dying branches should be removed to prevent further harm to the tree and any damage resulting from branches falling on your property or neighboring houses. If you wish to hire a landscaping service to do this for you, now is the time to consider your options and choose a landscape gardener. You can begin planting perennials and replenish your lawn before the summer heat becomes too intense.
At the beginning of spring, put your snowblower away after draining the fuel and bring out the lawnmower. Check if the lawnmower needs any repairs. You can send your lawnmower to a repair company annually to sharpen the blades, check the motor, and ensure the lawnmower is in good working condition. It is better to be prepared for snowy days, and it is easy to have checked your snowblower when this step is a part of your regular house maintenance schedule.
Spring is a good time to inspect the outside of your house to determine if any urgent repairs are required. Check the driveway and concrete for cracks. Walk around the house to see if any shingles are missing. Engage roofing contractors to professionally fix your missing or loose shingles on the roof if required.
Clean the gutters to prevent clogs that can cause water to leak into your house. Gutters collect rainwater and direct them away from the house to prevent it from pooling around the house and eroding the foundation of the house. Consider contacting a local business that can provide gutter services. It is recommended to clean the gutters at least biannually or even more frequently when you have more trees surrounding your house.
See if the paint on the exterior walls is chipped anywhere and apply a fresh coat of paint to avoid water damage. Wash windows and scrub down any dirt accumulated on the outer walls. Get the air conditioning system ready for summer and check the user manuals for regular maintenance required. Contact professional HVAC services if required.
Inspect the sump pump and confirm that it is operating properly. Get repairs done immediately. A spring day with lots of rain can bring flooding and the sump pump might be essential at that time to drain the water.
If you own a pool, you need to get it ready for summer by treating the water and checking the valves and equipment. A pool service can do this for you for a price.
The patio has been waiting all winter for barbecue season. So, scrub it clean to get rid of dirt and grime, let it dry, and then stain and seal it to get it ready for summer. For wooden decks, consider treating with borate to prevent algae overgrowth and wood rot.
Annual Maintenance Tasks for Summer
Summer is a wonderful time to enjoy the sun and the weather is perfect to get some work done outside the house.
Tend to the plants in your garden. Cut the grass to ensure the lawn looks well-kept and clean. Water plants regularly, so they can withstand the heat from the sun and grow well. Remove weeds from pavers and check your sprinkler system functions well.
If the exterior walls need a fresh coat of paint, summer is a good time to start that project.
Examine the house and premises for bugs and get in touch with a pest control company if you have an infestation. Rule out the possibility of bugs entering your house by checking for cracks or holes and using a bug spray when you spot insects.
Clean and organize your garage. The warm weather is your ally when you want to sift through the things you have accumulated in your garage over the entire year and pick out unwanted items. Throw away things that have passed their expiry date. Donate things that you do not need any longer but are still usable. It is easy to neglect this task, but things pile up over time, so make this step a part of your regular house maintenance schedule.
Clean the pool regularly. Fish out floating leaves and unwanted debris. Clean the sides of the pool at least once a month to prevent moss or algae from making the pool slippery and unsightly. Examine the filter basket and make sure the water level is sufficient.
Annual Maintenance Tasks for Fall
Enjoy the last flowers of the season and plant perennials and bulbs before the first freeze of the season. After the leaves begin falling, ensure you gather them in a pile using a leaf blower or a rake and then bag them. An alternative to bagging leaves is running the lawnmower over leaves to break them up and use these leaves as mulch for the trees and plants in your yard.
Ensure that your gutters are clean and free of leaves. Check if any repairs are required. At the same time work with a roofing service to get any loose or missing shingles repaired. Fall brings a lot of leaves; this task should definitely be a part of your regular house maintenance schedule.
Check the HVAC and replace air filters if required. Furnace repair and servicing will ensure the system works without problems throughout winter. Have a professional inspect dryer vents. Lint trapped in dryer vents is a major contributor to fires. HVAC specialists who work with dryer vents can check and clean your dryer vents for you.
Get the chimney checked and confirm that nothing is broken. It is a good idea to check the chimney annually, preferably before winter when you will begin using the fireplace and furnace. If your house is heated with boiler heat, call your plumber or home heating contractor to maintain the boiler, radiator, and thermostat. Consult a water heater service technician to flush the hot water heater and remove any deposits. Make this a part of your regular house maintenance schedule to avoid costly replacements.
Inspect windows and doors for air drafts. Replace broken or missing caulking to seal in the air. Air leaks from windows and doors can lead to air leakage causing high energy consumption in the winter months.
If you require upgrades to your bathroom or plan to take up a small renovation project like painting your bedroom, seek out contractors in the fall. In this season, most contractors are available for indoor projects.
If you have a pool, now is the time to clean and close the pool in preparation for winter. A pool maintenance provider can take care of pool maintenance for you.
Annual Maintenance Tasks for Winter
Store away your lawnmower and bring out the snowblower. Check if it requires any repairs, send it for an annual servicing, and determine if it is in good working condition.
Store ice melt for stormy days. Regularly check your roof for ice accumulation and icicles and remove snow from the roof. If this step is a part of your regular house maintenance schedule, you cannot skip it.
Check and change the HVAC filters if required. Use preventive measures to avoid frozen pipes. Store supplies and make an emergency kit to prepare for winter storms.
Taking care of your home can feel like a never-ending project. As long as you break home maintenance up into manageable pieces, you should be good to go.