Making the decision to own a home is a major commitment. Once you’ve moved into your dream property, completed the renovations (an exceptional kitchen is a must!) And executed your decorating plans, you should always consider the routine maintenance required to make sure it is at its best for years to come. And it’s not just a question of aesthetics. There are certain steps all homeowners should take to ensure their families stay safe in any property they live in.
Regular maintenance, involving tasks that must be performed monthly and annually, should not be overlooked. Whether it’s making a habit of examining electrical systems, removing debris from gutters, or hiring a professional to inspect your roof once a year, investing time and money to maintain a polished property can save you headaches in the long run.
To help you get started, here is a comprehensive home maintenance checklist to protect one of the biggest assets you own.
What to handle every month:
- Test carbon monoxide detectors, smoke detectors, and fire extinguishers, which should be kept to a minimum on each floor.
- Clean out your trash.
- Unclog tub drains and sinks throughout the house.
- Clean the dishwasher thoroughly (be sure to remove and wash the filter as well).
- Clean the hood and furnace filters.
- Thoroughly clean the washer and dryer, including the chamber where the filter is located. (Also remember that your dryer’s lint filter should be cleaned after every load. Its vent should be cleaned every six months to a year, depending on usage.)
What to manage annually:
- Maintain quarterly appointments with an exterminator to keep your home free of pests.
- Clean your bathroom exhaust fan grille to prevent dust build-up.
- Check all radiators and surrounding pipes for leaks or cracks.
See the areas in your home where you should check in each season below.
- In early spring, clean your lawn and take the time to remove dead foliage, weeds and debris as well as prune your trees.
- Evaluate the exterior siding to determine if repairs or replacements are necessary.
- Hire a professional to check and clean the chimney.
- Maintain your air conditioning system.
- Upgrade faulty windows and replace them with energy efficient designs.
- To prevent water damage, reapply putty to tub, shower, and sink.
- Seal all exterior cracks in stucco, windows and doors and touch up exterior paint.
- Walk around the deck to make sure the wood and nails are in good condition.
- Maintain your lawn as needed – heed the Good Housekeeping Institute lawn mower recommendations.
- In early fall, you need to bleed your radiator – remove any trapped air – to make sure it’s working well.
- Make an appointment to have your roof inspected.
- Clear the gutters to prevent backflow of water.
- Drain the hot water from the water heater, as this can help remove debris.
- Heating / furnace systems service.
- In late fall, schedule an irrigation inspection. This will involve checking lawn sprinklers to make sure they are focused on your yard rather than the exterior of your home, which can damage the wood.
- Inspect the basement and attic for pests and leaks.
- Vacuum the refrigerator coils to remove dust and dirt.
- Insulate exterior basement and garage pipes to prevent freezing.
- Upgrade winter storm essentials, including your generator, flashlights, and snow shovels.
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