Buying a home is a big investment – not only financially, but in terms of maintenance and time and effort to keep things in working order.
The longer you put-off home maintenance tasks, the further your home could fall into disrepair. This only results in a greater financial headache in the long run.
With this in mind, it’s important to draw up a preventative maintenance checklist to stay on top of things around your home.
If you’re a new homeowner and wondering where to start, this blog outlines the top home maintenance tasks to add to your checklist.
Things to Add to Your Preventative Maintenance Checklist
When it comes to monthly home maintenance it can seem totally overwhelming at first. If you have a big property, where do you even start?
Your best plan-of-action is to draw up a home maintenance schedule, which runs month-to-month, season by season.
Just winging it isn’t always the best tactic- most homeowners need that monthly reminder as time has a way of running away from all of us.
Monthly Home Maintenance Tasks
While these tasks are fairly basic, failing to stay on top of them from month-to-month can lead to a bigger financial headache than you’d expect:
1. Change HVAC Filters
This is not always necessary every month, smaller households may only need to change HVAC filters every 2-3 months.
If your home is fairly large and you have a number of pets, HVAC filter inspection is a must from month-to-month.
Changing your HVAC filters regularly allows your airconditioning and heating systems to operate more efficiently, saving on your electricity bill.
2. Clean Out the Kitchen Sink Disposal
This is a simple process which involves ice and vinegar. Grab an ice tray, fill each cube with vinegar and put it back in the freezer.
Plop a few frozen vinegar cubes down your sink disposal, which helps to freshen up the system, while sharpening your disposal blades – bonus!
3. Clean Kitchen Hood Filters
The cleaner your kitchen hood filter, the better it will operate and eliminate food smells from your home.
Get your hands on a degreaser from any auto parts store, combine with hot water and let the hood filters soak for a few minutes.
Rinse, dry off and your kitchen hood should work a treat for another month or two!
4. Double Check Fire Extinguishers
This is a home maintenance task which is majorly overlooked. If you’re guilty of this, now is the time to redeem yourself!
Check all fire extinguishers in your home are free of obstruction and easy to access. Make sure the gauge shows enough pressure and there are no visible signs of wear and tear.
Your home should have at least one fire extinguisher which should generally live in the kitchen!
Quarterly and Biannual Home Maintenance Tasks
While these tasks may seem relatively menial, and maybe even unnecessary, they are important for the safety of your entire family.
1. Test Smoke Detectors
If your home is fitted with a smoke detection system, make sure to check the detectors at least every 4-6 months.
Most detectors should have a ”test” button which sounds an alarm. If this still works, your detectors are in working order.
If not, their batteries may need to be replaced. If it still doesn’t work after replacing the batteries, you may need a new detector due to battery terminal corrosion.
2. Test Garage Door Auto-Reverse
All garage doors manufactured after 1993 were required by federal law to feature an auto-reverse mechanism.
All you need to do to test the system is to place an object in the path of your garage door i.e. a piece of wood.
Close the garage door – when it comes into contact with the object it should bounce back open after a second or so.
3. Run Water in Unused Bathrooms
If you have a guest bathroom which is rarely used, make sure to check the flow of water from the taps and flush out the toilet.
This helps to prevent the build-up of grime, germs and stagnant water which can be a breeding ground for insects.
4. Clean Your Refrigerator
Every 4-6 months you should do a deep clean of your refrigerator- the one appliance which chews approximately 15% of your home’s energy.
A dirty, over-filled refrigerator can become slow and sluggish, only consuming more electricity over time. Additionally, make sure to vacuum its coils to remove dust build-up which could contribute to its lag.
5. Inspect Your Water Heater
This involves inspecting the relief valve on your water heater. Make sure to look for signs of corrosion or mineral build-up as this can eventually lead to leakage.
A fully functional water heater helps ensure your water heating system runs as efficiently as possible.
Spring Home Maintenance
Finally, spring is a big month for home maintenance as you defrost from the winter months and prepare for the upcoming heat of summer.
This is a good time to focus on the exterior of your home, clearing up dead shrubbery and grass and repairing your roof and gutter systems.
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Just some of the basic spring maintenance tasks to add to your checklist include:
- Check exterior drainage and grates -do they need replacing for summer?
- Clear out gutters of debris, leaves, and stagnant water from fall and winter
- Check for damaged siding on the exterior of your home from winter storms
- Check your home’s foundation for any cracks and fill with silicone or caulk
- Get your air conditioning systems re-serviced and gassed for summer
- Repair damaged window screens to keep insects out during summer
- Clear away dead shrubs, plants and fallen leaves from your yard
- Check for fallen trees or branches and possible interference with electricity lines around your home
- Inspect your roof and attic for winter frost damage or leaks
Owning a home is not as daunting as you may think, it just takes a little TLC! And with these simple checklists, your home should be good to go year-round.
Looking For a Home Contractor?
With us, you have access to hundreds of local businesses and contractors, ideal for your home maintenance needs.
If you’ve gone over your preventative maintenance checklist and found a corner of your home that needs repair, our website can help you out.
Search for your ideal home contractor, here.