Start the year strong by checking off monthly maintenance tasks before working on your winter to-do list.
Maintaining a home can be overwhelming, especially for first-time homeowners who are used to landlords taking care of maintenance tasks. However, it’s essential to keep up with home maintenance to protect your investment and avoid costly repairs. Rather than tackling everything at once, it’s helpful to break down the tasks into monthly and seasonal checklists. By following a regular maintenance schedule, you can ensure that your home operates smoothly throughout the year.
- Clean or replace your furnace filter regularly. This improves HVAC efficiency and prevents expensive repairs or cleaning.
- Vacuum heat registers and vents to remove dirt and debris that can obstruct airflow.
- Test smoke alarms and fire extinguishers to ensure they’re functioning correctly and can protect your home in case of a fire.
- Inspect electrical cords for wear and replace any that show signs of damage to prevent fire hazards.
- Clean the garbage disposal by grinding ice cubes and flushing with hot water and baking soda to remove food buildup.
- Clean faucet aerators and showerheads to remove mineral deposits and improve water flow. Soak them in vinegar overnight and scrub with an old toothbrush.
- Regularly inspect the outside of your home for issues such as loose roof shingles, damaged siding, cracked bricks, driveway or sidewalk cracks, insects, or overgrown trees or shrubs. Address any problems promptly by calling a professional.
- Inspect trees for dead branches or signs of illness. Hire a certified arborist to identify and address any problems before they cause damage.
- Clean the gutters to ensure proper water flow and prevent leaks or water damage to your roof, walls, and foundation. Clean them at least twice a year, or more frequently if you have many trees around your home.
- Freshen the exterior paint by touching up or repainting areas with peeling, chipping, or flaking paint. Complete this task before summer’s heavy rains and high temperatures can damage exposed surfaces.
- Schedule an HVAC checkup with a professional technician to ensure your system is in good working order. They should inspect the ductwork for damage and clean and service the furnace and air conditioning compressor.
- Call a professional to clean the ducts and vents, removing accumulated dirt, dust, and pet hair. Clear ducts allow your HVAC system to operate more efficiently and extend its lifespan.
- Wash the exterior of your house to remove winter grime, dirt, and mildew. Clean the windows, screens, and façade using a mild detergent and a hose. Avoid using a power washer as it can damage siding and brick.
- Check your deck for any necessary refinishing or repairs. Replace rotten boards and ensure the deck is safe and ready for use.
- Update your home’s pest control contract and hire a professional to check for termites, rats, and other home-damaging pests.
- Fertilize your lawn, trees, and shrubs to promote healthy growth as they come out of winter dormancy.
- Ensure your plants and foliage receive adequate water to prevent them from dying and costing you money in landscaping replacements.
- Check your sprinkler system for clogged lines, leaky valves, and pools of water. Verify that timers are working correctly, and call a professional for repairs if needed.
- Oil the garage-door opener and lubricate the garage door’s chain and hinges.
- Check for leaks around toilets and in the dishwasher, and contact a plumber for repairs if necessary.
- Prune trees and shrubs to remove dead or diseased branches and promote overall health.
- Seal tile grout in bathrooms and kitchens to prevent water damage to walls and floors.