Talk to people who have sparkling clean homes, and they will tell you that home maintenance is a continuous process. There is always a surface that needs to be cleaned, a pipe that needs to be drained, and a walkway that needs clearing. Meticulous people take on the task of their home maintenance systematically and have a clear idea about how a task needs to be timed. If you often find your house is a mess, then this house maintenance checklist is just what you need to get things cleaned up in an orderly fashion that doesn’t make it boring.
Monthly Home Maintenance Checklist
Here are the items that need to go on your home maintenance checklist by month:
1. Kitchen Sink Disposal Cleaning
The kitchen sink disposal takes a lot of garbage every day and is susceptible to bacterial growth on the sides of the disposal wall where the blades don’t reach. To clean this region, freeze some vinegar in an ice cube tray, then run the disposal after dumping the vinegar cubes into it. The vinegar freshens and cleans the inside of the disposal, and the ice sharpens the blades simultaneously!
2. Cleaning the Range Hood Filters
The range hood filter traps all the grease and smoke that comes from your kitchen every day. You must clean the filter periodically, or you will have a greasy mess in your hands when you open it up for servicing. The simplest way to clean it would be to use a degreaser mixed with hot water. Dip the filter in it for a few minutes and hose it clean.
3. Inspect the HVAC Filters
HVAC filter is another place where you can expect a lot of dust accumulation, especially if you have pets at home. Although the maintenance technicians recommend servicing it once in 2 or 3 months, check it every month if you have frequent guests or lots of pets at home. You could alternatively use cheaper filters that exhaust in a month rather than the more expensive ones that make you forget to clean and end up in a mess.
4. Inspect Fire Extinguishers
Ensure your fire extinguisher gauge is showing the correct pressure and there are no visible signs of damage. Keep it clear and easily accessible, especially if you live in areas prone to fires.
Quarterly Home Maintenance Checklist
For your quarterly maintenance checks, go through these items:
1. Smoke/Carbon Dioxide Detectors
Smoke and carbon dioxide detectors can be lifesavers, especially in winters when you are likely to use the fireplace more often. “Test” the system by pushing the test button, and if the alarm goes off, it is all good. If it doesn’t work, replace the batteries and try again. If it still doesn’t work after battery replacement, clean the battery terminals and try again. In case the problem yet persists, call the manufacturer.
2. Test the Garage Door
It is mandated by law that the garage doors have an automatic reverse safety feature. Test the feature periodically by placing obstacles in the way of the door. Test the photoelectric sensors with a plank of 2×4 wood as the door closes for the stoppage. Place the 2×4 under the door, and the door should reverse in about a second after it hits the plank.
3. Test the Water System in Unused Places
If you have guest rooms and guest bathrooms or any other water source such as sinks and drains that are not used routinely, test them once every three months. Flush the toilet and run water through the sinks to clear debris accumulated over the months. If possible, test these systems more frequently, especially if you live in an area prone to pest infestations.
4. Check the Water Softener
Water softeners can run for a long time before they need to be changed or recharged. Inspect it anyway and check if more salt needs to be added as it won’t take too long.
Biannually Home Maintenance Checklist
These tips will likely save you a lot of money in terms of long-term appliance maintenance:
1. Inspect the Water Heater’s Pressure Relief Valve
The pressure relief valve keeps your water heater from over-pressurizing and keeps the device functioning safely. Since it doesn’t move often, it is prone to rust. Therefore inspect the valve at regular intervals to check its functionality. While you are at it, also look for rust accumulation at the inlets and outlets.
2. Clean the Whole House
Your whole house needs to be cleaned at least twice a year for optimal maintenance. Get your family together and assign different areas for each. Clean the windows, the corners, and every nook and cranny of your home, meticulously. Ensure you also clean the attic and the garage to ensure fungus doesn’t accumulate or nesting pests are kept at bay. Dust and grime collecting in the house can lead to allergies or even equipment breakdowns. So, a thorough clean-up is all you need to know that the house has no hidden troubles.
3. Replace Smoke Detector Batteries
Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors alert you when the battery EMF falls below functioning levels. You can take more preventive action and replace the batteries once in 6 months just to be sure anyway. When it comes to these safety systems, you can never be too safe.
4. Clean the Refrigerator Coils
The refrigerator coils are where the heat exchange occurs. The easier it is for the coils to exchange heat with the outside air, the more efficiently the refrigerator functions. Over time, dust and grime can collect over the coils and reduce their functionality. Vacuum the coils every six months to keep them clean. Since your refrigerator takes up about 15% of the house’s power consumption, it can save much electricity costs.
The yearly maintenance things can run through seasons without much breakage. However, they need to be maintained as well:
1. Maintaining Vents and Drain Pipes
The radiator and exhaust vents in the house tend to get coated with dust and pollen, making the air dusty to breathe. Have the vents checked and cleaned once a year by a professional. The same applies to drain pipes around the house. They could have sustained damage over the months and continue to remain functional, only to break down one day without warning. The pipes need to be inspected and replaced if necessary.
2. Pest Control
Pests can wreak havoc on a property when they go unchecked. Get the whole property inspected by an exterminator to look for rodent burrows and bird nests. Spray insecticide in damp areas to kill any colonies
3. Furnace and Boiler
An inefficient burner can consume a lot in terms of heating costs. The same applies to boilers, especially if it is more than 20 years old. Get the furnace tuned up every year; also, have the boiler inspected once a year.
Seasonal Home Maintenance Checklist
The changing seasons bring different challenges to your home maintenance activity. Here is our homeowners’ maintenance checklist for different seasons:
Spring is the best month to begin home maintenance as the cold weather is behind, and it’s possible to focus on all the exterior aspects of the house.
- Check the drains around the house; the rainwater and melting snow should not form puddles around the house that stagnate for more than a day. Ensure all the water flows away from the house and nothing flows into your drains or basement.
- Clear the gutters of all the dirt and debris that have accumulated over the last few months. You might find it clogged with rotting leaves and deadwood.
- Inspect the exterior of the house for any damage such as paint chipping, holes in the bricks, or damage to the roof tiles. Examine the foundation for cracks or any other form of insect attack.
- Have your air conditioning system serviced and ready for the coming months. Having not used it for a while might have created issues that need some inspection by a professional.
- Repair windows and screens that may have been damaged. Insect numbers rise after spring and continue until summer.
- Check the trees for their growth and keep them clear of power lines and transformers. Since spring is the time of transition, now is the right time to have them professionally trimmed.
Summer is the ideal time to focus entirely on the exterior of the house and any other repair work that goes well with hot and dry weather. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Control grout in the bathroom tiles and all the other places it might be present. There are several excellent grout removers suited for the job that leave your tiles sparkling clean.
- Inspect all household plumbing for blocks, cracks, and defects as this is the best time to fix all of it.
- Summer is the favorite time for insect infestations. Get the basement, attic, and garden sprayed by a professional exterminator to eliminate any nesting insect colonies such as wasps, cockroaches, and termites.
- You can also fix the deck or the patio if you find any damage, as there will be plenty of sunshine for cement or adhesives to set and bond strongly.
- Clean the garage and throw or sell items you don’t need. Piled-up stuff becomes home for insects and fungus over the years. It is better not to have any item you won’t use for years.
The fall is the chance to prepare for the coming months, where there will be less opportunity for any significant repairs. So here are some of the things you need to care for:
- Get the heating systems ready for the upcoming cold months. Flush the old water and replenish it with fresh water.
- Get your chimneys cleaned for the fireplace to have unrestricted airflow. Now is an excellent time to have it serviced if you have been purring it off the last few months.
- Have the vents and windows ready for the heating systems and check for any leaks. Stray heat that goes out of the house will show up as extra cost.
- Flush off the hoses and empty faucets to prepare for the cold. Test your sump pump for functionality and ensure it won’t break down when it is most needed.
- If the pavements of the walls have cracks, it is the best time to have them sealed before the winter cold expands them further.
- Have your winter gear such as shovels, salt, and boots ready for winter.
Here is our December to January home maintenance checklist to have you ready for winter:
- Despite their pretty looks, ice dams and icicles can be dangerous to people and property. Ensure you check for these every day as they can quickly form and threaten damage to the foundation or fall on people sitting below.
- Open the windows occasionally to prevent the damp and use extractor fans to keep circulation.
- Prepare for storms by checking the fences and roof regularly. Fold the trampolines away and tether down any large item that can get blown away.
- Regularly wipe away condensation from wooden frames to prevent rot.
- Before the season begins, trim tree branches and clean up all fallen leaves to prevent them from flying around during storms.
- Inspect the basement and give it a deep clean before the weather sets in.
- Check all windows, handles, doors, and anything that might be loose and cause trouble. Fixing it in the middle of peak winter can be a tiresome task.
This extensive list covers the general house maintenance items that matter the most. You can find dozens of minor details when looking into the specifics of each one of these. Having a well-maintained home is the key to living well and avoiding unnecessary costs in the long run.