Maintaining your home is never an easy task. Many people sigh at the idea and will even make excuses not to clean certain parts of their homes. Hope you aren’t one of them?
Even though cleaning your home is difficult, you can break down the tasks from January to December. Every season of the year has its own areas of concern and if you concentrate on them, you will find that cleaning your home isn’t hard after all.
Home tasks such as inspecting the exterior of your house, appliances, plumbing, security, heating and cooling, can all be attended to as the year unfolds. Keeping your home in tip-top condition will avoid costly repairs and at the same time ensure that you live in a house that is safe and secure. I have explained everything in this Home Maintenance Checklist that you should know.
Summary of Contents
Seasonal home maintenance checklist
Our home maintenance checklist will guide you on the tasks that you need to perform around your house on a weekly basis, monthly basis and during the different seasons of the year. Maintaining your home can help save money, prolong the life of your appliances, and reduce your overall bills.
Follow our detailed home maintenance checklist and all your neighbors will admire the way you maintain your home throughout the year.
- Vacuum your carpet
If your house is frequented by guests, then you will have to vacuum it on a weekly basis. Also, this is the case for those who have pets as they tend to leave fur behind. Don’t wait your carpet to be extremely dirty to vacuum it.
- Clean leaves and debris around the house compound
Keep your surrounding clean by sweeping the compound and clearing all the leaves and other debris in the backyard or driveway.
Even if you have to follow our seasonal home maintenance checklist, you should know that there are tasks that should be performed on a monthly basis. Choose what week you will be doing what so that it can be easier for you.
- Clean kitchen sink disposal
The kitchen sink disposal can be cleaned in different ways such using vinegar ice cubes. Place some vinegar in an ice tray and allow it to freeze. Afterwards, run the ice cubes through the disposal. The cubes will freshen up the kitchen sink disposal.
- Clean garbage disposal
After emptying the garbage disposal, it’s time to thoroughly clean the garbage can. The garbage disposal can have a foul smell after emptying, and cleaning it gets rid of bad smells.
- Check and if possible change HVAC filters
A good number of professionals recommend changing the HVAC filters on a monthly basis. This is true but if your family is small or you do not have pets or allergies, then you can change the filters after 2 to 3 months. Alternatively, you can purchase low priced filters which you can change every month instead of buying quality ones. Check the filters before changing them.
- Check your fire extinguisher
A fire extinguisher needs to be inspected every month. Make sure that it is in a place with no blockades so that it can be accessed easily in the hour of need. Also, you should know how to use the fire extinguisher. Check that the gauge indicates adequate pressure and that it has no any visible sign of wear and tear.
- Clean range hood filters
This can be a daunting task if you have never cleaned the range hood filter before. Clean by using a degreaser from an auto shop mixed with hot water. Allow the filter to sit for some few minutes, rinse it off and you’re done.
- Clean appliances
On a monthly basis, ensure that you thoroughly clean the different appliances in the house such as the fridge, freezer, oven, microwave and dishwasher. Get rid of all the grease in these appliances and ensure the odor is removed, too.
After 3 months
- Examine garage auto-reverse feature
This feature came into existence in 1993 when the federal law demanded that all garage doors should have it to prevent child deaths. Test this feature every month by putting a 2X4 on the ground where the door closes from. It should reverse after just a second when the door hits the wood. In case the door doesn’t instantly go back, you should have it repaired.
- Examine smoke or carbon dioxide detectors
This is one of the most important features of any home. Test your smoke detectors with a test button. When the alarm sounds, then it is working, but if it doesn’t, check what the problem is. Start by replacing the batteries and test again. If it doesn’t work for the second time, clean the terminals and test again. If it doesn’t function, you will need to replace it with a new one.
- Inspect water softener, add salt if required
Inspect your water softener every month. It is not a must to add salt every time you check the softener. But when you inspect it, you will know if you have to add salt or not.
- Run water and flush toilets in unused rooms
If you have a guest room or other bathrooms that you don’t use, you should flush them at least once every month. This will ensure that you also see whether they are working well just in case you receive a guest unexpected. Also, flushing toilets helps to prevent grime or any other kind of build up in them.
- Clean gutters
Gutters can accumulate a lot of dirt and debris overtime. These can cause flooding, in return, you may experience leaks and wood might rot, or also it could seep into your foundation and cause flooding. Clear the gutter to prevent such issues.
- Check water flow from down spouts
After cleaning the gutters, you should pour water through down spouts and observe whether the water is running away from your home instead of pooling around your structure.
After 6 months
There are activities that should be carried out at least twice a year. When the year is halfway, perform these tasks to keep your home in the best condition.
- Provide your home a thorough cleaning
After every six months, you can set aside one of the weekends or a day to thoroughly clean the whole house. This should be done by the whole family if possible. Properly clean appliances, basement, ceiling, staircases, rooms, windows and the exterior of the house. Dust everything and get rid of dirt and grime, too.
- Repair clogged sinks
Inspect your sink and ensure that they are functioning well. If not, clear them out by yourself or get a plumber to help you out.
- Vacuum your refrigerator coils
This might sound new to you but it is very important. The fridge is one of the home appliances that use up a lot of electricity. To ensure that it is running efficiently, vacuum the coils as they get dirty over time.
- Check your water heater’s pressure relief valve
This is really crucial as it will prevent mineral and corrosion build up, which protects against leaks. It will as well assist your heater to operate more efficiently.
- Change batteries in smoke or carbon dioxide detectors
The batteries in the detectors should be inspected or changed after every six months. You don’t want to have detectors that aren’t working. Don’t wait to hear the sound of battery beeping to change them. This applies for both smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
- Vacuum HVAC
In every six months, you should check the air conditioner and vacuum it to get rid of any dust and other particles in it. Before you start working on the HVAC, unplug the equipment. Also, clean around the unit to ensure there are no blockages that will halt the air from being taken inside the unit to be cooled.
This is the best time of the year to give your home a thorough cleaning. After a harsh winter season, this is the time to clean both inside and outside of your home. Open up windows and clean out closets. Also, carry out tasks that will be hard to perform during summer time.
- Check your lawnmower
After winter, spring is here. If you have a snow blower, keep it safe in the store for the winter season as the year unwinds. But now is the time to get out your lawnmower. Check all parts of the lawnmower and ensure that they are in good condition. If possible, service the lawn mower and fill fuel. Sooner, you will have to cut the long grass in the yard.
- Check paint
After the snow storms, it’s time to check your paint. Probably, it has faded a little bit and needs being repainted. The exterior paint appears lovely and secures your shingles from water damage and rot. Check for signs of peeling or chipping paint. If possible, apply a fresh coat to your house so that it can look sparkling again.
- Inspect the chimney
It doesn’t matter if you regularly use the chimney or not. It needs a regular inspection. This is because it is a host of dangerous gases that emanate from wood stove, fireplace, or furnace out of your house. Clean it to keep the air inside breathable.
- Clean out and repair gutters
Cleaning your gutters needs to be done more often so that they don’t clog your roof or cause leaks. But also, you should inspect the gutters and repair them if you find that they are damaged.
- Inspect the exterior of your house
After a harsh winter season, spring is here and you can check where your house was damaged. Inspect the brick, check the siding and holes in the foundation. Closely check your house and fix the necessary places.
- Inspect the exterior drainage
Check the exterior drainage and make sure that water doesn’t remain stagnant. Ensure that the whole environment doesn’t retain water and the exterior drainage is working well. If the pavement is constructed badly, have it readjusted within the shortest time possible.
- Repair or replace damaged window screens
If you don’t repair the hole in the glass, you will only be sorry that you didn’t. This may be an inlet for different bugs which might turn out to be a nuisance inside the house. You can use a duct tape to seal the hole but this won’t be long term and it will make the window to look bad.
- Consider servicing your air conditioning system ready for summer
In summer, the heat will be unbearable and having your air conditioner fully functioning will help a lot. Service the air conditioner. Apart from repairing your air conditioner, you should ensure that the air vents and other air inlet are not blocked and are functioning to full capacity. You can get a professional to service or do it yourself by following the right procedure.
- Inspect trees for interference with electric lines
Trees can grow tall with branches going over electric lines. These can fall or interfere with electricity. Have them trimmed or cut them. If possible, get them professionally trimmed.
- Get rid of dead plants or shrubs from the house
In case you forget to clear dead plants and other unwanted protruding tree branches, this is the best time to do so. These should be cleared as they can find their way in cracks and holes on the exterior of your home. If not removed, they can damage your home and extend cracks.
- Check roofing for damage or leaks
After the winter storm, your roof may be damaged and other parts of the house. Inspect the house very well and make sure that they are repaired. Repair all the areas needed before summer.
Summer is a time of enjoyment. But this doesn’t mean that you should spend the entire day drinking, partying, and having fun. At this period of the year, you should pay attention on the exterior of your house, lawn, and garden, too. Have the door of the garage opened so that some light can enter through and amend any damages on the house.
- Get rid of any bug problem that you might have
Even though summers are beautiful, this is the period that many bugs come out of their hiding places. You will almost find an ant, mosquito, roach, moth, spider, rat and many other bugs. Be prepared and carry out the necessary measures to get rid of any bugs in your area. If possible, grow plants that deter insects or purchase a pesticide to get rid of them.
- Inspect grout and repair as needed
Check the grout in the kitchen, bathroom and other surfaces in your home. Applying grout very well in your home will prolong the life of your tiles by preventing liquids, grime or any other substance from spoiling them.
- Clean and repair deck or patio as needed
The patio should be kept clean. If you find there is a damaged area, repair it and wash it thoroughly. Look for any loose boards or posts and fix them, too.
- Check plumbing for leaks, clean aerators on faucets
It is crucial to inspect your whole home for leaks. This includes sink faucets, soap dispensers, and toilets. Ensure that the poor water pressure out of a faucet is fixed well. It is likely that the aerator is the problem.
- Clean out window wells of debris
There is a high chance that if you have a basement, you as well have window wells. All forms of things can get down in there such as leaves, animals, trash, and many other bad things. Get the window wells cleaned properly.
- Clean garage
One of the best activities to perform during summer is to clean your garage. Actually, I love cleaning my garage after washing my car, but I understand this is not the case with many people. It’s only during the winter that I don’t clean my garage. Wash your garage every summer after carrying out several works in it.
- Inspect and clean dryer vent, other exhaust vents to the exterior of home
When the dryer is functioning, inspect that the exhaust is coming out. It should have a nice smell of new laundry. In case you realize that there is less exhaust, see whether there is blockage and fix them instantly.
At this time, you will be required to finish summer maintenance activities and also prepare for the winter season. Now that you are heading to winter, you need to prepare for cold, snow, and rains. If not well prepared, winter can hugely damage your home. But if you live in a warm climate, autumn will give you less to worry about.
- Get heating systems ready for winter
As the winter nears, you have to get the heating system operational, unless you want to suffocate during the winter period. Inspect any leaks in doors or windows. In addition, make sure that heating vents aren’t blocked by furniture or anything else. Get the furnace serviced and restore the fireplace.
- Inspect the boilers and radiators
If your home is heated with steam heat, then the boiler is the tank that holds and heats the water. Contact a plumber to check up the boilers as well as the radiators. Perform a small trick to getting rid of sediment that has accumulated in the tank by draining water from the boiler.
- Inspect smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
These can be inspected as many times as possible. As winter nears, ensure that the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are working. If you find that they are not, replace batteries or the detector itself.
- Check windows and doors for drafts
Inspect your home and check windows and doors for drafts. Caulk door and window frames where needed. If necessary, set up storm windows and the glass panel on storm doors so that you can keep the heat in and cold outside.
- Get chimney cleaned
If you forgot to clean the chimney in the spring, this is the best time to do it. Clear all the dirt in the chimney before you begin using the fireplace.
- Flush hot water and get rid of sediment
Be certain that the heater in your house is functioning. Start by flushing hot water to get rid of sediments. This will prolong the life of the heater and assists with efficiency, too.
- Turn off and flush outdoor water faucets
For all your exterior water faucets, you should turn them off and flush them out. This includes hoses, sprinkler water systems, and other exterior faucets. Ensure that they are turned off until winter is over.
- Winterize air conditioning systems
Get rid and store window units. For those with central air, cover the outside unit with a tarp or plastic sheeting and secure with bungee cords. This will ensure that there is free air circulation during winter and hot air doesn’t escape quickly.
- Inspect the driveway and pavement for cracks
The driveway is an important section of your home. Inspect it before winter. If you find any small cracks or holes in it, seal them immediately. During winter, the water can seep into the cracks and as a result expand the cracks to make repair even more costly.
- Acquire winter gear
Be ready for the winter. This includes having rain jackets to good shovels and sidewalk salt. Also, you can purchase a snow blower if you don’t have one. This will help you clear snow on the way and clear paths for your pets.
- Examine sump pump
Why wait till the last minute to examine if your sump pump is functioning. This is the best time to examine it and repair it if needed. The sump pump should be working well by pumping as needed.
Winter is a harsh season and a few home projects are done during this time. Just some minor interior works can be carried out due to the unpredictable harsh weather. Tasks like interior painting, building shelves, and organizing or cleaning photos can be performed. Prepare your home for the harsh weather in advance.
- Bring out the snow blower
Now that there is a lot of snow everywhere, you need to clear the paths so that you can have access from and to your house. Use a snow blower to make the paths clear.
- Examine your electricity
Test all the electricity outlets in your home and make sure that they are working. When doing this, be careful and use the right tools to do so. If you find some outlets aren’t working, call an electrician or re-wire them if you know what you’re doing. Some people prefer doing this monthly, biannually, and others annually.
- Service your generator
With the harsh winter weather, you should be ready for the worst. This is from things like blackout and food shortage. A snow storm may damage electricity lines and make you to be in a blackout. To prevent this, acquire a portable generator to act as backup just in case the unexpected happens.
- Remove shower heads and clean sediments
For you to prolong the life of your showerheads, you should clean the sediment. This will also help with the water pressure.
- Regularly inspect for ice dams and icicles
It is important to de-ice the cables that sit at the front of the roof. Prevent the icicles to develop further. They can be a danger to people standing below them, and can cause damage to your lovely home. In addition, they can lead to water damage of your foundation when they melt.
- Thoroughly clean and examine the basement
Most people ignore the basement and are left to sit idle even without cleaning them. Take this moment and dust the basement, clean it, and get rid of any mild or mold that develops in it.
- Check all locks and deadbolts on your windows and doors
Inspect all the locks on your house and ensure all the windows close perfectly. This will make sure that no cold air penetrates into the house as hot air is unleashed.
- Inspect caulking around showers and bathtubs
These should be fully functioned and any damaged part should be repaired or replaced.
- Tighten any handles, knobs and racks
Move around the house and observe anything that isn’t working right. This includes handles, knobs, and racks.
How your home maintenance toolkit should look like
Before you begin any home maintenance work, you should have some of the tools that we are about to list below so that you can get the job done easily and well. These are as follows: circular saw, claw hammer, clamps, bucket, flashlight, drill/cordless drill, hand tile saw, flat scrapper/putty knife, ladder, wire cutter, sawhorse, safety glasses, tape measure, gloves, utility knife, wrenches, screwdrivers, pliers, glue, caulking gun, duct tape, paintbrush, vacuum cleaner, sponge, nylon scrub brush, plunger, brass brush, rags, sledgehammer and much more.
Having most of these tools will make maintaining your home to be easy and quick. So, ensure that you have a good number of them.
Nothing comes easy. House maintenance is a difficult task but can be made easy when broken into parts. Handle one task at a time and before the year ends, you will realize that you have been able to keep your surrounding in the best condition possible. Our home maintenance checklist has covered almost all the tasks needed to be carried out. It can be used as a guide so that you don’t forget what role to take care of at what period of the year. Get to save on bills, money, and keep your appliances operating for a long period of time by keeping your house in tip-top state.
I hope you have gotten your answer after reading this Home Maintenance Checklist. You can comment below for more information.