Home maintenance may seem daunting if you are unsure where to begin and what to do; however, home repairs and improvements may save you from larger potential issues and unexpected costs in the future. Follow this monthly, seasonal, and annual home maintenance checklist to help you stay on track and keep your home in its best condition for years to come!
Monthly Maintenance Checklist
If you follow a monthly plan, it will be much easier to manage the home’s maintenance and require you to do less work on a seasonal or annual basis.
- Unclog tub and sink drains
Flush out the drains with a homemade or store-bought de-clogging solution. This may help you avoid major plumbing issues down the line.
- Test the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
Replace any batteries if needed to make sure your home is safely equipped for any potential emergency.
- Check your faucets for leaks
Briefly inspect the areas around and under the sink faucets and any cabinets or vanities. Run the water for a few seconds to see if you notice any water leaking or dipping.
- Clean out the garbage disposal
If you have a garbage disposal in your kitchen sink, you can clean it out by grinding ice cubes, half of a lemon, hot water, and baking soda. This will clear out any build-up of smelly food in your pipes.
- Clean the dishwasher filter
If you have a dishwasher in your kitchen, remember to clean out the filter inside the washer (usually located on the bottom) to get rid of the build-up of food or grime. Keeping the dishwasher clean will extend the appliance’s life and keep your dishes cleaner during each wash!
- Replace the air conditioner filters
If you have long-lasting filters, you may not need to do this monthly. Regardless, it is always a good idea to check the filters monthly to see any significant build-up of dust or dirt. If the filter looks dirty, you will want to change it to allow for more clean, cool air to circulate throughout the home. Having clean air filters may help improve energy efficiency and decrease your energy bill.
- Clean your refrigerator coils
People often overlook this step since it is not easy to notice the build-up of dirt and dust behind and under the fridge. The best way to clean the coils is to unplug your fridge, pull it out from the wall, and clean the back of the appliance and the floor where it was resting.
Seasonal Home Maintenance Checklist
Winter Maintenance Checklist
If you live in an area with lots of ice and snow, winter may be very harsh on your home. Here is a list of items you should focus on to make sure your home stands up to the cold, snowy months:
- Check the water heater for any leaks
It is recommended to do this right before the winter season begins to ensure everything is working correctly. You don’t’ want to run into a problem in January and be without hot water for a few days!
- Seal any cracks in your windows and doors
This is another item you may want to do a few days before the winter season begins. If you have cracks in your windows and doors, it may cost more to heat your home and maybe harder to keep the heat inside.
For those who live in frigid climates, it is common to install plastic window covers to help insulate the inside of their home.
- Clean your kitchen exhaust hood
Typically, the stove gets more use during the winter months, especially during the holiday season. Clean out the exhaust hood with a damp towel to remove lingering food particles, grease, and grime.
- Check your basement for leaks
It is best to do this when the snow starts thawing. You will want to look for any standing water, moisture on the walls or ceilings, or watermarks.
Spring Maintenance Checklist
It’s spring cleaning time! It is common for homeowners to do a deep clean of their home in the spring. Don’t only focus on the inside of your home, because the outside condition is necessary too! Here is a suggested list of items to focus on for your spring home maintenance checklist:
- Inspect the caulking in the bathroom and kitchen
Inspect the areas for any deterioration and fill in the cracks or gaps with new caulking if necessary.
- Schedule an air conditioner inspection
Have an expert inspect the condition of your air conditioning system to prepare your home for the warmer, upcoming months!
- Power wash the outside of the windows
After the winter months, your windows may have streaks of snow, ice, and salt. Try cleaning the outside of the windows when Spring starts to make them look brand new!
- Repair or replace damaged window screens
Check your window screens for any rips or tears. Replace the damaged screens so you can open the windows and doors during the warmer months and avoid letting bugs inside!
- Inspect your roof for damage
If you can safely get on your roof, check for any damage that may have occurred from the rain, debris, ice, and snow.
- Clean your gutters
It typically rains the most in the Springtime, so make sure you clean out your gutters to get them ready for the new season!
Summer Maintenance Checklist
In the summer, home maintenance is not the most desirable thing to focus on or worry about. But, here is a quick list of items to focus on as you head into the warmer months:
- Inspect your basement for any moisture
After the snowy winter and rainy spring, it is a smart idea to check your basement for any standing water, leaks, or moisture.
- Inspect your home for pests
As you approach the warmer months, you may notice more bugs and insects around your home. Check the inside of your home around any doors or windows for ants, termites, wood bees, or other pests.
- Clean your kitchen exhaust hood
Remove any grease, grime, and food particles. It is best to clean this a couple of times a year.
- Prune trees and shrubs
Whether you do the landscaping yourself or have a landscaping company come to your home, make sure the trees and shrubs are ready for the summer sun!
- Add mulch and fresh dirt to plants and flowers
Prep your garden and make sure it is in its best condition to bloom and grow! Remember to water your plants as needed if it is a hot summer.
Fall Maintenance Checklist
Fall is an excellent season for home maintenance as the weather is generally milder, and there are fewer chances for storms or snow.
- Insulate any exposed pipes
Prepare your pipes for the upcoming winter to avoid any pipes freezing and exploding.
- Schedule a furnace inspection
Request an inspection to make sure everything is working in proper condition to prepare for the upcoming colder months.
- Have the chimney inspected and cleaned
Make sure the chimney is free of any cracks or damage and is cleaned out so you can enjoy fires in your fireplace in the Winter!
- Turn off your outdoor water supply and store away hoses
By now, you will most likely not need to use your outdoor hose or water spouts. You may turn off the outdoor water supply to conserve water and energy.
- Clean the leaves in your yard as needed
If you don’t have a landscaper come to your home, you will need to rake the leaves in your yard and leave them in piles by your curb.
- Cover any outdoor patio furniture you may have
Cover and protect your outdoor furniture to avoid any damage from snow or ice. This will help ensure your outdoor furniture lasts a lot longer!
- Empty your gas-powered yard equipment of fuel to avoid any damage
At the end of the Fall season, make sure you empty the fuel from any yard equipment you may have, such as a lawnmower or leaf blower. If you won’t be using the equipment for a few months, it is best to have it sitting dormant with no fuel to avoid potential fires.
Annual Home Maintenance Checklist
Along with your routine monthly and seasonal maintenance, focus on the items listed below on an annual basis to help keep your home in excellent condition.
- Clean out your dryer exhaust
Your dryer exhaust may be filled with lint, debris, and dust. It’s essential to clean this out at least once a year to avoid any potential fires. If you are not comfortable cleaning the exhaust yourself, call a service to come and help you!
- Check for infestations
Briefly walk around the inside and outside of the home to check for any noticeable infestations. You may look for large gatherings of insects or holes dug by rodents around the perimeter of the home.
- Clean out the heating/AC ducts
Have a heating and cooling specialist come clean out the ducts in your home.
- Check the driveway for any cracks
Cracks typically occur from shifts in the foundation (expanding in the summer and contracting in the winter) or moisture below the surface. Cracks are common in asphalt driveways and will occur over time. Every year, inspect your driveway condition and determine if you need to get it refilled or resealed.
- Inspect the paint on the exterior of the home
Walk around the exterior of your home to inspect the paint for any major chips, cracks, or peels. It is best to fix those damages before it gets worse since the paint is protecting the other layers of the home’s exterior.
Buying a home comes with a lot of responsibility, one of which is making sure the home remains in good condition by following a consistent monthly, seasonal, and annual maintenance routine. Although home repairs or updates may seem costly at the moment, it may save you lots of money and time in the future. Contact us if you have any questions about home maintenance or your home buying journey!