Buying a home is a major step in your life that comes with a great deal of responsibility. From the first day of homeownership, it’s important to have a comprehensive home maintenance checklist. This way, you won’t fall behind on managing your household and can keep your investment in its best condition. Whether you’re a brand new homeowner or you’re simply trying to get into a better home maintenance routine, here are a few ideas to get you started.
Seasonal Home Maintenance
With the arrival of each new season, there are certain home maintenance tasks that are essential to protecting and improving your living spaces.
Spring & Summer
When spring arrives, it’s good to assess the wear and tear of winter weather on your home. It’s also the perfect time to make sure your living spaces are ready for the warmer weather of summer.
- Thoroughly clean your gutters, removing twigs and leaf debris and the grime that comes with decaying vegetation.
- Inspect the entire home for damage from falling limbs and the stress of cold temperatures. Pay extra attention to the roofing system that has to handle the brunt of winter storms.
- Start preparing your spring and summer lawn equipment as soon as the temperatures begin to warm, making sure your tools and machines work and run smoothly. If there are any issues, early spring is a good time to have the equipment serviced.
- Replace your air conditioning filter at the end of winter to keep your HVAC system running smoothly and to improve indoor air quality.
Fall & Winter
As the sun starts setting earlier and it becomes clear that temperatures are dropping, you’ll have some additional home maintenance needs to address.
- Inspect the systems that will be heating your home. Change the air filter in your heating system, assess the fireplace and chimney for damage or blockages (consider a professional inspection), and clean the air vents as needed.
- If there are drafty areas of your home or poorly insulated rooms, fall is the time to reseal windows and add new weather stripping. Install additional insulation in the attic and other areas where heat loss is a problem.
- Insulate exposed plumbing and turn off the water to outside spigots that could freeze and burst.
- Service your fall lawn maintenance equipment and take time to clean and store your summertime tools.
Routine Home Maintenance
There are a number of home maintenance tasks that it’s important to tackle on a regular basis year-round.
- Monitor the caulking around your bathtubs and sinks and replace it when it begins cracking or peeling. Minor plumbing leaks can cause substantial damage to surrounding walls and flooring.
- Check the gutters after major storms to make sure they aren’t blocked.
- Consult a landscaping professional for guidance on when to seed, fertilize, and aerate your lawn. This varies depending on the type of grass you planted.
- Have your septic system inspected and pumped roughly every three to five years.
- Bring in a professional to inspect and flush the water heater annually.
- Each month, check to make sure that smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors are working and that alarms will sound.
Your exact home maintenance needs are unique to your home’s design and the types of mechanical systems that are installed, but the information above will help you take care of the basics. It’s recommended to schedule a maintenance inspection annually to help identify your home’s maintenance requirements.