Home maintenance tasks can vary based on factors such as the age and condition of your home, climate, and location, as well as personal preferences; however, the ten essential home maintenance tasks that you should be doing regularly include:
A roof inspection should be completed at least twice a year, generally in the spring and fall, and after any powerful rain, snow, or wind storm.
A roof inspection can help identify potential issues before they become major problems and can help extend the life of your roof. To inspect a roof, start by visually checking it from the ground, looking for any obvious signs of damage, such as missing or damaged shingles, cracked or missing flashing, or any other visible signs of wear and tear, including leaks, moss, or algae growth. If possible, inspecting the roof from the attic is recommended, looking for any signs of water damage or leaks. Note that it is dangerous to inspect the roof by yourself; take proper safety precautions or hire a professional to do it safely. We’ve found drones can be a perfect tool for a preliminary inspection of the roof and the gutters.
Gutters and Downspouts
Cleaning gutters and downspouts is vital to maintaining a home's roof and foundation. It is recommended to clean gutters and downspouts at least twice a year, in the spring and fall, ensuring they are clear of debris and draining properly. To clean your gutters and downspouts, use a ladder and gloves to remove leaves, twigs, and other debris. Ensure the downspouts are clear and they direct water away from the foundation to prevent water damage to it. Next, check the gutters and downspouts for any signs of wear or damage, such as rust or leaks, and repair them as needed. Like roofs, it can be dangerous to clean gutters and downspouts by yourself. Take necessary safety precautions, or hire a professional.
The HVAC System
A well-running HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) system is essential for sustaining a comfortable and energy-efficient home. To maintain your HVAC system, keep the area around the system clear of debris and change the air filters regularly. It is recommended to have a professional inspect and maintain your HVAC system at least once a year, typically in the spring or fall, to find and fix problems before they grow. During their inspection, the technician will check for signs of wear or damage, such as leaks or rust, and check for efficient functionality; they will also clean or replace any filters and check ductwork for leaks or blockages.
Inspecting and maintaining plumbing ensures that your water runs smoothly and it can prevent costly repairs. To maintain your system, keep an eye out for any signs of leaks or drips and address them as soon as possible. Additionally, be mindful of what gets put down your drains. Avoid pouring grease or oil down drains, and you should not flush anything other than toilet paper to prevent blockages. It is also important to schedule yearly (spring or fall) maintenance checkups with a professional plumber to ensure that the system is operating at peak efficiency, with sufficient pressure and no blockages, and to catch or fix any potential issues before they turn into more significant problems.
Maintaining your electrical system ensures the safety of the occupants and prevents costly repairs. To maintain your electrical system, look for any signs of electrical issues, flickering lights, or burning smells, and address them as soon as possible. Yearly maintenance checkups (spring or fall) with an electrician will ensure that the system operates at peak efficiency and prevents more significant problems from happening. During the inspection, the electrician will check for any wear or damage, frayed wires, or loose connections. They will also look for any outdated or unsafe electrical components, such as old wiring or overloaded circuits, and check the grounding and bonding of the electrical system. This is a good time to check all smoke and carbon monoxide detectors for proper function and fresh batteries.
Maintaining your devices will ensure efficient operation and long life. To maintain appliances, it is recommended to keep them clean and free of debris. Keep the coils of refrigerators and freezers clean, and ensure washing machine and dishwasher hoses are not kinked or leaking. Dryer vents should not be blocked with lint. The needed inspection frequency will depend on use. Those appliances used frequently, refrigerators and ovens, should be looked at twice a year. Appliances with less use, washing machines, and dryers, should be inspected once a year. During an inspection, check for any signs of wear or damage, such as leaks or rust, and ensure that the appliances are functioning efficiently and as designed. Maintenance checkups with a professional technician can prevent bigger problems and costs in the long run.
Windows and Doors
Window and door maintenance will ensure correct function and keep your home secure and energy efficient. To maintain windows and doors, check the weather stripping and caulking, look for for signs of wear or damage such as cracks or gaps and check for drafts, seal or replace them as needed, lubricate any moving parts, and ensure that locks work properly (don’t use WD-40, it is not intended for locks). It is recommended to inspect and maintain windows and doors at least once a year, typically in the spring or fall. A professional can help with repairs or replacement and advise on reducing your energy costs with insulation or window and door replacement.
Maintaining exterior surfaces protects the home from the elements and retains its appearance. Ensure exterior surfaces are free of debris and clean them with a mild detergent and a pressure washer. Look for wear or damage, and check for and repair any cracks, holes, or gaps. Replace siding and apply paint, stain, or sealant as needed. Inspecting exterior surfaces at least once a year, in the spring or fall, is recommended. A professional service checkup can ensure surfaces are adequately protected and maintained.
Landscaping maintenance is essential to keep your home's exterior looking its best and to maintain the health and well-being of the plants and trees on your property. To maintain your landscaping, fertilize and water plants and trees as needed, remove any dead or dying plants, check that all irrigation systems function properly, and ensure proper drainage of water from the property. Inspect and maintain your landscaping at least twice a year, typically in the spring and fall. Check for signs of damage or disease, such as browning leaves or wilted plants, and keep foliage groomed and pruned. A landscaping service can keep your yard healthy and well-maintained and catch and fix any potential issues.
Home Insurance Policy Review
A home insurance policy review ensures adequate coverage in case of damage or loss to your home. A yearly review is recommended at the time of policy renewal or with any additions or renovations you make. Check for any coverage changes, such as policy updates or adjustments to coverage limits, and ensure that the policy still meets your needs. A policy review can identify coverage gaps and allow you to address them. Ensure that your coverage reflects the current value of your home and its contents.
If you have pets, there are a few additional home maintenance concerns to keep in mind. Different pets have different maintenance needs, and it's important to research the specific needs of your pet to ensure that you are taking the necessary steps to keep your home clean and safe for both you and your pet.
- Pets can leave behind odors on carpets, upholstery, and even walls and flooring. Regular cleaning and vacuuming, as well as using odor neutralizers, can help keep these odors under control.
- Pets can shed a lot of hair; regular grooming, vacuuming, and lint rolling can help keep pet hair under control.
- Pets can scratch hardwood floors, doors, and furniture, which can lead to damage. Claw trimming and using claw covers can help keep this damage under control.
- Pets can be destructive. Pet gates and barriers can help keep pets in certain areas of the house and protect furniture and floors.
- Pets can attract pests such as fleas, ticks, and rodents. Regular pest control treatments and consulting with a veterinarian can help keep these pests under control.
Keeping your home in tip-top shape, finding and dealing with problems will prevent higher costs in the future.