One of the saddest things to see is a home that has been left to rot in place, the windows cracked and broken, large strips of paint hanging from the siding, and a yard full of weeds poking through the piles of trash scattered everywhere.
The homeowner probably didn’t set out to let the home waste away…perhaps life circumstances led to a gradual lack of maintenance, but the fact is, both time and the elements destroyed what was once a beautiful home.
Now granted, if you’re reading this you’re probably intent on making sure your home doesn’t meet the same fate but the point is that continuous maintenance is important to ensure your home ages gracefully.
Home Maintenance Schedule and Checklist
Maintain a seasonal schedule for both indoor and outdoor home maintenance tasks to stay on top of your home’s condition and prevent any costly repairs by catching issues (e.g. peeling roof shingles) early.
In spring, focus on freshening up your home and protecting your property against the season’s strong winds and rains.
- – Clean out your gutters and downspouts, looking for any rotting wood or places where the gutters have pulled away from the roof while you’re at it.
- – Inspect the roof (you can use a pair of binoculars for this task if you prefer) looking for any missing or damaged shingles and any cracks or crumbling mortar on the chimney.
- – If your home is painted, touch up any areas where the paint is peeling or damaged, including – the window lashes and trimwork.
- – Wash all of your windows, inside and out. If you’re not comfortable with a ladder use a long reach cleaning tool for upper windows.
- – Clean outdoor furniture and any outdoor decorations such as a bird bath or lawn ornaments.
- – Service your lawn mower and fertilize your lawn.
- – Test carbon monoxide and smoke detectors when daylight savings time begins (clocks move forward)
- – If you have a sump pump in your basement test it before the spring melt fills your basement with water
- – Vacuum curtains and dust the blinds in every room
- – Throw out outdated medicine, cosmetics and food that’s way past its expiration date
As the days start to heat up do the following tasks to keep your yard beautiful and your home cool.
- – Open crawl space vents around your home’s exterior to keep moisture build-up – and the subsequent mildew and rot – from forming
- – Prune shrubs and trees
- – Clean out the link from the dryer exhaust vent using a long, flexible brush
- – Uncover your air conditioner(s)
- – Check your heating and cooling unit filter(s)
- – Clean your kitchen appliances inside and out – including the coils on your refrigerator
- – Pour a half-cup of baking soda and a half-cup of white vingar down your drains, then ten minutes later add boiling water as well to keep your drains clear
Get ready for cooler temperatures, falling leaves and more time spent inside.
- – Even if you did this in the spring – and you should have – check your gutters and downspouts for damages and clear out the debris you find
- – Have another look at your roof and chimney to catch any damage early – and before the cold hits
- – After raking up the leaves scattered across the yard either mulch them or dispose of them based on local ordinances
- – Close or install storm windows
- – Remove all of your hoses and store them inside, coiled and flat. Turn off the water to the outside spigot to prevent freezing and/or water damage from a broken water line
- – Store outdoor cushions and/or furniture
- – Service your snowblower to ensure that it’s ready for the winter
- – Check smoke and carbon monoxide detectors when daylight savings time ends (clocks are turned back)
- – Check all of your windows and doors to make sure the weather stripping is intact. Replace any missing or damaged weather stripping now, before the winter season begins.
- – Have your furnace professionally serviced, if needed.
- – Dust blinds and vacuum curtains
- – Flip and rotate all mattresses
Long afternoon winters are more enjoyable when your home is warm and toasty inside.
- – Make sure all of your crawl vent spaces are shut up tight
- – Cover and protect your central or window air conditioning units
- – Clean and store garden tools
- – Put snow shovels and your snow blower in a convenient spot
- – Place a bucket of sand or salt close to the door entrance where it’s handy to use to prevent slips on the ice and snow
- – Change or clean your furnace filters
- – Thoroughly clean your kitchen appliances both inside and out – including your refrigerator coils
- – Continue to keep your drains clear with baking soda, vinegar and hot water
Obviously, not all of these suggestions will suit your particular situation, but if you make a list of home maintenance tasks that apply to you, and tie them to the seasons, it will be much easier to remember and to actually get it done on a regular basis.