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According to a recent survey, 44 percent of homeowners put off routine maintenance activities in 2023, while 31 percent ignored necessary renovations or repairs. However, owning a home is responsible for regular maintenance for optimal safety, function, comfort, and longevity.
Different seasons require specific measures, so use this comprehensive maintenance checklist to ensure your house is in top-notch order all year.
Winter: Protection from the Cold
- Check for Potential Drafts: Use weather stripping materials to seal off gaps around the doors and windows. Install door sweeps to prevent drafts from coming in.
- Inspect All the Insulation: Check the wall and attic insulation for adequate coverage. Insulate any exposed plumbing fixtures to make sure they won’t freeze.
- Test Emergency Detectors: Replace the batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Test out their internal mechanisms for any potential malfunctions.
- Store Outdoor Furniture: Clean and store all your outdoor furniture inside to protect it from the winter elements, low temperatures, and weather extremes.
- Protect Against Ice Dams: Clear out the external gutters to prevent the formation of ice dams. Re-insulate the attic to help maintain a consistent roof temperature.
Spring: Renewals and Inspections
- Perform a Roof Inspection: Check the roof for leaks, shingle deterioration, or water damage before the seasonal rain showers hit.
- Clean Out all the Gutters: Ensure the downspouts and gutters can drain correctly. Remove debris and check for loose sections or structural damage.
- Service the HVAC System: Change air filters and schedule a professional maintenance check for your heating and cooling units to keep them running efficiently.
- Check Windows and Doors: Look for drafts and seal off any gaps. Clean and lubricate both the door and window hinges for smooth operation.
- Test the Outdoor Irrigation: Check the irrigation equipment for any leaks. Ensure all outdoor hoses and water fixtures are in optimal working condition.
Summer: Outdoor Clean Sweep
- Refresh All the Landscaping: Trim all tree branches and bushes away from the house. Fertilize and water the lawn. Inspect and repair the irrigation if necessary.
- Clean Off Outdoor Furniture: Clean the outdoor furniture and check for damage. Cover the upholstery to limit sun exposure when the table is unused.
- Inspect and Seal Windows: Inspect the seals and weather stripping on all exterior-facing windows. Repair any damage to the window frames or panels.
- Power Wash the Exterior: Clean the siding, decks, patios, driveways, or other exterior home features. Check for any critical repairs or replacements to take care of.
Fall: Readying for Weather Shifts
- Inspect and Clean the Chimney: Schedule a professional clean sweep of the chimney ducts, vents, flue damper, and fireplace chamber.
- Handle Weatherproofing Tasks: Seal any gaps or cracks in the doors and windows. Re-insulate the exposed plumbing fixtures to prevent freezing.
- Service the Heat System: Replace air filters and schedule a professional maintenance check for your heating unit. Take precautions to minimize the risk of house fires before you turn on the boiler, furnace, or other heating mechanisms.
- Prepare the Exterior for Winter: Rake leaves and maintain the lawn or garden. Trim all tree branches and bushes. Remove debris from the gutters or downspouts.
Don’t Forget: Year-Round Essentials
- Watch Out for Water Leaks: Inspect your bathrooms, kitchen, and basement for water leaks consistently, then repair them to prevent severe damage.
- Clean Out the Dryer Vents: Clear the lint trap after each use. To minimize potential fire hazards, periodically check and clean out the internal dryer vent.
- Stay on Top of Pest Control: Schedule regular inspections to detect any sign of pests and take the necessary measures to protect against an infestation.
- Perform Foundation Checks: Inspect the home’s foundation for cracks, settling, and other structural problems. Be sure to resolve these issues immediately.
- Follow Fire Safety Measures: Check the functionality of all electrical circuits, smoke alarms, sprinkler systems, and fire extinguishers every month.
Stay on Top of Home Maintenance — No Matter the Season
Not only does regular maintenance extend the lifespan of your home, but it can also boost the resale value by 1 percent each year. Following this maintenance checklist is a reliable way to keep your house in top condition, thus ensuring a safe, comfortable, and attractive space from one season to the next.
You can even tailor the checklist to meet your specific circumstances and make adjustments as necessary. Bottom line: staying up-to-date on these tasks will benefit your entire household for years.