Homeowners

Home Maintenance Checklist

Winter

  • Allow winter’s rain and melting snow to properly drain by removing fall leaves and other debris from your gutters.
  • Consider having your furnace professionally cleaned and tuned annually.  Replace those furnace filters monthly, if needed.
  • Repair any obvious leaks in the most common drafty areas:  recessed lighting, window and door frames, and electrical outlets.
  • Feeling drafty?  Check the attic to make sure you see a minimum of 12 inches of insulation.
  • Check crawlspace for flooding after the first long rainfall.
  • Test all ground-fault circuit interrupters, especially after electrical storms.
  • Check your heating ducts and clean out any abundant dust, animal hair and other debris that can gather and cause respiratory issues.
  • Reverse your ceiling fans to force warm air downward, keeping your home more comfortable.  Tip:  As you look up, blades should be turning clockwise during winter months.
  • Make sure you have at least one fire extinguisher on each floor and in the garage.
  • If you haven’t checked the operation of your home’s smoke detectors, now is a great time to do so.  Check the batteries too!
  • Invest in a carbon monoxide detector; every home should have at least one.  They also make great utilitarian holiday gifts!
  • If leaving the house for an extended period, avoid frozen pipes by opening the cabinet doors to allow heat to reach the pipes. Don’t turn the heat completely off.

Spring

  • Clean the kitchen exhaust hood and filter.
  • Replace the furnace filter.  It may be especially filthy after the winter months.
  • Inspect the roof for water damage.  It’s also a good idea to check any fences, carports and sheds.  Tip: check the south end of your roof first; it’s the first to show wear.
  • Test the batteries in all smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
  • Clear the gutters of any build up to allow for proper functioning.
  • Inspect gutters for signs of sagging or damage. Fix as necessary. Check down-spout extenders to make sure they’re firmly attached.
  • Trim back overhanging limbs on trees. Trim back shrubs if overgrown around house.
  • Start the grass revival cycle by aerating, thatching and fertilizing.
  • Be sure all air vents inside and out are not blocked by fallen debris.
  • Clean the windows and screens.  Repair any holes or replace screens if needed.
  • Inspect and repair siding and peeling paint.  Fix or replace damaged siding.  Strip peeling paint and replace it with a new coat.
  • Check the basement for water damage.  Pay attention to musty smells, water stains and damp surfaces.

Summer

  • Clear leaves and other debris from around outside air conditioner. Remove cover if used.
  • Test all ground-fault circuit interrupters, if you don’t do it monthly (on outside circuits, too).
  • Inspect all electrical cords for wear.
  • Inspect washer hoses and dryer vent system (both indoors and out).
  • Remove hair from drains in sinks, tubs and showers. Use a drain cleaner approved for the materials in your plumbing system if necessary.
  • Check pressure levels on fire extinguishers. Service if necessary.
  • Check sludge and scum level in septic tank (if you have a septic system). Have system serviced if necessary.
  • Have lateral sewer line inspected and cleared, or apply a root killer.
  • Remove insulation from outdoor faucets, pipes in unheated garages, pipes in crawl spaces, etc.
  • Turn on water to outdoor faucets. Turn on sprinkler system; check sprinkler heads. Make repairs as necessary.

Fall

  • Inspect your furnace or heat pump to be sure it is clean and in good condition so that it can achieve maximum efficiency.
  • Schedule to have the chimney serviced and cleaned.
  • Clean your gutters and downspouts throughout the season.
  • Repair any window cracks or holes in weather stripping or caulking.  If the gap is bigger than the width of a nickel, reapply exterior caulk.
  • Check to make sure your thermostat is working properly.
  • Make sure you have new batteries in all of your flashlights and that they are easily found around the house.
  • Have your lawn irrigation system professionally drained.
  • Turn ON gas furnace pilot light.
  • Clean out the bathroom fans/filters.
  • Test all smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors.
  • Make a fire escape plan for your house and make sure you review it with all family members.
  • Disconnect all garden hoses and drain water still in faucets.  If you do not have frost-proof faucets, turn off the shut-off valve inside your home.
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