Being a homeowner comes with a lot of responsibilities. Many of us have been spending some extra time cleaning and organizing over the past couple of months. If you’ve neglected some home maintenance tasks over the years, now is a good time to get back on track.
We know that the list of maintenance jobs can be confusing and overwhelming for new homeowners, so we’ve broken it down to tasks that should be completed monthly, seasonally, yearly, and beyond.
Each year, plan on saving 1-3% of your home’s value for regular home maintenance. By sticking to a schedule, you will be protecting your biggest investment while maintaining a comfortable living situation.
Each month, do a quick walkthrough (and walkaround) to check the interior and exterior of your home. Check off these items to eliminate any surprises down the road:
- Clean HVAC filters and change furnace filters.
- Check water softener (if applicable).
- Clean faucet aerators.
- Inspect drains and look for leaks.
- Inspect grout and caulking.
- Test smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.
- Clear indoor and outdoor air vents (including the kitchen vent hood).
After the elements of winter, it’s natural to want a spring cleaning. In addition to a deep clean and yard cleanup, make sure you complete these spring maintenance tasks:
- Get an HVAC checkup by a professional.
- Inspect the roof, siding, and outdoor living spaces.
- Clean gutters.
- Inspect driveway and walkways.
- Check for air leaks around doors and windows.
- Inspect house for rotting wood or insect damage.
Summer is usually filled with vacations, enjoying the weather, and spending time with loved ones. We recommend completing these tasks early in the season so you don’t blow them off for some extra beach time.
- Oil garage door and chain, and all door hinges.
- Trim plants and hedges near the HVAC system.
- Power wash exterior of house.
- Inspect foundation and crawlspace.
- Check sprinklers or lawn irrigation system.
- Check the damper in the fireplace.
Fall is the time to prepare the home for winter. When the temperatures are still moderate, get in as much yard clean up as you can, and complete these items on the maintenance checklist:
- Schedule another HVAC checkup. You don’t want to realize there’s an issue after temperatures drop!
- Inspect and clean the fireplace.
- Clean gutters (after the leaves fall!).
- Check the roof for missing shingles.
- Check weatherstripping on doors and windows.
- Winterize exterior plumbing.
- Patch and seal driveway.
Depending on where you live, the winter may be too cold to complete major home maintenance projects. There are still a few items to pay attention to.
- Touch up interior paint as needed.
- Check bathroom and kitchen tile and grout.
- Clean sink, tub, shower, and dishwasher drains.
- Check the basement for leaks.
- Watch the roof for ice dams.
- Check for drafts.
In addition to monthly and seasonal upkeep, there are some annual maintenance tasks that will keep your home in good shape.
- Clean wood-burning chimney.
- Clean dryer exhaust from lint.
- Grease garage door springs.
- Drain your hot water heater.
- Clean septic tank.
Every 2-5 Years
At five years old, your home will begin to feel some wear and tear. Put these items on your every two to five years.
- Clean gas fireplace.
- Clean heat ducts.
- Seal tile grout.
- Get a termite inspection by a professional.
- Replace window and door caulking.
Every 10-15 Years
Depending on factors such as weather, extent of use, and product quality, certain items can last years. As you begin to close in on the ten-year mark and beyond, pay attention to these home maintenance items:
- Paint the exterior.
- Install new appliances, as necessary.
- Replace the kitchen sink.
- Replace the hot water heater.
- Replace smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector.
- Install a new garage door opener.
Beyond 15 Years
After 15 years have passed, there will be some major renovations or repairs that are needed. If you have been putting away money in a home maintenance fund each year, it won’t come as a shock to the budget.
- Check and replace roofing material.
- Replace decks.
- Replace faucets.
- Install a new HVAC system.