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Buying a house is one of the biggest investments you’ll make over your lifetime. Your house is the place that is truly your own, and you should be able to enjoy the time you spend there. That means keeping up with maintenance requirements, too.
Like any other big purchase, a house experiences wear and tear with age and use. Maybe your backyard landscaping has gotten out of hand, or the appliances you’ve had since moving in a few decades ago are starting to falter.
When you’re juggling all of life’s other responsibilities at the same time, it can be challenging to stay on top of home maintenance. That’s why we’ve put together this guide to help you attend to your property’s most essential needs. Use this comprehensive home maintenance checklist to keep your home in top shape.
Fortunately, there are few maintenance tasks you’ll need to handle daily. Most upkeep is only necessary on a monthly or seasonal basis. However, you can address several items to ensure your house stays operational and responsibilities don’t pile up.
Vacuuming, wiping off countertops and disinfecting the bathroom — these cleaning tasks may not seem like serious maintenance, but they can serve as preventive measures that help you avoid repairs or replacements in the future.
Keeping your home clean and comfortable goes a long way toward creating a healthy environment. Grime builds up over time, leading to aesthetic issues or potential health problems like mold growth.
Each day, you can dust or disinfect surfaces, do laundry as necessary, make the bed, wash dishes and declutter any items that pile up. Taking a few minutes each day to tidy up and can save you headaches in the future.
Check Locks and Alarms
The items you rely on most for your health and safety can also undergo the most wear and tear. For example, you probably use your locks and switch on your security system daily. Check the hardware each time you set the alarm or turn the lock. Are any bolts loose? Tighten them up before turning in for the night.
You should exercise the same vigilance with your carbon monoxide and smoke alarms. It takes just a few seconds to double-check that your carbon monoxide detectors are plugged in or that the smoke detectors throughout your home are working properly. These quick maintenance tasks can save lives.
Clear Your Garbage Disposal
Much like cleaning the rest of your home, clearing your garbage disposal regularly is an easy way to prevent more serious maintenance issues down the road. Every night you can remove any food particles, grind a few ice cubes and then flush the system with a combination of baking soda and hot water.
Most maintenance tasks don’t demand your attention daily — otherwise, we wouldn’t have time for anything else! However, you should check in with these responsibilities every few weeks or seasonally to ensure your home is in good shape.
Inspect Filters and Vents
Your HVAC system can operate efficiently for a long time. However, keeping it in top condition requires serious vigilance. Vents, fans, furnaces, ductwork, air filters and more — all of these components can malfunction and leave you without proper ventilation, heat or air conditioning when needed most.
Regular inspections help you catch problems early, sometimes before an issue develops. Replace filters as necessary and make sure vents are free of furniture or other debris.
Tighten or Replace Hardware
Loose doorknobs, squeaky cabinets and dead lightbulbs are common issues people often delay or ignore instead of addressing. Before you know it, you’ve been living with a burnt-out bulb or scuffed-up floor for months.
Rather than kick the can further down the road, take a weekend morning once a month to catch up on these around-the-house tasks. Replace any worn-out door handles, replace batteries in remotes and appliances, replenish your firewood stockpile and replace broken light fixtures as necessary.
Take Care of Your Lawn
Your lawn can quickly get out of hand, so staying on top of yard maintenance is essential. During the growing season, you should mow your grass around once a week. Clean up yard debris and rake leaves as they gather.
Many maintenance jobs only need attention every couple of months or years. Remember to address these tasks on your home maintenance checklist annually or as necessary.
Replace Batteries in Smoke Detectors
Smoke detectors are necessary to keep your home and family safe. Smoke and fire alarms typically “chirp” if the batteries are running low, but you should replace them at least once a year to ensure they’re fresh.
If you’ve lived in your home for over 10 years, consider replacing the smoke detector itself with a newer model.
Clean Your Roof and Gutters
When handling routine yard work, don’t forget to check your gutters and drains every couple of months. It’s easy for debris to build up on your roof and gather in your gutters, which can lead to water leaks and other problems for your home’s integrity.
At least once a year, when the weather is good, and you can safely access your gutter with a ladder, check for any clogs or leaks. You can purchase specialty tools to help clean your downspouts to ensure they direct water away from your home’s foundation and roof.
Seasonal tasks are the maintenance responsibilities you only need to address once a year as the weather and your priorities change. For example, if you live in a cold climate, you should prepare for winter by insulating your pipes and preparing the snow plow, shovels or other tools.
Before summer arrives, get your HVAC system serviced to ensure your air conditioning will handle the hottest days of the year. If you have a pool, perform annual maintenance so it’s ready for lots of use during warm weather.
Follow a Home Maintenance Checklist
Following a basic home maintenance checklist will help you save time and money and prevent headaches in the future. Stay on top of your maintenance tasks to ensure your house is a refuge for your family all year round.