Create a Home Maintenance Plan
Time to get out the calendar, pen and paper, or a spreadsheet or printable or online chart. By keeping track of the various tasks and projects, you will know what to tackle when and prevent yourself from getting completely overwhelmed.
Let’s start with seasonal jobs:
It’s time for some spring cleaning, everyone!
- Check drainage. Puddles are fun when you’re a kid, but when you’re a homeowner, they can flow towards your foundation and cause extensive damage. If water isn’t moving properly, check your gutters to ensure the spouts and connections are in good repair.
If the problem is persistent, consider having a pro come in and raise your driveway or grade the area around your home to create optimal water flow.
- Clean out the gutters. And speaking of gutters, they’ve collected a lot of debris, leaves, sediment, grit, and grime over the fall and winter. Give them a thorough cleaning to prevent leaks and damage.
- Give the exterior a thorough going-over. How’s your siding or paint job holding up? Does your foundation have any cracks? Silicone and caulk can seal these up and keep your foundation strong.
Look from top to bottom. Is the roof missing any shingles? Are there any leaks or damage from storms to take care of? Safety and results matter here, so you may want to call a professional roofer if you notice any problems.
- Service your air conditioning system. Summer’s coming, and it’s going to be a hot one. (Seems like it’s always a hot one in North Carolina!) Make sure your AC is up to the job. Schedule a routine maintenance checkup and cleaning.
- Clear up your yard. Sure, it’ll look better when you clean up dead shrubs, plants, and tree branches, but it will also help keep pests away from your house and prevent plants from creeping into your exterior.
There’s plenty of daylight to tackle these tasks:
- Clean your patio/deck. You may only need to do a good power washing, but take a look for loose boards, warping, or damaged posts. That deck has to look its best for your backyard BBQs.
- Check your dryer exhaust vents. If you walk by your exhaust (which should always vent out), do you smell fresh, clean laundry? You should. If not, check for blockages and vacuum the lint out of the dryer hose. A professional plumbing and heating specialist can check on your other exhaust vents.
- Take a look at your grout. Give it a thorough cleaning and check for cracks and gaps.
- Inspect your plumbing. Any leaks? Fix them up so you don’t waste water or cause damage to your home. Low pressure? Clean the aerators on your faucets.
- Clean the garage. Get yourself a cold tea, put on some music, and get to work. Organize your tools and equipment, get rid of anything that is just collecting dust, and sweep or vacuum to remove debris and dirt.
Make sure your home is buttoned up for the coming winter.
- Flush your hot water heater. This will remove sediment, improve energy efficiency, and help prolong this applicance’s life.
- Schedule a heating system inspection. Another annual autumn task: a cleaning helps prevent problems on those long, cold winter nights.
If you have a chimney, have a thorough cleaning done to avoid buildup that can be dangerous.
- Check for cracks and gaps. Are your doors and windows tight? Do you feel any drafts? Now’s the time to get on them so you don’t throw your heating dollars right out the window.
- Go shopping. Stock up on sidewalk/driveway salt or sand, shovels, and other essentials so you’ll be ready for Mother Nature’s frosty side.
Don’t hibernate. There’s plenty to do in the winter!
- Look for icicles and ice dams. Icicles are dangerous (they can fall on people underneath) but they can also lead to roof and foundation issues.
- Check your locks. If windows and doors are not properly secured, now’s a good time to fix the problem.
- Clean your showerhead. This will get rid of sediment and keep your shower pumping out great pressure.
- Deep clean the basement. Get yourself a hot cup of cocoa, put on some music, and get to work! Like garages, basements are often neglected - and terrific at gathering dust. Organize, eliminate clutter, and check for any mold, mildew, leaks, and cracks.
Put These Projects On Your To-Do List
Organizing a chore schedule is a great way to keep on top of your home maintenance needs.
*Check and, if needed, change HVAC filters.**
*Clean your kitchen sink disposal. Frozen vinegar cubes are a great way to do this. Just run them through the disposal.
*Clean your range hood filter.
Pro Tip: Use an auto degreaser mixed with hot water.
*Test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
*Run water and flush toilets in areas that are not used much (e.g. guest bathroom).
*Check water softener. If you need to, add a bit of salt.
*Test your hot water heater pressure relief valve.
*Do a deep clean of your house. Really get into the nooks and crannies.
*Replace your smoke and carbon monoxide detector batteries.
*Vacuum your refrigerator coils.
**If you don’t have pets or suffer from allergies, you can get by with once every two to three months.
If you’re not sure how to complete any of these tasks, head to YouTube. You can find some great tutorials that will guide you through every step. And if something looks to complicated, difficult, time-consuming, or risky, call in professional help. A little investment here will save you a lot of expensive bills (and headaches) down the road.
When you create a schedule, you make home maintenance manageable. So, get to work!