Owning a home comes with responsibility and neglecting this can be an expensive and a possibly dangerous decision. Regularly checking inspecting and tuning up your home ensures you and your family are kept safe and helps prevent small problems from becoming major ones. According tothis MoneySense article homeowners should budget 3-5% of the value of their home yearly for maintenance and repair costs.
This can feel very overwhelming especially for a first time homeowner. Where do you start? What should you be checking and when? How do you know if something needs attention or repair? Can you do it yourself?
Don’t worry. We can help. We’ve put together a list of routine home maintenance tasks and provided instructions and links that will guide you through the process. Lowe’s also provides an excellent checklist for home maintenance.
Monthly Home Maintenance
There are some things you should be checking or doing monthly in and around your home to ensure it’s running in peak condition. This includes:
- You’ll probably need to change them every 2-3 months.
- You can use hot water and soap or a degreaser to soak the filter for a bit then rinse.
- You can use cleaner products but vinegar ice cubes work really well and have the benefit of both cleaning and sharpening your disposal unit. Just freeze vinegar in an ice cube tray then put them down the disposal as it’s turned on.
- Don’t forget the seals.
- For example if you rarely use a downstairs bathroom make sure to flush the toiled and run the water from all the faucets.
Quarterly Home Maintenance
You should check on the following items with every season:
- Don’t forget to change the batteries if needed. Generally this will be about every 6 months.
Seasonal Home Maintenance
The following tasks should be carried out according to the season.
- Pay special attention to the paint siding roof and foundation. You’re looking for damage such as loose pieces cracks chips et cetera.
- If you see damage you can repair it yourself or call a professional depending on its location severity and your own skills (and willingness!).
- A lack of drainage or water being directed towards your home can mean problems. Make sure water drains and that it moves away from the house.
- If you have any drainage issues you can address them by better grading an improved drainage system and the installation of equipment such as sump pumps to prevent damage done to your home.
- For efficient drainage paved surfaces should have a minimum 1% slope while grass or landscaped areas should have a minimum slope of at least 2%.
- Call a professional to trim the trees if there is any interference.
- You may want to have it serviced.
- Powerwash the exterior of your home.
- Unless it’s brick – power washing can damage brick and the surface requires cleaning less often. If it is dirty contact a professional brick-cleaner.
- Clean out the garage and sheds .
- Lubricate the garage door .
- Clean and repair your deck/patio .
- Clean out any window wells .
- Inspect plumbing .
- Clean the aerators on your faucets.
- Check and clean exhaust vents.
- For example the dryer vent should be checked while the dryer is running and the exhaust should smell of fresh laundry. Bad smells can indicate mold or another problem.
- Take care of insect problems before they become major.
- Reseal before winter to prevent expansion.
- Use epoxy for cracks and holes and re-caulk foundation seams.
- Flush and store your hoses.
- Flush and turn off outdoor water faucets.
- Winterize your sprinkler system if you have one.
- Remove and store window units.
- Cover an outside unit with a tarp and secure.
- Check for leaks in windows and doors.
- Open heating vents.
- Consider getting a furnace inspection.
- Take care of any cracks immediately.
Biannual Home Maintenance
There are a few items you only need to check and do twice a year including:
It’s not hard to see how maintenance repair and replacement costs can add up! MoneySense breaks down the annual costs on yearly maintenance as well as those essential one-time or periodic replacement costshere.
While basic home maintenance is perfectly doable for most people if you are too busy or are unable to carry out the work don’t worry. There are plenty of companies that provide general maintenance services and will take care of this. As proper home maintenance prevents expensive claims some insurance companies even offer home repair programs – you canlearn more here. Some cities also offer senior and disability programs for those who may struggle with taking care of home maintenance themselves.