Your Complete Homeowner’s Checklist – What You Should Be Doing Monthly, Seasonally, and Beyond!
Being a homeowner comes with plenty of perks for sure, but with these perks also comes a great deal of responsibility. Performing regular maintenance and cleaning tasks may seem like a pain, and especially if you are a new homeowner, it can seem overwhelming.
Taking care of these maintenance jobs throughout the year can save you from costly repairs and extend the life of the components of your home. We’ve put together a handy guide to help you get a handle on what must be done and how often:
Doing just a small handful of quick maintenance jobs each month can help prevent major repairs down the road. These are mostly 5 minute jobs, or less, and don’t require any special expertise.
• Check and replace HVAC filters (if needed) Some recommendations say to change out your air filters monthly, but many times this is unnecessary. If you have pets or allergies, every month and a half may be needed, otherwise every three months is likely plenty. Check it regularly, as pollen and dust amounts will vary throughout the year, and the filter may need to be changed more often.
• Clean the kitchen sink disposal This often-overlooked appliance can get really grungy with miscellaneous food scraps sitting in the damp. There are several commercially available cleaning tablets to do this, which you can pick up at any retail store or grocery – however, you can make your own by freezing an ice cube tray full of vinegar, and then running the cubes down the disposal. This dual-purpose solution also acts as a sharpener for the disposal blades.
• Test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors Make sure these life-saving devices are at the ready with a quick test. Check the manufacturer’s instructions first, but most models simply require you pushing a button on the device. If it sounds, it should be good to go.
• Check sinks and toilets for leaks A quick peek and feel around under the sinks and around toilets can potentially save you from costly and extensive repairs. A slow leak gone undetected can cost thousands in damages, and can even compromise the structural integrity of your home. Any moisture under sinks or around toilets should be investigated, as well as any gurgling or running sounds long after a toilet is flushed.
• Inspect caulk and grout While you are in the bathrooms and kitchen checking over the sinks and toilets, take a minute to look at the grout and caulk situation. Touch up any cracks or empty spots. This not only keeps it looking nice, but can prevent water from seeping behind walls and causing major damage and mold issues. Heavily mildewed grout or caulk shouldn’t be covered over – be sure that any mildew or mold has been thoroughly cleaned before doing any touch-ups.
• Clean the range hood filter If you haven’t given this much thought before, the first time you do this the filter may be pretty nasty with greasy build up. Most range hood filters are reusable, so a good soak in some dish soap or a degreaser should do the job. Not up to the challenge? An experienced professional cleaning company can help you with this deep cleaning task.
• Take a lap outside Give your house, shed, and carport if you have one a good look over. Look for anything out of the ordinary, checking for cracks in the foundation, damage to siding, and the condition of downspouts and gutters.
Seasonal and Annual Tasks
Some things don’t need attention monthly, and some things need to be done as the seasons change. Getting these items checked off quarterly with the seasons:
• Check water softener, add salt if needed Most of the time, this simple job just requires peeking under the lid of the water softener for a check. Add salt as needed.
• Clean out gutters (Spring and possibly Late Fall) If you have lots of trees around your home, this might be a twice-a-year task. Clear out leaves and sediment by hand, then flush with a hose.
• Remove/replace, clean and inspect window screens (Winter/Spring) In preparation for winter, remove your window screens for storage. Snow can build up between screens and windows, which can cause damage. In the Spring, clean them well with dish soap or an exterior house cleaner and hose. Check for any holes and replace damaged screens.
• Schedule a heating system checkup (including chimney if you have one) Get your furnace tuned up and inspected professionally at least every other Fall, and your chimney, if you have one, inspected annually. IF you have steam heat, drain your boiler to clear out sediment.
• Deep clean inside and out Spring is the perfect time to give the whole house a deep clean. Start outside by washing the windows and siding or masonry with a garden hose and exterior house detergent (just avoid going overboard with the soap, it’s not great for your plants.) Inside, take the time to detail clean areas that may not be regularly attended to – like behind the refrigerator, wiping down walls and cabinets, descaling shower doors, and dusting hard to reach areas. (If this job sounds overwhelming and time-consuming, request a quote from a professional.)
• Check for drafts (Spring and Fall) Before summer’s warmer days and winter’s chill, it’s a good idea to check windows and doors for drafts. Cracked caulking or weather stripping can let cold/warm air in, costing you more in energy bills.
• Clean heat ducts Dust and dirt can collect and restrict air flow, cause bad smells, and post health hazards to those with allergies. Call in a professional, especially if you have severe allergies.
• Clean dryer duct Lint can build up within the ducts, blocking the flow of air, and not only making your dryer less efficient, but posing a fire hazard. Kits are available at most home improvement stores, but if you prefer, the same folks who clean heating ducts usually also clean these.
Let us handle it for you
Doing these maintenance projects along with keeping your home clean can extend the life of your appliances, keep you and your family healthier, and make your home a safe, comfortable place to be. However, some of these tasks can be handled by highly-trained cleaning professionals— why not hand the job over to them?
Interested in checking the regular cleaning and deep cleaning tasks off the list but not interested in doing it yourself? Contact us for a free quote today!