For most, a home is a person’s largest financial investment. Regular home maintenance is a critical component in maintaining the value of your home investment.
Doing it all can be daunting. We encourage you to use this simplified home maintenance checklist as a high-level guideline for maintaining your home. Each month has only a few tasks to do; some you can do on your own and others you may wish to outsource.
If you need a recommendation for who to call or have any questions about your home, we encourage you to contact us directly or to reach out to your Fazendin Realtor.
- TREAT YOUR LAWN
- Fall is the ideal time to fertilize and treat your lawn for unwanted weeds. You will also want to rake up the leaves before the snow flies, as a large number of unraked leaves can devastate your lawn.
- CLEAN YOUR GUTTERS
- It is important to check and clean your gutters in the fall after the leaves have fallen and the snow has not. Take the time to run a hose through the gutters to check for misalignments.
- WINTERIZE SPIGOTS
- Simply turn off the water supply valve (located indoors) that supplies water to an individual spigot, then open the outdoor spigot to drain out any remaining water.
- SEAL THE GAPS
- If the gaps between the siding and window or door frames are bigger than the width of a nickel, you should reapply the exterior caulk.
- CHECK BOILER SYSTEM PRESSURE
- Check your boiler pressure once a month to make sure it’s not too high or too low. Low boiler pressure will cause your boiler to cut out; high pressure could cause your system to break.
- CLEAN OUT CONDENSATE TRAPS AND DRAIN LINES
- Proper cleaning of your air conditioner can prevent mold, odors, and water leaks in your home. Clogged drain lines can be fixed with suction, then flush the drain with vinegar.
- CHANGE HUMIDIFIER PADS
- To keep your humidifier performing its best, frequently change your humidifier pads. This prevents mold and odor, cellulose coating, and leakage.
- CHECK SMOKE DETECTORS
- It’s that time again – make sure that your smoke detectors are working properly. If you haven’t recently, now is a good time to change the batteries.
- CHECK CARBON MONOXIDE DETECTORS
- Make sure that your carbon monoxide detectors are working and have sufficient battery.
- ENSURE YOUR LOCKS ARE WORKING
- Whether you are leaving town this holiday season or not, it is always a good idea to double-check the operations of your door locks. Make sure they lock successfully and are not frozen or stuck.
- PROTECT YOUR PIPES
- If you are leaving town for a few days or more this holiday season, you will want to make sure you prevent your pipes from freezing. First, turn off your water and leave your faucet on to a drip. Then, open any cabinet doors under your sinks.
- UNPLUG ELECTRONIC ITEMS
- Another thing you should do before leaving town is to unplug electronic items. If there is a leak or electrical issue while you are gone, products that are plugged in could get seriously damaged.
- ANNUAL KITCHEN DEEP CLEAN
- Kick off the new year with a freshly scented kitchen. Clean the oven, dishwasher, garbage disposal, range hood filter, and drip pan under the fridge.
- APPLIANCE CLEAN-UP
- Check your home’s appliances for frayed cords, visible wires, broken plugs, etc.
- EXTEND THE LIFE OF YOUR FRIDGE
- Clean your fridge’s coils with a coil cleaning brush and vacuum.
- CHECK FOR PROPER SEALS AND CONSIDER DEFROSTING
- Check your fridge and freezer for a proper seal. Use the cold weather to your advantage, and consider defrosting chest freezers.
- DEEP CLEAN BATHROOM
- Cleaning the bathroom should be done at least monthly. Scrub the sink, bath, and shower to get rid of rust and soap scum. Disinfect surfaces and clean the toilet bowl.
- FLIP BOWING SHELVES
- Over time, shelves can begin to bow in the middle. To prevent them from bowing further, flip them over so that gravity helps to straighten them out.
- TOUCH-UP INTERIOR PAINT
- When touching up paint, use the same type of applicator you used when originally painting. This helps the touch-up to blend in better.
- CLEAN BASEBOARDS
- Use a vacuum with a brush attachment to get rid of dust that has collected on the baseboards. Then, wipe with a damp cloth.
- TEST YOUR SUMP PUMP
- Make sure your sump pump is working properly. Snow will soon be melting, and April showers are on their way; you don’t want to get stuck with water in your basement if your sump pump fails.
- CHECK WALLS AND STAIRS FOR CRACKS
- Horizontal cracks are signs of a leaning or bowing wall. Vertical cracks are a warning that the foundation may be settling.
- CAULK AND SEAL ANY NEW GAPS
- If the gaps between the siding and window or door frames are bigger than the width of a nickel, reapply the exterior caulk. Check window-glazing putty and add weather stripping as needed around doors.
- CHECK FOR ANIMAL/PEST DAMAGE
- As the weather warms up, it is good to check crawl spaces, attics, and gutters for any animals and pests that might have attempted to nest or formed a nest.
- CHECK SMOKE DETECTORS
- Make sure that your smoke detectors are working properly. If you haven’t recently, now is a good time to change the batteries. If they are over ten years old, they should be replaced.
- CHECK CARBON MONOXIDE DETECTORS
- Make sure that your carbon monoxide detectors are working and have sufficient battery. If they are over seven years old, they should be replaced.
- TRIM TREES NEAR POWER LINES
- Before the trees are fully blossomed, trim the branches around power lines.
- CHECK AND CLEAN WINDOW SCREENS AND WINDOWS
- Check your window screens for any holes that may have appeared. Then, give them and your windows a nice wash. Clean windows make a huge difference.
- EMPTY THE SNOWBLOWER AND CHECK THE LAWNMOWER
- Empty the gas in your snowblower, and check your lawnmower to make sure it is working properly.
- REVERSE CEILING FANS
- In the colder months, your ceiling fan spins to bring warm air down. Reverse the direction to bring the warm air up in preparation for the warmer months.
- TOUCH-UP EXTERIOR PAINT
- Check the weather before you begin. Avoid painting in direct sunlight, high wind, and rain.
- POWER WASH THE PATIO
- Be sure to wear ear and eye protection. Pressure washers are loud, and high pressure will cause water and debris to fly back at you.
- CLEAN WINDOWS
- Clean your windows on both the interior and exterior of your home. To avoid streaks, you can use newspaper instead of towels to wipe.
- CLEAN GRILL AND PATIO FURNITURE
- Wipe the grill and patio furniture off with a damp, soapy cloth to get rid of dust and spiderwebs.
- RESEAL/STAIN DECK AND WOOD FURNITURE
- The more opaque a stain is, the quicker it shows weathering. And remember that two thin coats are better than one thick coat.
- PLANT SEEDS
- Minnesota landscape experts recommend waiting to plant seeds until June when the weather is consistently above 50 degrees during the day and night.
- PRUNE TREES AND BUSHES
- The general rule of thumb is to wait until spring flowering has ceased to prune.
- SPRAY FOR ANTS, INSECTS, AND WASPS
- When spraying on interior surfaces, make sure to open windows and doors. When spraying the exterior, make sure to close windows and doors.
- CHECK FOR AND RESEAL CRACKS IN THE DRIVEWAY
- First, prep the driveway by trimming the surrounding grass and removing oil and gas stains.
- REGROUT TILE
- Be sure to clean the tiles first thoroughly. Remove mildew and soap scum before removing the old grout.
- CHECK CAULK
- Make sure your caulk is not pulling away from walls and surfaces.
- CLEAN DRAINS
- You can use at-home supplies like baking soda, vinegar, and hot water, or you can buy drain cleaning tools and enzymatic solutions.
- CHECK FOR PIPE LEAKS
- Clear the space under your sink and place dry paper towels under the pipes. After a few hours, check to see if the towels are wet, indicating a leak.
- CHECK RADON LEVELS
- If your test results show a radon level of 4 picocuries per liter (pCi/L) or higher, test your home again. If the second test is also high, call a professional.
- CREATE AN EMERGENCY PLAN
- With your household members, discuss how to prepare and respond to the types of emergencies that are most likely to happen in your home.
- CLEAN DRYER VENT
- Use a vacuum and/or brush to clean the lint out of your dryer duct. This helps prevent build-up that can lead to increased energy bills and even fires.
- INSPECT AND CLEAN FIREPLACE
- Check for smoke stains above the fireplace and cracks in the chimney, as these could indicate issues. Also, be sure to clean creosote out of the firebox to reduce the likelihood of a chimney fire.
- CHECK ROOF SHINGLES
- Look for damaged, curled, loose, or missing shingles, as well as any moss or leaf piles that could be signs of water damage.
- INSPECT BRICKWORK FOR CRACKS
- If a crack in the brick or mortar is more than 1/8 of an inch wide or spans more than one layer of brick, there may be a structural issue.
- REVERSE CEILING FAN
- In the winter, your fan should spin clockwise. This pushes the rising warm air down and pulls cold air up to make your room feel warmer.
We hope this home maintenance checklist is helpful in maintaining the integrity of your property. Whether you’re looking to buy, sell, or simply have a question about today’s market or your specific property, we encourage you to contact us. We’re here to help!