Recommended Home Maintenance

HOME MAINTENANCE CHECKLIST

 

Being a homeowner is in some ways like owning a car. With cars, you must carry out periodic maintenance activities to prevent breakdowns and wear and tear. With home maintenance, the same rules apply. Keeping your home in good shape requires completion of regular home maintenance tasks. These are important because they help you reduce preventable damage to your home. Regular maintenance tasks will save you money in the long run.

 

If you think about all the different parts of your home that you need to pay attention to, it could be overwhelming. Also, not everyone agrees on activities and their frequency. In this article, we have listed some activities and the frequency we would recommend you do them. At the end of the day, it is your prerogative to know what suits you best. This also depends on the condition of your home. Brand new homes and renovated homes have different maintenance patterns so you should always know what works best for you. This will give you the best opportunity to enjoy your home in the coming years.

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Recommended Monthly Home Maintenance tasks
  • Replace furnace filter. Depending on the type of family you have, you should clean the filters every other month. If your family is small and you don’t have pets or allergies, then changing your filters every 2-3 months should be okay. If you inspect it and it is still clean, check back again another month time. When changing your filters, you could either buy cheaper brands and replace more often or use expensive one for much longer.
  • Clean range hood filters. This could be done easily by using a de-greaser from an Auto store. Remove the filter and let it sit in a mixture of the de-greaser and hot water. Rinse it off and reinstall. This allows your range hood to operate at peak efficiency and can also reduce bothersome odors.
  • Inspect safety equipment. Always ensure that all carbon monoxide detectors, smoke monitors and fire extinguishers are in good order.
  • Check tubs and sink drains for debris. If you notice irregular drainage of water in any of your tubs or sink drains, unclog them to restore proper flow. For kitchen sink disposal, one of the best cleaning methods is to make frozen vinegar cubes and let them run through the disposal.

 

Recommended Quarterly Home Maintenance Tasks
  • Check the water softener. Keep an eye on the salt level and add some if it is running low. If you notice any problem with your water softener, contact a plumber as soon as possible.
  • Let water run in unused sinks and flush unused toilets. This will help you remove built-up grime from the sink or toilet due to inactivity. If you need to call a plumber to fix a problem with a sink or toilet, you might as well have him check other plumbing related parts such as the disposal, pool or lawn sprinkler, leaky faucets and washers.
  • Test garage door auto-reverse feature. Federal law passed in 1993 mandated all garage doors to have auto-reverse to prevent child deaths. You can test this feature by placing a plank on the ground where the door would close. A properly functioning garage door would reverse within a second of contact with the plank. Also, place something before the door to see if it backs up. If you notice any problems, call the company to come check it out.
  • Check and clean all faucet aerators.

Recommended Bi-annual Home Maintenance Tasks
  • Test your water heater’s pressure relief valve. This is done to prevent accumulation of corrosion and to improve the efficiency of your heater, reducing your power bills.
  • Replace batteries in smoke/carbon dioxide detectors. Even though the batteries may not have run out, it does not hurt to change them every six months. You can also include other remote controls such as the garage opener, doorbell and any other control.
  • Clean your refrigerator coils. Build-up of dust on the coils would reduce the efficiency. Cleaning the coils would reduce power consumption by your refrigerator and save a significant sum of money.  For such an easy task, it is worth it.

 

Annual Home Maintenance Tasks

Each season comes with its own recommended maintenance tasks. Some of these are summarized below.

 

Spring
  • Examine roof shingles. Check for shingles which may have been lost or damaged during winter. Always have a qualified roofer check plumbing vents, skylights and chimneys. They would let you know if you need parts changed or an entire roof replacement.

 

  • Clean out gutters. Look out for loose or leaky gutters. If your drainage is compromised, you could have water damage in the basement or crawl space. Ensure that your downspouts remove water from the house foundation and are not clogged with dead leaves or debris.

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  • Examine the chimney. Have a certified chimney sweep inspect for any indication of damage. The sweep can also clean the flue and soot from the stacks and fireplace.
  • Check outside faucets. These are very susceptible to freeze damage. If you can completely stop the flow of water by placing your thumb over the running tap, then it is possible the pipe is damaged along the line. You can have a certified plumber look your pipes over to avoid water damage.
  • Service your air conditioning system for summer. This depends on which part of the country you live in and the type of your home. You can service window air units yourself by cleaning out the filter pretty quickly. If you have a more complex central cool system, have it serviced by a professional. This will save you money in the future. Some things are just not DIY-friendly.
  • Trim your bushes, shrubs and trees. This will reduce the unruly looking fresh outgrowths from the passing of the winter. Check the trees to make sure that they are not interfering with electrical lines. If you have a large garden, you may consider getting your plants and trees professionally trimmed at the beginning of spring. This will make your plants easier to maintain for the rest of the year. Also, make sure that all branches are not touching your home or roof.

 

Summer
  • Combat mold and mildew. The summer heat and high humidity make it easier for mold and mildew to grow outside. Make a diluted bleach solution or trisodium phosphate and scrub areas where mold and mildew are growing. Also, prune plants and shrubs close by to prevent future mold growth.
  • Clean the grills. Summer cookouts and barbecues are more enjoyable with clean grills. Liquid grill cleaner and a wire brush go a long wire in keeping the grates, burners and burner covers clean. You can also clean out the holes on the burner by using a toothpick. Clear burner holes will make your cooking heat more evenly distributed.
  • Patch cracks and holes in the driveway. Concrete repair caulk or asphalt crack sealer is useful in repairing cracks and holes in the road. Make sure you pressure wash the crack or hole and fix it before applying a concrete or asphalt sealer to refresh the look.
  • Clean and repair deck/patio. A good washing and re-staining of your deck will leave it looking renewed in time for the summer. Replace any loose floor boards or posts as well.

Fall-Home-Maintenance

Fall
  • Service heating system for winter. Make sure that there are no leaks in windows or doors as these would cost you severely in the winter. Have your furnace as well as the fireplace serviced by a certified professional.
  • Close all outdoor faucets. Turn off and flush all outdoor water faucets for some strange reason. Don’t forget to pack in your sprinkler systems for the winter if you own one.
  • Test sump pump. Fall is the best time to test this out. If you notice any problems, please contact a technician to fix it before winter.
  • Buy winter gear. Sidewalk salt, quality shovels and other winter gear should be purchased early before they get expensive.
  • Flush hot water heater and remove sediment. A clean heater functions more efficiently during the winter.

 

Winter
  • Look out for ice dams and icicles. Remove any icicles that may form on your roof. Icicles are a danger to people standing under and can also damage your home. Melting icicles can also cause water damage as they thaw.

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  • Clean sediments on shower heads. This helps to reduce blockage and improve water pressure.
  • Check all weather-stripping on doors and windows.

 

 

 

If you need a complete home maintenance evaluation and tasks performed,call HomeWorks Construction and Remodeling at 574-318-9675 or touch base by filling out a short contact form.

 

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HomeWorks Construction
1511 N Pulaski St.
South Bend, IN 46613
Phone: 574.318.WORK (9675)