Spending a weekend afternoon pulling leaves out of a gutter or scrubbing the patio is low on the list of what most of us would consider a good time. But since your home is such a big investment, it pays off to keep on top of home maintenance.
Like all other parts of life - from health check ups to oil changes - following a regular schedule is key to successful home maintenance. No matter the size of your home, following the natural arc of the seasons is the easiest way to prevent costly troubles before they arise. Winter is for hunkering down and, as April rolls on, spring is for renewing and reviving.
Use this home maintenance checklist to help schedule your seasonal updates, repairs, and cleaning!
Outside Your House
- Start in your outdoor areas – whether that’s a garden, patio or deck – and sweep away the remnants of winter.
- Rake up any leaves and scrub away any plant mulch left over from winter. A power washer can do wonders (although be cautious using it on more delicate materials or facades).
- If you have large trees, have a certified arborist check them for decay or damage as a safety precaution.
- Inspect the outside of your home for signs of wear and tear. That includes checking for cracks, peeling or chipped paint, signs of water pooling, clogged gutters and broken shingles on your roof.
- Give your home a good scrub, particularly the outside of windows. Over time, dirt can damage the masonry and paint.
Inside Your House
- Go over your plumbing and piping to ensure there are no leaks or clogging. Don’t forget to check under sinks, up on the ceilings for signs of water damage and faucets for dripping. This is also a good time to check that sinks and tubs are draining properly.
- Double check that your fire alarm and carbon monoxide detectors are working.
- Inspect electrical cords for wear.
- If you have a boiler, drain it to clear any accumulate sediment.
- For homes with central heating or air conditioning, have an HVAC technician inspect your systems for signs of damage and regular servicing.
- For those with garbage disposals, grind ice cubes followed by warm water and baking soda, or lemon juice, to keep it running smoothly.
- Give your house a good clean by shampooing carpets, scrubbing windows and screens, sweeping out cupboards and cabinets, and dusting all those hard to reach places that are usually neglected.
For best results, save this checklist and revisit it every spring.
If you are in the market to buy in the coming months, this list serves as a good guide to what maintenance you should expect to see kept up at whatever homes you are considering.