With fall and winter rapidly approaching, it’s a great time to break out monthly home maintenance checklists. Much like regular oil changes for your car that keep it running efficiently, regular preventive home maintenance inspections can save you from future headaches and expensive repairs.
Most people, when purchasing a home, think first of the equity they’re building through homeownership, as well as the tax benefits. They often forget, however, about the time and labor that homeownership requires. It can be intimidating to think about all of the various tasks that are required, but it can be done with minimal stress through the use of monthly home maintenance checklists.
Along with a monthly maintenance checklist for you to follow, here are also recommended items for fall and winter checklists.
Your Monthly Home Maintenance Checklists
- Inspect and change out HVAC filters as needed. Opinions vary on how often to change out HVAC filters. Some experts say monthly, others say check monthly but only change out when a filter is visibly very unclean. Small families and those without pets will find that it’s probably not necessary to change them monthly, but they do need to be checked each month.
- Clean your kitchen sink disposal. Try using vinegar ice cubes for this. It will clean and freshen the disposal, and ice cubes also will sharpen the blades.
- Clean range hood filters. This is one of the more unpleasant monthly tasks, but it’s necessary and important. You can simply use a degreaser from an auto parts store for this. Mix it with hot water, and let the filter sit for a few moments in the solution. Rinse it off and you’re all set.
- Inspect your fire extinguisher(s). It’s a given you should have at least one in the house. Ensure it has easy access and that the gauge shows adequate pressure.
Your Fall Checklist
- Winterize air conditioning systems. Remove and store window units if you use them. If you have central air, cover the outside unit with a tarp or plastic sheeting and secure with bungee cords.
- Get your heating system ready for winter. Check for leaks in windows and doors. Make sure your heating vents are open and not being blocked by furniture. Get your furnace service/inspected at least every other year, and don’t forget about fireplaces if you have them.
- Turn off and flush outdoor water faucets. Also, flush hoses and store them for the winter. Winterize your sprinkler system if you have one.
- Test your sump pump. Don’t wait until winter to find out it’s not working.
- Buy winter gear. Have sidewalk salt and a good shovel or two ready to use. That first snowfall will be here before you know it.
Your Winter Checklist
- Check for ice dams and icicles. Icicles are not only a danger to people, but they’re very heavy and can cause damage to your home, as well as damage to your foundation when they melt.
- Tighten handles, knobs, racks, etc. Walk throughout the house and inspect anything that could have a loose screw.
- Check locks and deadbolts on doors and windows. Replace any hardware that isn’t working properly.
- Deep clean and inspect your basement. Basements are often overlooked, particularly if they’re primarily used as storage areas. Dust the basement and clean any windows. Check for mold and give the basement a good inspection every year.
Make using your monthly home maintenance checklists a priority. Put them on your calendar each month to ensure that your inspection is completed. Investing a small amount of time to protect your investment will be a decision that pays dividends now and in the years to come.
Lucent Home Inspections is your reputable home inspector in Peoria, Bloomington, East Peoria, Normal, Hudson, Dunlap, Morton, Washington, Goodfield, Roanoke and beyond. Contact us today to discuss what your inspection needs are and schedule a time to have your inspection completed.