Are you doing your best to keep your home in great condition? Read this article to learn pro tips for house maintenance.
Given the option of what to do over the weekend, most people would probably choose couch surfing or a leisurely brunch over house maintenance.
The reality is that your home needs TLC. It’s probably your biggest investment and should be treated as such.
The great news is that your home maintenance doesn’t have to consume all your free time. Here’s a simple break down of the top house maintenance tasks to prioritize.
Monthly House Maintenance Tasks
There are a few necessary tasks that all homeowners should tick off their list on a monthly basis.
Other than very obvious signs of roof damage, gutter damage, or any other high priority areas that need immediate attention, these monthly tasks are basic.
- Inspect Your HVAC
A monthly inspection is not always necessary, especially if you aren’t using your heating or air conditioning too often. In general, it’s wise to check your HVAC functionality and swap out filters every odd month or so.
If you have family members who suffer from severe allergies or have numerous pets, you may need to inspect your HVAC filters monthly.
- Clean Out the Garbage Disposal
If you don’t do this task often enough, your kitchen could be quickly permeated with a putrid smell.
The easiest and most efficient way to clean out your garbage disposal is with ice cubes, vinegar, and lemon peels. The ice cubes will also help to sharpen the disposal blades.
- Check Your Range Hood Filters
Depending on how often you cook, you should check and clean your kitchen’s range hood filters. This can be quite a dirty task if you haven’t done it before so be prepared.
It’s best to use a high-strength degreaser mixed with hot water to lift off all the grease and dirt. Let the filters soak for a few minutes, then rinse well.
- Inspect In-Home Fire Extinguishers
This may seem like a pointless task, but you never know when you’ll need a fully operational fire extinguisher.
Make sure your in-home extinguishers are easy to reach, the gauge shows adequate pressure, and there are no obvious signs of wear and tear.
Quarterly House Maintenance Tasks
These tasks might not need to be performed as often, but that doesn’t make them any less important as a homeowner. Once every three or four months, make sure to inspect the following:
- Smoke and Carbon Dioxide Detectors
All smoke and carbon dioxide detectors should have a test button. If the alarm sounds when you press it, your detectors are working just fine. If not, you probably need to replace the batteries and test again.
If there is still no alarm, check for corrosion in the battery terminal. Otherwise, you may need to replace your detectors altogether. Remember that batteries should be changed out every six months or so.
- Garage Door Auto-Reverse
As of 1993, all garage doors are required to feature auto-reverse functionality according to federal law.
It’s very important to check that yours is still fully operational. Simply place an object in the path of the door, close it, and it should auto-reverse within 1-2 seconds of contacting the object. While you’re at it, don’t forget to check the photoelectric sensor of the door, too.
- Run Water, Check Plumbing, Flush Toilets
If your home features more than one regularly used bathroom, it’s important to check the plumbing in the less-commonly used facilities.
Toilets, sinks, and showers that are left to stand for too long have a habit of drying up and harboring nasty smells. Do a check of all guest bathrooms and run the water, flush toilets, and check for fully operational plumbing.
Biannual House Maintenance Tasks
As a general rule-of-thumb, these home maintenance tasks are only necessary once every 5-6 months. They include the following:
- Inspect Your Water Heater
Water heaters are pretty hardy and robust pieces of equipment. Regardless, you should still inspect it for leaks and rust, and test the pressure relief valve, too. This helps to prevent mineral buildup, corrosion, and protects against future leaks.
- Deep Clean Your Entire Home
This includes the interior and exterior of your house. You can make a family task out of it and even rope your kids in to help.
Dedicate one day of the weekend to cleaning down windows, sconces, corners, shelving, and appliances. If you have a high-pressure washer, clean your home’s siding, gutters, and paving.
- Give Your Fridge and Freezer Some Love
Did you know that your fridge consumes a significant portion of your home’s entire power usage? A good way to keep energy consumption down is by vacuuming your refrigerator coils and defrosting your freezer every six months or so.
Annual House Maintenance Tasks
Finally, here are a few important home maintenance tasks to prioritize at least once a year to keep your home in tip-top shape:
- Inspect your exterior drainage: clear out check gutters, pipes, and drains and check for leaks or signs of damage
- Inspect your home’s exterior: look for chipped paint, damaged siding, holes in your brickwork, window cracks, and signs of roof damage
- Service your HVAC system: this is important just before both summer and winter so that it’s ready to go before each season
- Replace window screens where needed: this is an important step just before summer to keep bugs and other critters out of your house
When it comes to your yard, seasonal maintenance is equally important. At the start and end of each major season, do an overall inspection of all plants, shrubs, and trees.
Make sure to trim all your shrubs and trees in the fall, before the winter hits. Check trees and branches and make sure they aren’t interfering with electrical lines.
When winter is over, inspect your garden for dead shrubs and trees and have them professionally removed if needs be.
Find Home, Garden, and Architectural Inspiration
We hope this house maintenance checklist has inspired you to put a little more time into keeping you home in shape. It doesn’t have to be overwhelming if you stay on top of these tasks throughout the year.
For more on home DIY, garden, or architectural inspiration, be sure to explore the rest of this website.
Best Home Cleaning Tips
If you want a clean house, you’ve got to find the most effective and efficient way to clean your house fast. There are many questions about how you’ll start cleaning, whether to dust first before you vacuum or clean the kitchen first before you clean your bathroom.
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to clean your house easy and fast:
- Don’t Clean One Room at Time: Choose one task, such as dusting, vacuuming, or mopping, and do it in all rooms. Instead of cleaning and organizing one room at a time, doing these will prevent you from the feeling of an endless cleaning cycle or starting the same tasks over and over again.
- Prepare All Cleaning Tools: Avoid wasting time looking for tools during cleaning. Use a bucket, tote, or caddy to gather all your cleaning tools. Bring all cleaning tools and supplies in one portable receptacle to get the job done.
- Clear the Clutter: Pick up all the clutter in all rooms before cleanings, such as old sneakers, well-read paperbacks, toys, and magazines. You can toss them away or donate it so they won’t clutter your house again.
- Dust and Vacuum: All ceiling fans should be turned off before dusting. Also, when dusting, concentrate on the top of furniture, the undersides of shelves, picture frames, on handrails, TV screens, and knickknacks. Clean difficult-to-reach areas, such as upper shelves and binds, by using the end of a broom or mop tied with a microfiber cloth.
- Wipe Glass and Mirrors: Use a damp microfiber cloth and then a dry cloth to wipe clean all glass surfaces and mirrors.
- Disinfect Surface Areas: Wipe down all hard surfaces and disinfect them using a non-toxic disinfection solution – Mix one-fourth cup of white vinegar with a cup of water.
- Clean Sinks, Tubs, and Toilets: Spray clean kitchen sinks, then bathroom sinks, bathtubs, and toilets.
- Sweep Then Mop: Before mopping, sweep all kitchen and bathroom floors first.