Home maintenance may not be as exciting as decorating your bedroom and buying kitchen appliances. But maintaining your most important investment is absolutely necessary. If you delay giving your living space its much-deserved upkeep, your savings will go down the drain to the tune of thousands of dollars in home repairs. More importantly, a maintenance routine helps you ensure that your home will remain a safe and comfortable haven for you and your family.
What maintenance activities should be on top of your priorities? This checklist should guide you through the most critical home maintenance tasks for every homeowner.
- Inspect and test your home security system
Is your home equipped with a security or alarm system? Great! That means your family is protected from intruders, fires, and carbon monoxide poisoning. But is it maintained well?
Regular maintenance helps keep your home security system, such as a DSC home alarm system, working properly for a long time. Every year, a professional technician has to inspect the batteries, wiring, sensors, and other components, and fix any faulty or damaged parts.
Aside from the annual inspections, you also need to perform DIY maintenance every 3 to 6 months. One of the critical home maintenance activities you can do on your own is checking the control panel for signs of damage such as loose wires. If your control panel is damaged, report it immediately to the home security company.
- Replace your air filters
Wondering why your home is so dusty and you keep on sneezing? Blame it on the poor air quality in your house caused by dirty filters.
Failure to change a dirty filter is bad not just for health but also your power bills. When the filter is clogged, the heating and cooling system works harder and will soon wear out. It’s cheaper to replace filters than buy a brand-new HVAC unit.
Experts recommend changing filters every 3 weeks (for newer homes) or 6 months (for households without allergies and pets). If you have allergies or stay with pets at home, make sure to replace your filters every month.
- Check the roof
The roof is your home’s first line of defense against harmful elements like rain, snow, and extreme heat. But many homeowners overlook its condition. Is yours getting its much-needed maintenance?
Inspecting your roof at least every year or 6 months allows you to see early signs of damage. Undetected, a leaky roof is expensive to repair, and even more costly to replace. Check for loose, blistering or missing shingles, presence of moss, damaged tiles, and cracked caulk.
- Unclog the gutters and downspouts
Your gutters can get clogged with dried leaves or snow buildup, causing water to flow to your home’s wood trim. Over time, gutters in a bad state can lead to damage to your home’s foundation.
This is why it’s important to clean your gutters and downspouts at least once a year. Use a ladder (or binoculars if you’re scared of heights) to access them. Remove debris with a small shovel and then rinse the gutters with high-pressure water from a hose.
If you keep your gutters clean, they can properly drain water, move it away from your home’s foundation, and prevent expensive foundation repairs.
- Check for leaks and fix them ASAP
Did you know that a dripping faucet can waste as much as 5 gallons of water every day?
A leaky faucet and shower head or pipe cause more problems than just higher water bills. It can make your home an ideal breeding ground for mold, mildew, and termites that lead to serious home damage.
So, from time to time, inspect your home thoroughly to spot leaks before they cause irreparable damage. Fixing leaks immediately can save you on water bills and costly structural repairs.
- Keep your home pest-free
Get rid of your home’s most unwelcome guests, a.k.a household pests such as termites, mice, bugs, and cockroaches. Not only are these creatures gross, but they’re also risky for your family’s health. Pests carry germs that get passed to the food you eat and cause digestive issues like diarrhea and gastroenteritis. Pests can also cause long-term structural damage to your home.
Make hiring a pest control service a part of your home maintenance activities every year. On your own, you can try different ways to pest-proof your home. Also consider installing screens on your doors, windows, and other openings in your home to restrict pest access.
- Inspect and clean your appliances
Your appliances will never magically clean themselves. Take the time to maintain your oven, refrigerator, coffee maker, and other appliances that you use to store and cook food. Otherwise, you’ll be dealing with expensive repair bills and illnesses later on.
If there’s any component of your home appliance that needs urgent attention, it’s the condenser coils at the back of your fridge. The coils can be clogged with cobwebs and dust, causing the compressor to work harder than it should. When that happens, heat isn’t released efficiently and more power is consumed. Worse, it can lead to early damage to your refrigerator. All it takes to prevent those problems is to clean the coils with vacuum and brush.
- Clean your rugs and carpets
When was the last time you vacuumed or washed your rugs and carpets? If you can’t remember it, then don’t be surprised that you or someone in your family is suffering from allergies.
Ideally, rugs and carpets are vacuumed at least twice a week and professionally cleaned every year. Also, call a professional for help if you spot stains, mold or tears on your carpet or rug. This way, you don’t have to replace them more often than necessary.
May this home maintenance checklist help you realize the need to keep the critical parts of your house safe and in good condition. Time to put your handyman cap on and roll up your sleeves!