Congratulations! You own a home. It’s a dream come true! Now guess what. You need to take care of it. Before you allow the weight of home owner responsibility to rest on your shoulders, realize that home management is doable. Taking quality care of your home will not only help preserve the quality and structure of the home but your community will thank you too!
The best way to keep track of yearly home maintenance projects to print out a list of indoor and outdoor tasks that need to be completed each year. Using a pencil, mark the date each project was last completed. Pick 1-2 projects every month to avoid getting overwhelmed and you’ll complete the list before you know it.
- Prune trees and shrubs. Not only does this add to the curb appeal of your home but by properly pruning trees, you can avoid having any limbs break and damage the tree. Pruned shrubs will also protect the siding on your home and give less room for little critters to hang out.
- Clean out dryer exhaust vent. This is a safety hazard. Use a long and flexible brush to clean out any built up lint in the vent.
- Cover central air conditioners in the cold winter months. This will help preserve the life of your AC.
- Clean gutters and down spouts. This is a great end-of-summer task. Cleaning out the gutters and downspouts will ensure rain water will drain away from your home properly and prevent flooding.
- Rake leaves. It’s important to rake leaves so they down clog any storm drains on the street. They can also be shredded and used as mulch.
- Winterize outdoor water spouts. Remove hoses, drain and store in a garage or shed. Cover the spigot with a winter spigot bib.
- Pressure wash. Cleaning the siding and any aluminum coverings on your home with a pressure washer helps protect the home from damage from mold and mildew that can collect throughout the year.
- Clean roof. Remove leaves, pine needles and any debris from the roof and use moss killer from a local home improvement store to remove moss growth. This helps protect the roof from the elements and ensures you’ll get a long life out of your roof. Most rooves need to be replaced about every 15 years.
- Change or clean heating, ventilating and air conditioning covers and filters. Clean vent covers by removing and washing with soap and water. By following the directions on your furnace, you should be able to determine if they need to be changed more frequently. Regularly changing filters will improve the air quality in your home, reducing allergies, asthma and some illness.
- Clean drains. Caring for the pipes below our sinks is important. An easy and non-messy way to do this is to simply dump half a cup of baking soda and half a cup of vinegar down the drain. After 10 minutes or so, pour 1-2 cups of boiling water.
- Test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Most professionals suggest doing this when the clocks fall back. This will not only assure they will go off when they need to, but that they won’t go off when they don’t.
- Check windows and doors for weather stripping. If the weather stripping is worn out or torn, replace it. This will save you money in heating and air conditioning costs.
- Re-caulk sinks/windows/tubs. By removing the old caulk and adding new caulk around these places in your home, you will protect it from water damage and weather damage.
- Have furnace professionally inspected. By regularly having your furnace inspected by a professional, you are less likely to run into any big problems in the future. Many furnace inspectors will also take care of any problems that arise if they inspect the furnace regularly.
- If needed, set traps for rodents. There are many easy-to-use traps available at home improvement stores that won’t make your stomach turn. If you suspect rodents are in your home (walls, basement, etc.) then you need to take care of them ASAP. Rodents reproduce extremely quickly and can cause some pretty serious damage and leave a big mess behind.
There you have it: maintaining your home in 15 easy steps. Happy home owning!