If you’re like most women, you wear a lot of different hats. You plan menus, know when the soccer season starts, and have your work and home schedules down to a science. (Read: Juggling Home Ownership as a Busy Professional) But if you haven’t pulled together a home maintenance schedule, there’s more work to be done.
Regular maintenance protects the most important financial investment you’ve got — your home. Although the structure is likely quite sturdy, keeping it that way means you’ll need to address potential problems before they start. The last thing you want is a leaky roof when an inspection could have shown you the problem earlier.
A Home Maintenance Schedule & Checklist
Because life on its own is hectic enough, we’ve assembled a handy checklist to help you plan and prepare for the most common maintenance jobs inside and outside of your home. You can add to it or take some away, depending on your needs.
For every season, there’s something to think about. In fact, you should inspect your smoke detectors four times a year, and replace batteries, too. For everything else, here is a checklist broken down by the best season to handle each regular maintenance project. We recommend that you take these chores and create a home maintenance schedule for your family.
Your Home Maintenance Schedule – Getting Started
The theme for spring time maintenance is to find problems caused by winter weather. You then want to get your house ready for lots of fun outdoor activities as who doesn't get spring fever.
- Clean out gutters and downspouts, especially if you didn't get to this in the fall.
- Check for loose or rusty gutter fasteners and replace them.
- Clean deck or patio surfaces and inspect them for damage.
- Clean siding using a pressure washer if you have vinyl or aluminum siding. You never want to use a pressure washer on painted siding unless you're getting ready to paint your house.
- Replace loose or worn caulk around windows and doors.
- Have your lawnmower serviced.
- Let a roofing specialist inspect your roof, if it’s over 10 years old.
Summer Upkeep Takes Less Time
Summer is for relaxing so the chores here are smaller ones that you can tackle in the evening and still enjoy being outdoors on the weekends.
- Clean and inspect gas or charcoal grill.
- Open vents in the foundation of your home, if yours aren’t permanently open.
- Deep clean all kitchen appliances, including vacuuming the refrigerator coils.
- Clean out the clothes dryer lint screen, and vacuum out the vent hose.
- Flush out your water heater, or have an on-demand water heater flushed by a professional.
- Check for any plumbing leaks under the house.
Fall Maintenance Has Some Special Goals
Fall means winter is coming soon so it's time to button up your house, to keep it warm and dry. If your family's home maintenance schedule is tight, you can move some of these tasks to the winter checklist.
- Clean and inspect gutters and downspouts.
- Check the chimney for loose brick mortar and black spots that look like tar. Have the chimney serviced by a professional, if either of those conditions exist.
- Rake leaves and dispose of them according to your local guidelines. In areas where there is a seasonal pickup, rake them to the curb. You can also use leaves as protective mulch around your landscaping.
- Inspect storm windows and close them for the cooler months.
- Clean and store any outdoor furniture and furniture cushions that won’t weather the winter outdoors.
- Disconnect the garden hose from the spigot and drain it.
- Cover the spigot using a freeze-protection cap.
- Inspect weatherstripping around doors and windows, and replace if necessary.
- Have a pro inspect your heat pump or furnace.
- Cover your AC unit, if it’s a separate unit from your heat unit.
- Remove and store window-style air conditioners. Clean the filters before storing.
- Clean garden tools and protect metal parts with a light coating of mineral oil before storing.
Wintertime Slows Down but Still Requires Some Attention
As winter approaches we know you're focused on the holidays. It's a busy time so we simply want you to make sure the house is ready for winter storms and visits from your friends and family. So here's a simple winter checklist, followed by a few of our favorite holiday checklists.
- Check the exterior of your home for problems such as storm damage and open vents in the foundation.
- Check snow blower, and have it serviced if necessary.
- Replace furnace filters.
- Clean and inspect all appliances, kitchen and laundry.
Holiday Checklists You'll also Want to Review
- Christmas Decorating & Holiday Checklist
- Holiday Safety Tips for your home and family.
- Home Safety Tips for Holiday Entertaining
Home maintenance is a bigger job than you might have realized. (Read: Home Maintenance Products that Save Time) But with a checklist, you'll know you're not forgetting something important.
Remember, you don't have to take on every job yourself. There are professionals who can help, and delegating within the family, where possible, lets everyone lend a hand.
Now is the time to get your home in tip-top shape and preserve it for years to come. Regardless of the season, there's always something to do. If you have any home maintenance organization tips, we would love to hear them!