Home maintenance checklist
Buying a home is a big deal and taking care of your home should be just as important. While home maintenance is a year-round project, it shouldn’t be overwhelming. We know how hard it can be to stay on top of every task, so we’ve created a home maintenance checklist that you can reuse every year.
1. Replace smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detector batteries
Safety first! One of the most important things to do every year is replacing the batteries in your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. Pick a day each year – the annual switch to daylight savings time could be an option – to go around your home and swap out the batteries in your upstairs and downstairs detectors. This quick and simple checkup could make a life-saving difference if an emergency occurs.
2. Get your HVAC serviced
Make sure your heating and air conditioning systems are ready to roll as soon as the weather turns. Get your HVAC system serviced by a certified technician to ensure everything is clean and operating efficiently. A bi-annual check of your heating and air conditioning units could save you money on your energy bill. Also, make sure to replace dirty air filters as necessary and test your thermostat to ensure it’s working properly.
3. Inspect your fireplace and chimney
Whether you use your fireplace often or not, your chimney requires an annual cleanup because of the dangerous toxins from a fireplace, wood stove or furnace that are released through the chimney. Get your chimney swept before you start regularly using your fireplace or furnace for winter.
4. Keep an eye on your pipes
Avoid an in-home disaster by preventing your pipes from freezing when cold weather hits. Frozen water can expand within the pipe, leading to cracks and damages. As soon as the ice melts, your pipes could burst and flood your home. Pipes outside of the home or in unheated areas face the greatest risk. Make sure to shut off and drain any outdoor faucets before winter arrives. Keep cabinet doors that are below your sink open to let warm air in. Don’t let your thermostat fluctuate temperature, and set your thermostat to a minimum of 55 degrees if you’re going away for an extended time. Nobody wants a pipe burst to ruin that winter getaway!
5. Check your sump pump
Another way to prevent a home flooding nightmare is to annually check your sump pump as winter transitions to spring. This is the perfect time to ensure the sump pump is draining properly, as warming temperatures and increased rainfall melt away any leftover snow on the ground. If your sump pump isn’t doing its job, replace the motor before that first spring rainstorm arrives.
6. Clear your gutters
Shifting to the outside of your home, clearing your gutters at least once a year is an essential chore. Clogged gutters can damage your roof and cause leaks inside the home. Get rid of any remaining debris from the winter before rainy spring weather arrives and make any necessary repairs to your gutters before the winter freeze sets in.
7. Rake your leaves
Nothing says autumn quite like leaves changing colors and falling off trees. While this may be aesthetically pleasing, a bed of leaves sitting atop your lawn could lead to mold growth. Rake and bag your leaves, or reuse them as a natural mulch for your shrubs and trees.