Your Ultimate Home Maintenance Checklist
As busy homeowners, it’s easy to get preoccupied with the day-to-day and put off routine home maintenance until it becomes an emergency––like forgetting to inspect roof shingles until water seeps through the ceiling or maintain gutters until they overflow and damage exterior walls. To keep you on track, we’ve rounded up a month-by-month home maintenance checklist to keep your house, gutters and gutter guards in tip-top shape.
After the holidays have come and gone, we begin to see freezing temperatures, especially in the Northeast.
- Spread rock salt on walkways, driveways, and steps to prevent slips and falls with a shovel or garden spreader.
- Install pipe insulation available in foam, fiberglass, or rubber insulation to protect pipes from freezing and bursting.
- Protect landscaping with mulch, outdoor heat lamps, and cover hedges and shrubs with burlap.
February brings candy hearts and chocolates, but it also brings mother nature’s winter wrath that can wreak havoc on your home.
- Prevent ice dams by installing a heated cable on your roofline prior to a snowstorm.
- Replace the furnace filter as your furnace has been working around the clock during the cold months.
- Check caulk around windows to keep out drafts that make you cold and run up your heating bill.
March has arrived which means the worst of the winter has probably passed but not without leaving a reminder in its path.
- Clean leaves, twigs, and pine needles out of gutters and downspouts to enable water to drain properly off the roof.
- Inspect the roofline looking for damaged shingles, rotted fascia boards, and fallen tree branches.
- Check driveways and walkways for cracks as a result of freezing and thawing and fill them with concrete filler so they don’t get larger.
As the weather gets warmer, it’s the ideal time for cleaning and painting to freshen things up.
- Clean dirt and grime off screen doors using a vacuum and mixture of ½ gallon of water and a few squirts of dish soap.
- Repair chipped and peeling paint on window and door trim, sand rough areas, and apply a coat of paint.
- Ensure soil slopes away from the building to prevent water pooling around your foundation to cause settling, leaks, and cracks.
In May flowers are in bloom, hence the proverb, “April showers bring May flowers”, making the month a prime opportunity to help your garden grow and boost curb appeal.
- Inspect your lawn irrigation system by running it in test mode checking for broken pipes, loose fittings, and leaking sprinkler heads.
- Refinish the deck and hammer or replace loose or bent nails and broken deck boards.
- Refresh furniture by hitting lawn, deck, and patio furniture with a coat of paint or stain.
June is the time to get ready for pool time and summer maintenance and maintain landscaping.
- Check pool filters and test chemicals for proper pH.
- Powerwash and paint the exterior walls.
- Keep your lawn manicured by regular mowing and weeding around flower beds and between sidewalk cracks.
Backyard entertainment is the main agenda for July with sizzling steaks, burgers, and franks in abundance.
- Clean the grill with a stiff wire brush and refill the propane tank
- Continue maintaining your pool by testing chemicals for safe swimming.
- Remove all the ash from firepits and clean with one part muriatic acid to nine parts water
August is the buggy season so ensure to keep insects away from your family and pets.
- Spray for wasps, hornets, mosquitoes, and other insects with pet-friendly products.
- Clean oil and stains from natural stone surfaces like granite and concrete countertops and pavers.
- Prune bushes, shrubs, and dead tree limbs left over from summer storms.
You’ve maintained your pool all summer. After Labor Day, it’s time to close and winterize the pool and clean gutters after summer storms.
- Get your pool ready for winter with a pool closing kit or call in a pro to clean and backwash filters, chlorinate the pool, and scrub the sides for algae.
- Clean leaves, branches, and debris from gutters after heavy summer rains and storms.
- Check fasteners on gutters and pound spikes back into place and replace damaged fasteners.
October is the time to prepare for cold weather and protect your home from fires and carbon monoxide.
- Winterize your sprinkler system by shutting off the irrigation system water supply and removing water from pipes to avoid freezing.
- Remove ash and debris from fireplaces, a nesting spot for birds and small pests, and consider hiring a chimney sweeper to clean flues and chimney walls, the home for the release of harmful gas emissions.
- Seal cracks and gaps on windows to protect your home from water damage and cut heating bills.
November brings turkey, stuffing, and sweet yams to the table but also invites critters looking for a warm place for nesting.
- Rescreen broken attic vents to keep pests out of the attic.
- Service your snowblower to prepare for the first snowfall.
- Check outdoor railings to ensure steps and walkways are safe before the rain has the chance to freeze.
As fall gives way to winter, it’s time for a few last maintenance items to keep you warm and cozy at home or prepare you for your vacation home.
- Change the furnace filter.
- Snowbirds: turn off your water at the main valve and lower the heater to 55 degrees to prevent frozen pipes.
- Switch out screens for storm doors until the spring.
To Sum up…
While many of these projects can be done by an enthusiastic DIYer, don’t hesitate to reach out to a gutter installation professional in your area to help take care of the tougher tasks. The only thing worse than a home maintenance problem is making it worse through trial and error.