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Seasonal Home Maintenance Checklist

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Routine maintenance is essential for the upkeep of any home. A check on the appliances, heating and cooling systems, plumbing essentials, security and electrical facilities ensure smooth and easy living. Seasonal home maintenance prevents unexpected breakdowns, financial strains, and keeps the home looking its best round the year.


If home repairs are left unattended, they will only loom large and leave the home a neglected one. Hence, inspect your home on a regular basis and follow good maintenance practices seasonally.


Spring

This is indeed an important month for home maintenance. Little wonder that 'spring cleaning' is synonymously used for periodic house cleaning. Focus on the interiors to prepare for the ensuing summer heat after months of humidity.


  • Cleaning of windows takes top priority. And storm windows have to be replaced with screens. For instance if a hole is missed in the window screen, bugs might make their way inside. Duct tapes may be good for a quick fix but not a permanent solution.

  • Smoke detectors must be checked for batteries. Fire hazards must be checked for, say, overloaded extension cords. Carbon monoxide detectors have to be checked.

  • It is important to check if all the exits such as hallways and stairs are clutter free. Similarly, locks, latches, and hinges on doors and windows have to be checked and replaced. Inspect for roof leaks, debris and loose shingles.

  • Clean garbage, car park and shed, basement and attic.

  • Have a professional inspect and pump the septic tank.

  • Gutters, driveways, yards and walkways have to be clear of debris. Remove leaves, branches and debris from gutters and ensure that waterways are properly drained from the house. Repair damaged gutter components if necessary. The clothes dryer vent system must be cleaned as lint can build up and cause the dryer to run longer than required, thereby wasting energy.

  • Ensure that stairs, both indoor and outdoor are slip proof.

  • Caulking around sinks, tubs and showers should be examined.

  • Broken pavements on stairs need to be fixed. Also fix broken, gates, doors and fences. Inspect if they are functioning properly and replace if necessary.

  • Check for pests, termites and rodents. If infestation problem persists, take professional help.
  • Get the air conditioner ready for the ensuing summer. DIY tips can help to fix up any issue and user guides are available for regular maintenance.

  • Ensure that puddles do not stand around the house for more than 24 hours. The pavement may be raised with some professional help so that water is drained away from home.

  • Trees and shrubs in the backyard have to be trimmed and hanging branches eliminated. There is always the danger of plants weaseling their way into cracks and holes on the exterior of the house. It is better to nip them in the bud as they can cause extensive damage to the homes. Trees also have to be checked for interference with electric lines.

  • Make sure that the swimming pool has pumps and filtration systems that work effectively.

  • Check the exteriors of the house for paint requirements. Check if there are any holes in the brick work or any cracks in the foundation.

Summer

Summer is the perhaps the best time of the year to focus on the exterior of the home as well as gardens and lawns. This is the right time to put the garage to use by utilizing the prolonged daylight to neaten it up and complete projects that were left for another time.

Summer home maintenance check list includes:


  • First and foremost is to mow the lawn and trim the bushes. Weak and rotten trees or branches have to be removed. Clean garden lawn furniture and grills. Garden hoses may be checked for leaks.

  • Better install window air conditioners or central air cooling systems or inspect if the existing ones are in good order.

  • Home security system needs to be addressed. Security guard system also has to be checked, or install one.

  • Door and window screens to be checked and windows repaired or replaced as the need be. Door locks and door knobs to be ensured that they are working fine and deadbolts on doors can be installed if they are not found.

  • Lights and bulbs outside the house need to be checked and replaced.

  • Ensure that septic tanks are in good working condition and the sewer lines are inspected.

  • Driveways, walkways and sideways, patios and walls need to be checked for cracks if any and replaced/repaired as needed. In general, it is better to give them a good washing.

  • Tubs, sinks, showers and drains must be cleaned. Faucets and toilets may be checked for leaks.

  • Similarly, decks, steps and wooden structures must be checked for rot and repaired.

  • Wooden surfaces may be checked for weather proofing if they are over two years or more.

  • Since summer is a playground for many an insect, chimneys and roofs can be checked and removed for flying insect nests. Ants, spiders, moths etc may also be common in homes - keep cobwebs cleared and ant poison handy.

  • Dryer vent systems and electrical cords can be checked for wear and tear. While the dryer is running, check if the exhaust is coming out. It should smell of fresh laundry.

  • Garage cleaning is a summer ritual one must follow. Keep it clean and tidy. Give it a thorough going through at least once a year.

  • Grout in bathroom and kitchen has to be repaired as this will prolong the life of tiled surfaces

Fall

This is a perfect season to tackle important home improvement projects. This is the time of the year when the weather is dry and temperatures are moderate. Examine both the interior and exterior of the house. Although it is all right to manage many of the maintenance items on our own, it is better and safer to call for assistance whenever required.


  • It is a must to rake leaves and aerate the lawn.

  • Clean and inspect the gutters for spouts and leaves. Test the sump pump to find if it is working fine.

  • Better inspect the attic for birds, squirrels, bats and other such guests and seal off entrance holes.

  • The house has to be weatherized to withstand the cold weather and insulate, weather strop, caulk, plaster, or replace windows.

  • This is the time to get the heating system ready for winter. Check and clean the furnace for air filters. Inspect and clean the hearth and stock up on firewood. Clean the chimney flue.

  • Clean the clothes dryer vent system as lint buildup can cause the dryer to run longer and this wastes energy and can lead to a fire.

  • Remove unused lawn furniture, grills, hoses and other outdoor items.

  • Keep sidewalk salt, good shovels ready and you would never guess when the first snowflakes would come.

  • Close the swimming pool properly and ensure that water is drained from pipes. Better to cover the pool and keep it clean during the 'off' season.

  • An emergency survival kit for bad weather can be created with batteries, candles, water and packaged food.

  • Clean window air-conditioners and change screens to storm windows. It is better to get prepared for the ensuing winter by closing the outside unit with plastic sheeting and secure with bungee cords.

  • This is the time of the year when your home gets ready for winter; so check on the heater and remove sediments to make it efficient.

Winter

This is the time to go around through the interiors and check even for small things which she might have overlooked during the earlier seasons. This is also the season to get done projects be it painting or building shelves.


  • Icicles can be dangerous for those standing beneath them as they are incredibly heavy and can damage the house. Even the foundation of the house can be affected by water damage when they melt. Hence, de-icing is the first and foremost thing this winter season.

  • Test electricity with utmost care. Check whether all outlets are working.

  • Car should be equipped with blanket, shovel, sand and first aid kit.

  • Canned goods and household items need to be stocked up - light bulbs and batteries.

  • Check smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.

  • Check refrigerator and freezer gaskets. A vacuum with brush attachment can be used to clean the coils at the back of the refrigerator.

  • Identify and repair any leaks in toilets.

  • Not only inside the home, keep paths and driveways clear of snow and ice.

  • Check for proper lighting inside and outside the house. Make sure that holiday lights inside and outside the house are in good working order.

  • Sinks, tubs, toilets may be checked for leaks in faucet and tank.

  • Handles, knobs, racks need to be tightened for loose screws.

  • Caulking around showers and bath tubs needs to be repaired.

  • Clean shower of sediments so that their life is prolonged.

  • Deep clean basements and dust them up. Make sure that there is no mold anywhere around and ensure that the basement is given a good inspection at least once a year.

A home maintenance calendar should help to maximize your efficiency by actually getting these tasks done. Jot down the points on paper or your Smartphone and regularly monitor them for completion.

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