Winter Home Maintenance Checklist
Essential Tasks to Keep Your Home in Top Shape
Regular home maintenance is crucial for preserving the value of your property and ensuring a safe and comfortable living environment. By following a comprehensive checklist, you can tackle key maintenance tasks throughout the year, preventing major issues and costly repairs. In this blog, we will provide you with a detailed home maintenance checklist, covering tasks to be done during the winter season as well as monthly responsibilities.
❄️ Winter Home Maintenance Checklist:
After snowstorms, it's important to inspect your roof, gutters, and downspouts for any damage or debris. Clear out any snow or ice accumulation and ensure proper drainage to prevent leaks or structural issues.
During thaws, melting snow and ice can lead to water leaks in the basement. Inspect the walls and flooring for signs of moisture or leaks, and address any issues promptly to prevent water damage and mold growth.
Winter is an ideal time to clean your refrigerator and freezer. Remove any food items, clean the drip pans, and vacuum the coils at the back of the appliances. This helps maintain their efficiency and prevents odors.
If you decorate your home for the holidays, make sure all electrical decorations have tight connections and are labeled for outdoor use. This precaution ensures safety and reduces the risk of electrical hazards.
As you use your stove and oven more frequently during the holidays, clean the kitchen exhaust hood and air filter. Remove any grease buildup to maintain proper ventilation and prevent fire hazards.
Inspect your water heater for leaks and pressure issues. Consider installing a leak detector to provide early warning and prevent potential flooding damage. Promptly address any water heater issues to avoid disruptions in hot water supply.
Monthly Home Maintenance Checklist:
Test smoke and carbon monoxide alarms:
Regularly test your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms to ensure they are in proper working condition. Replace batteries as needed and follow the manufacturer's instructions for maintenance.
Snake and clean drains:
Prevent costly plumbing problems by regularly snaking and cleaning all drains, including those in tubs, showers, and sinks. Clearing out debris and buildup helps maintain proper drainage and prevents clogs.
Check HVAC filters:
Inspect and change your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) filters as necessary. This is particularly important if you live in a warmer climate where the AC is used frequently. Clean filters improve air quality and maximize system efficiency.
Clean dishwasher screen:
To enhance your dishwasher's efficiency, clean the screen to remove trapped food particles that can obstruct water flow. This simple maintenance task ensures your dishes come out sparkling clean with each cycle.
Wash and disinfect trash cans:
Regularly wash and disinfect your trash cans to prevent odors and discourage pests. Use a cleaning solution and thoroughly rinse the bins to maintain a clean and sanitary environment.
Examine utility bills for spikes in usage:
Review your utility bills monthly to identify any significant spikes in usage. Such increases could indicate problems with your home's systems or highlight the need for adjusting your usage habits. Address any concerns promptly to avoid higher costs and energy waste.
NEVER Skip these 4 Tasks During the Year:
1. Getting a furnace/heating tune-up:
A heating system needs to be serviced once a year, typically at the start of the heating season. A qualified professional will change the filters and check for dangerous carbon monoxide leaks to keep it running at top shape.
- Furnace cleaning or repairs typically cost a few hundred dollars.
- Potential savings: Replacing a furnace costs a few thousand dollars, and major repairs could run as high as $2,000. You might add $100 or so in higher heating bills during the winter if your furnace becomes inefficient, too. But a new, more efficient furnace will save you in heating costs in the long run.
2. Eliminating ice dams:
Ice dams can cause serious roof damage, as the water works its way under the roof shingles and into soffit vents. Inadequate attic insulation is usually the culprit, allowing heated air to warm a roof and melt snow. With the spring thaw, the chance of serious leaks inside the house goes way up.
- Replacing attic batt and roll insulation typically costs a few thousand dollars.
- Potential savings: Preventing ice dams can avoid replacing an entire roof, which costs an average of approximately $8,000. It could also prevent water damage to interior ceilings and walls.
3. Cleaning the gutters and downspouts:
Gutters and downspouts clogged with leaves and other debris can cause the rainwater to overflow — and that can lead to costly repairs. Regularly cleaning gutters can prevent water damage. Ideally, you should clean the gutters and downspouts in the fall and spring, and check them monthly.
- You can clean your gutters using your own sweat equity, or pay a few hundred dollars to have it done professionally.
- Potential savings: Repairing a ceiling that’s been damaged by water can cost hundreds of dollars. Runaway roof water can wear down foundation walls, and that repair can cost thousands.
4. Dehumidifying your home:
Keeping your home’s humidity to 30 percent to 50 percent consistently can keep the growth of moisture-loving dust mites and mold at bay, so a dehumidifier is a great investment for most homeowners.
- Dehumidifiers cost a few thousand dollars to install if you’re considering a self-emptying model.
- Potential savings: High humidity levels can lead to serious mold outbreaks that require professional remediation, which can cost many thousands of dollars.
By following this comprehensive home maintenance checklist, you can stay on top of essential tasks throughout the year. Regular inspections, cleanings, and repairs will help preserve your home's value, prevent major issues, and ensure a comfortable and safe living environment. Remember, proactive maintenance saves you time, money, and stress in the long run.