Home Maintenance Checklist

Everyone wants to be a homeowner until it’s time to do homeowner stuff. Spending a Saturday or two maintaining one of your biggest investments pays off in the long run, because if you don’t take time for it now, you will pay for it big-time later.

Like vehicles, homes need regular upkeep to stay in shape. To that end, we’ve compiled a list of things you can do to keep your house in top shape.

Monthly Activities

This short list of monthly items shouldn’t take a long time to accomplish.

  • Clean or replace your heating and A/C filters. When going to the store to get new filters, take a picture of the filter that’s currently in it. This way you don’t have to try to remember or write down the information.
  • Inspect your fire extinguishers – check to see that the gauge is still in the proper range and the safety pin and any tamper seal is intact.
  • Clean the kitchen drain and garbage disposal – A mix of baking soda and vinegar is an affordable and easy solution to harsh chemicals. Add lemon or orange peels or ice to help clean the disposal blades.
  • Check conditioner levels for your water softener

Winter Checklist

For many homes, winter can be the harshest time of year, especially for those located in the snowier/colder climates. The heavy lifting for many of these should have the more challenging of them completed, but it’s good to double-check.

  • Stock up on ice control supplies – such as ice melt, salt
  • Check your gutters for signs of ice buildup along the roof eaves and in the gutters. Remove gently as needed.
  • Make sure your snow blower is working properly 
  • Winterize your water pipes, such as outdoor faucets, pool equipment, etc. – you can shut off and drain faucets, insulate them, keep a faucet at a drip.
  • If you go away, make sure your home is set to at least 55ºF (12.8ºC) to help keep pipes from freezing
  • Ideally, put a new set of batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors every six months. Ideally, pick the same dates each year, such as when you turn your clocks forward/back in the spring and fall. Make sure you test your detectors when you change batteries. Note, if you have the 10-year batteries in them, you can probably skip this.

Spring Checklist

Winter is done, and your home (hopefully) survived. Now is the time for the proverbial “spring cleaning” and inspection of your home, inside and out. With spring rains coming (or already there) plus the upcoming summer, knocking these out over the next couple months can save you lots of headaches later.

  • Inspect your deck or patio for loose nails or screws. Clean and reseal the wood.
  • Inspect your home’s paint or exterior covering. Repair or touch up as needed.
  • Inspect masonry or similar constructed features. Repair and recaulk, as needed.
  • Remove storm windows and repair and reinstall screens, as appropriate
  • Inspect and service your A/C system, as appropriate, making sure the condensation drain is clear of debris, the compressor and system are clean, and the refrigerant hasn’t leaked out
  • Clean kitchen exhaust hood, fan, grease traps, and filters
  • Clean and vacuum your refrigerator’s coils
  • Inspect your attic for signs of damage and pests
  • Clean your gutters
  • Inspect your roof for damage or leaks, including any outbuildings. Replace broken, missing or loose shingles or tiles.
  • Trim and prune trees and shrubs
  • Remove insulation from outdoor water faucets
  • Examine your lawn sprinklers for leaks, exposed lines, or malfunctioning sprinkler heads.
  • Dust off and then test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors

Summer Checklist

Summer is the time to enjoy your home and yard, not fix them. So early in the season is the time to take care of the things you should have gotten done during the spring. Getting it done sooner leaves you with more time for barbecues and pool time.

  • Clean kitchen exhaust hood, fan, grease traps, and filters
  • Clean and vacuum your refrigerator’s coils
  • Dust off and then test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
  • Inspect your basement/crawlspace for signs of moisture, damage, or pests
  • Inspect the outside and inside of your home for insect/pest activities. This is a good time to look for termites, ants, bees, wasps, etc.
  • Inspect your roof and foundation for damage and drainage problems. Look for clogged downspouts, grading problems, and similar
  • Inspect the basement and/or crawl space for moisture issues. Address anything you find.
  • Inspect inside and outside your home for insect activity. Check for termites, ants, carpenter bees, wasps, etc.)

Fall Checklist

As summer wanes and fall begins, now is the time to tackle any leftover major home repair or improvement projects and prepare your home to take on the winter. Obviously, winter preps can vary as much as the weather…winterizing a home in Phoenix, AZ, will be very different from one in the interior of Michigan.

  • Start water supply and pipe winterization plans. Store away unused hoses.
  • Inspect roof for damage or leaks
  • Cover, close, or remove window A/C units
  • Trim trees, bushes and shrubs away from the home
  • Inspect your deck and fix any loose nails, screws, or boards.
    Clean and cover/store outdoor furniture you won’t use during the colder months
  • Clean your gutters and downspouts
  • Remove standard screens and install storm screens
  • Get your chimney inspected and cleaned
  • Schedule or conduct your annual furnace inspection
  • Vacuum your refrigerator’s coils 
  • Dust off and then test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors


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