Owning a home is the dream of many families. It is the place where you can settle down, establish roots, and become part of a community.
Homeownership can also be one of the biggest headaches of your life.
All of the maintenance work you need to do to keep your house in excellent shape can be time-consuming and expensive. It is a good idea to reserve between 2% to 5% of your home’s real value (not what it could sell for in the open market) each year for potential repairs.
When you catch problems early, they’re usually cheaper to fix. That’s why completing a monthly and yearly maintenance inspection is helpful. Some items require other schedules to ensure they work as intended.
What Items Need a Monthly Inspection at Home?
These monthly tasks will keep your home in safe working order while reducing the risk of future, more costly damage.
- Clean the garbage disposal with hot water and baking soda. If you have stuck items, grinding some ice cubes might help.
- Inspect your indoor and outdoor vents to ensure they remain clear.
- Flush out the supply from your water heater to remove accumulated sediment.
- Vacuum your vents and heat registers.
- Inspect your electrical cords for unusual wear and tear.
- Test all of your warning alarms, including the smoke detector, carbon monoxide detector, and security system.
- Inspect your fire extinguishers to ensure they are ready to use.
- Look inside your sink and tub drains for clogs and remove anything you find.
- Clean the aerators and showerheads to remove any collected mineral deposits.
- Replenish the salt in your water softener.
- Clean or replace your furnace filter to remove build-up issues.
What Items Require a Yearly Inspection?
Some tasks only need to get completed once per year to make sure everything is in working order. You might consider increasing the frequency of your inspections if you’ve encountered past problems with some items.
- Clean out the dryer exhaust vent for your laundry setup. If enough lint gets trapped and heated in this area, it can start a fire.
- Give your garage door springs some lubrication.
- Drain the water heater to remove whatever sediment is collected in the unit over the year.
- Inspect your structure for signs of termites. Since most houses use wooden framing, it doesn’t take long for this repair to get expensive.
- If you have a septic tank, it should be inspected annually and cleaned every other year.
What Items Require a Seasonal Inspection?
A few household chores require a seasonal inspection to ensure your home is ready to face the challenges of the next three months. The items you need to complete for the winter might be different from what you encounter during the summer.
- If you have a chimney, have it professionally inspected for damage and pest infestations.
- Replace or repair any weather stripping and caulking that needs updates around your doors and windows.
- Have your air-conditioning or HVAC system serviced.
- Inspect your shower, sink, and bathtub for caulking and waterproofing deterioration.
- Remove any of the leaves or debris that you have clogging your downspouts and gutters.
- Power wash your siding and windows, if appropriate. Some products don’t respond well to the high-pressure flow.
- If you have a deck, inspect it for damage and repair as needed.
- Fertilize your lawn and restore the pH balance to any flowerbeds or gardens you have outside.
Chores to Think About for Long-Term Needs
When your home starts getting older, some of the components will start wearing out. Although these items can last for 5-10 years without difficulty, you’ll need to keep these tasks on your maintenance checklist so that you’re ready for the time when an update is necessary.
- Replace the microwave. Most units operate for about nine years before they start wearing out, with countertop models sometimes getting less than five years.
- Swap out the kitchen sink. It starts to show its age after about five years, and most models require a complete replacement after ten years.
- Update your dishwasher. If it is more than ten years old, you’re spending more money on energy and water than needed.
- Paint the exterior of your home. Most homeowners wait until it starts flaking off, which means the job will cost more.
If you are unsure of how to complete these maintenance items, hiring a professional service provider ensures that the job gets done correctly the first time.
Do you need help with any of the items on this checklist? If so, be sure to give us a call today! We’ll be happy to help keep your house the home it is now and in the future.