Home Maintenance Tips

Maintaining your home properly protects your investment, keeps your family safe, and ensures that any repair or replacement claims you submit will be covered* by Choice Home Warranty. Of course, staying on top of maintenance is easier said than done: it requires monthly and seasonal tasks that can pile up if you don’t stay on top of them. Still, it’s essential to take care of your home by performing important home maintenance service.

Why You Can’t Ignore Home Maintenance

Your home and its components are built to last, but not without a little help. Your HVAC system needs new filters, your gutters need cleaning, drains must be flushed, and sediment flushed from your water heater. Without essential maintenance like this, you’ll find that your appliances and systems won’t perform as efficiently as possible, and they’ll also be more prone to breakdown or heavy wear.

How You Can Stay on Top of Home Maintenance

While it can be overwhelming to think of all the different home maintenance tasks you need to take care of, it’s much easier if you set up a regular schedule to tackle them. Choice Home Warranty recommends a monthly and seasonal schedule for managing preventive maintenance in your home:

Monthly Home Maintenance Tasks

  • Check and inspect your fire extinguisher(s)
  • Inspect all visible pipes for leaks, for example: pipes under your sinks
  • Clean your garbage disposal with vinegar ice cubes
  • Clear hair and other debris from tub drains and sink stoppers
  • Replace air filters and inspect forced-air heating system
  • Clean range hood filter and replace if needed
  • Check and replace water filters, softeners, and purifiers if needed
  • Reset and test all ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCI) outlets
  • Inspect infrequently-used toilets and sinks, running the water and flushing the toilet

Winter Home Maintenance Tasks

  • Perform a bi-annual safety check, making sure that your smoke detector, carbon monoxide detector, and other safety equipment is working properly. Replace the batteries in each
  • Clean your lawn and backyard of unnecessary summer and fall garden tools, storing them carefully and winterizing equipment like lawn mowers and leaf blowers by draining fuel
  • Ask a service professional to inspect and service your furnace and hentral heating unit
  • Check your attic for adequate ventilation and insulate the pipes in your home’s crawl spaces and attic
  • Inspect hinges and locks on doors and windows, repairing or replacing items that are not working properly, and lubricating hinges and other moving parts
  • Tighten loose items around your home by inspecting handles, knobs, racks, and screws that have come loose
  • Inspect water hoses on appliances including your washer, refrigerator, and dishwasher for cracks and bubbles
  • Clear shower heads and faucets of built-up sediment
  • Vacuum the back of your refrigerator and inside your air conditioner following manufacturer’s instructions
  • Perform a basement inspection and cleaning, checking for mold, dampness, and cracks, as well as dusting and cleaning

Spring Home Maintenance Tasks

  • Drain your hot water heater tank according to manufacturers’ recommendations to clear sediment and prevent buildup from minerals and corrosion.
  • Inspect your roof for leaks, watching for loose or missing shingles, especially around chimneys, vents, and skylights
  • Inspect your chimney for loose or missing mortar
  • Deep clean windows, dust blinds, vacuum curtains, and repair or replace damaged window screens.
  • Inspect your home’s exterior for foundation cracks, damaged bricks, loose siding, and chipping paint
  • Ask an HVAC professional to inspect and perform annual maintenance on your air conditioning system
  • Clean your dryer vent and ensure that the exhaust pathway is clear
  • Perform a deep cleaning on your home: clean out cabinets, clean carpets, dust light fixtures, and polish wood furniture
  • Trim trees and shrubs so that they do not interfere with electrical lines, or have roots growing near your foundation or under concrete pads. Plants and shrubs should be trimmed to 3″ away from your home
  • Inspect your shut off valves and indoor plumbing fixtures
  • Clean winter build up out of your gutters, and flush downspouts with water

Summer Maintenance Tasks

  • Perform a bi-annual saety check, making sure that your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and other safety equipment are working properly, and replacing the batteries
  • Weather strip doors, windows, and your garage door with tight seals to reduce cooling loss, close air gaps, and protect against pests
  • Close air vents and registers in rooms that do not need cooling, but be careful not to close more than 1/4 of the total area of your home
  • Clean and inspect your deck and repair any posts or loose boards
  • Find damaged tiled spaces and repair grout and caulking if needed
  • Inspect plumbing for leaks, repairing leaky facuets with new washers and cleaning aerators
  • Clean debris from window wells
  • Clear drains with a 1-1 mix of baking soda and white vinegar: leave for 10 minutes, then flush with boiling water

Fall Maintenance Tasks

  • Gather winter weather supplies, including snow shovels and sidewalk salt
  • Ask an HVAC professional to inspect and service your heating system
  • Ask a chimney sweet to inspect and clean your chimney, checking your damper and cleaning the flues
  • Winterize your air conditioning system, storing window units or covering your outdoor unit with a tarp or shelter
  • Flush your hot water heater to remove sediment and test the pressure relief valve
  • Inspect your porch for loose railings and uneven stairs
  • Prepare pipes for freezing weather by removing garden hoses and flushing outdoor faucets, as well as turning off water valves and winterizing springkler systems
  • Test your sump pump for proper operation
  • Inspect your attic and basement for animals, finding and sealing entrance points and trapping animals if needed
  • Protect your paved patio, driveway, and sidewalk from expanding ice and water damage by repairing and resealing holes and cracks
    • * Click Here to view Choice Home Warranty’s user agreement for more details.