Keeping your home or building maintained is crucial to its longevity. As the place where you rest or work and possibly one of the biggest investments you’ll ever make, it’s important to ensure your building or home maintains its integrity and efficiency.
With more businesses offering remote work, you may be spending more time at home, making it even more important to keep your house maintained. You may be tempted to tackle home improvements on your own but there are some home renovations you shouldn’t DIY. Complex projects may require the assistance of a remodeling contractor to ensure you’re adhering to building codes and safety regulations.
Consider how comfortable you feel with the complexity of the project when deciding if you should hire a contractor or do it yourself. Even if you work with a contractor on home improvements, it’s your responsibility as a homeowner to keep up with the maintenance on these projects. Learn more about important maintenance items you should address to keep your home or building functioning properly.
Most monthly maintenance duties can be completed without professional help. The tools you’ll need for these tasks are basic, such as a hammer, ladder, or screwdriver. In most cases, you won’t need to make a big investment to accomplish the following monthly maintenance tasks:
- Checking for leaks: Spend a few minutes examining bathroom and kitchen plumbing for wet spots, discoloration, or drips. If you see leaks, it may mean the pipes need to be tightened or you may need to call a plumber to further inspect the issue.
- Examining air filters: Clean HVAC filters ensure your equipment runs efficiently. While you may only need to replace your furnace or air conditioning filters every few months, take a moment to check them every month for blockage and replace them as needed.
- Testing smoke and carbon monoxide detectors: Home fire safety is important so every month, grab a ladder and take a few moments to test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Ensure each work properly and if not, change out batteries or units accordingly.
- Inspecting the exterior: When you have a free half-hour to an hour, stroll around the exterior of your home. Look for cracks in the building or foundation. Check for water buildup and ensure vents and gutters are clear. If you see issues, you may need a professional to help remedy them.
Set a yearly reminder about maintenance tasks you should complete. Annual maintenance duties may be more time-consuming than monthly tasks and you may need professional assistance to complete some of them, especially if you don’t have the right tools for the job. Every year, be sure you:
- Analyze your pest control routine: Consider how effective your pest control routine was throughout the year. You may need to change the products you’re using or the services you obtain from a professional if they haven’t been effective.
- Inspect the roof: If you had intense storms throughout the year, your roof may have been affected without you noticing. Use a sturdy ladder to hop on the roof or hire a roofing company to inspect and ensure your roof is still in good condition.
- Drain the water heater: If you don’t have a tankless water heater, sediment can build up in the tank throughout the year. Drain your water heater annually to dispose of this sediment. If you don’t feel comfortable tackling this task on your own, hire a professional to drain it for you, and inspect the unit.
Clean the dryer exhaust: If your dryer vent is clogged with lint, it loses efficiency and may even be a fire hazard. Once a year, clean it out using a long vacuum handle attachment and a vent cleaning brush. You can also hire a professional to inspect the dryer exhaust and clean it for you.
- Flush your lines: If you have a spare bathroom or laundry sink that you don’t use every day, consider flushing your lines once a year. Turn on your cold water for about 15 minutes, then hot water for about 15 minutes at every water fixture in your home, including sinks, showers, and bathtubs. This flushes any sediment or rust that may have settled in your pipes.
The maintenance tasks you need to tackle may also depend on the season and the weather you experience in your region. Most weather-related maintenance tasks are centered around preparation.
When you perform the following duties around your home, you’ll ensure you’re prepared for every season and type of weather.
Take advantage of moderate weather and use it to prepare yourself for the heat of the summer or the cold of the winter. When the weather is moderate, consider:
- Cleaning out your gutters.
- Inspecting paved areas, such as driveways and sidewalks, for cracks.
- Examining window and door seals.
- Removing leaves and debris from your yard.
Although hot weather is usually pleasant, it can wreak havoc on your home if you’re not prepared. Ensure your home can handle the heat and take a moment to perform these maintenance tasks before it gets too hot:
- Inspect your crawlspace or basement for water damage and cracks.
- Test your irrigation system for functionality and leaks.
- Switch the direction of indoor fans.
- Check exterior panels and siding for damage.
- Ensure the HVAC unit area is free of debris and weeds.
- Replace wood decking that’s compromised.
Winter can be a brutal time of year for your home, especially if you live in an area that experiences frequent freezes and snowfall. Before the temperature starts to drop, make sure your home is ready by:
- Covering your outdoor air conditioning equipment.
- Switching the direction of indoor fans.
- Checking the seals on doors and windows.
- Disconnecting outdoor hoses and turning off hose bibs.
- Inspecting your fireplace.
- Closing the vents to your foundation.
- Having your furnace serviced.
As a homeowner, there are also more extensive maintenance tasks that you may need to tackle over the years. Some of these tasks may require an investment and the assistance of a professional, while others may just require a time commitment. Be aware that you may need to:
- Paint your home’s interior and exterior.
- Reseal windows and doors.
- Replace appliances.
- Install a new roof.
- Replace decking.
- Get a new HVAC system.
Keeping your home or building properly maintained is essential to preventing damage and expensive repairs. There are many responsibilities to consider as a homeowner but if you adhere to this maintenance checklist, you’ll keep your house in great shape.