It’s a very human desire to want to upgrade our living spaces as we settle in to make sure that everything is congruent with our overall lifestyle. A house with surrounding property is often one of the most expensive things someone owns, so proper maintenance is essential. By properly maintaining your home, you ensure that it doesn’t depreciate in value, you lower the chances of expensive and catastrophic failure, and of course, you keep your way of life simple and stress-free. Making sure your home is completely airtight isn’t the simplest task, however, since there’s a lot to go over. No matter how daunting it might seem, though, it’s entirely necessary.
Fortunately, here’s a list of everything you should go over when checking over your home:
We’ll start outside, and then work our way inside. First, assess the actual grounds of your home and get a feel for what’s going on. Does the grass need to be tended to? Are any trees on your property sickly and at risk of death? Other things like picking up debris should be prioritized during this stage as well. If you have any large debris like older vehicles or scrap metal, consider calling someone to come to pick it up for you. These might seem like minor fixes, and in a lot of ways, they are, but when it comes to nastiness on your property itself, there tends to be a bit of a snowball effect.
Your Home Exterior
The first thing you should do is to conduct a full circle-check of your home, looking at all aspects from top to bottom. Look for things like missing shingles on the roof, whether or not your driveway is in tip-top shape, as well as for evidence of the foundation being cracked or moving, by looking at where your home connects to the ground itself.
Your gutters are a significant thing to be looking at after conducting a quick superficial check of the home as a whole. Gutters play an essential role in managing how your home deals with rainwater. Improperly maintained gutters can result in water pooling where it shouldn’t or even a leak forming, so keep your eyes peeled. At the bare minimum, gutters should be cleaned 2-3 times a year.
If no major issues are plaguing your home, you can then move on to giving your home a good old-fashioned scrub down. The goal here is to remove all grit and grime from the exterior of your home to help renew your home’s overall look. Not only that, removing all of this unwanted dirt helps protect your paint and masonry from becoming more damaged. A power washer isn’t always necessary. A hose, a sponge or rag, and some heavy soap for spot-cleaning are more than enough for most people. Don’t forget to close all of your windows!
If you have a deck or a pool, take the time to accurately assess its condition and see if any preventative maintenance should be done. When it comes to the deck, look for things like cracked wood or nails coming out of place. Also, look to see how much debris is stuck between each individual board.
Your Home’s Internal Organs
All homes are made up of several vital systems that help deliver the creature comforts we’ve become so accustomed to.
For instance, you should be taking a solid look at all of your plumbing, from each pipe underneath your sinks to where these pipes eventually go to on both ends. You’re on the lookout for leaks or evidence of water damage. Should you find lots of water stains on your ceilings, that’s a big indicator that there’s a leaky pipe nearby. Lots of these minor things can be fixed all by yourself, no plumber necessary.
Another massive system in your home that should be looked at is the HVAC system. Call in a professional technician to do routine servicing of your entire HVAC system, something you should be doing, anyway, about twice a year. They’ll assess the ductwork and also clean out vents, as well as some of the temperature control features in your home. Ask your technician if there are any parts worth having on hand based on current needs. There are places like aclube.com that sell these parts directly to consumers, instead of having to pay the markup for the ones from your HVAC company.
Next, your CO2 detectors and smoke alarms need to be properly tested. Ensure that they all work correctly, and that they have relatively fresh batteries inside of them. Generally, it’s recommended to change out the batteries for your alarms and detectors about once a year.
If you live somewhere warm and use your A/C consistently, you should be cleaning the filter out at least once a month during periods of high use.
Depending on the climate in which you live, what you’ll need to be focusing on is slightly different during different parts of the year.
For instance, if you live somewhere with cold winters, you need to make sure that you shut off and drain outdoor pipes, so they don’t burst in the spring. Another concern for those who are often stuck in the cold is that your home should be winter-proofed should a massive storm hit that gets in the way of your ability to get around town easily. That means having some supplies to keep yourself fed, a way to keep warm should the power go out, first aid kits, as well as other things like gas for your snow blower.
During the summer months, regardless of where you are, you should have a keen eye on your grounds once again. Consistently water your plants and mow your lawn, and make sure to prune the weeds weekly. Any repairs that need to be done to the exterior of your home at large are also best done during the summer months.
Inside Your Home
Next comes the steps required for the interior of your home itself. Usually, there isn’t much amiss inside the house, but it’s still essential to check, anyway. These are all relatively minor checks to make sure things are working as they should.
Go into your bathrooms, kitchens, or anywhere else that deals with water or utilities, and make sure that the grout is still in good condition. This protects your tiles from water damage. If the grout is starting to waste away, simply spot repair as necessary.
Make sure that you and your family are the only residents of your home. This means ensuring your home isn’t an appealing choice for pests such as insects or small rodents. Make sure it isn’t easy for insects to enter your home, and that there isn’t an abundance of unwrapped food attracting them from miles away.
Any and all miscellaneous handles, knobs, or anything like that should be checked throughout the home. Tighten screws as necessary to securely fasten all of these items. Your faucets should be checked as well, and those in a poor state should be replaced immediately.
Finally, you should deep clean your home from top to bottom. Each floor should be vacuumed diligently, all surfaces wiped down, etc. Look for the hard to reach spots you usually miss during routine cleans, like the individual blades on a fan or behind low traffic areas. You’d be surprised at what you’ll find in some of the more niche areas of your home, from massive quantities of dust to maybe even a few candy wrappers.
Well, if you do everything on this list, it should be impossible for your home to be keeping any secrets from you. The most expensive fixes are likely to be for the roof or internal home systems like plumbing, electrical, or HVAC, so these items should be prioritized over things like raking the leaves. You can do much of this checklist, but the moment you find something that’s out of your comfort zone or knowledge base, you should call in a professional. It might be tempting to skip routine maintenance work to save some money, but avoiding placing that call to the plumber today could mean a much more expensive repair tomorrow.
Being a responsible homeowner involves a lot of hard work. There’s no getting around that fact. Still, knowing you’ve done everything in your power to keep your living space in tip-top shape is rewarding in and of itself. Plus, you get to truly call yourself the master of your domain without even a pinch of pretentiousness. This checklist doesn’t have to be completed in a single day, either. It should ideally be stretched around 3-7 days, so you aren’t rushing throughout any particular aspect. You’ll also be able to sleep on certain problems you find, possibly coming up with a much better solution than your initial thought. Either way, best of luck in your home maintenance endeavors. It’s all worth it in the end!