Home Maintenance Checklist

MONTHLY

  • Fire Extinguisher: Check that it's fully charged; recharge or replace if needed.
  • Sink/Tub Stoppers and Drain Holes: Clean out debris.
  • Garbage Disposal: Flush with hot water and baking soda.
  • Water Softener: Check water softener salt drum and replinish salt if necessary.
  • Forced-Air Heating System: Change filters once a month if user's manual recommends fiberglass filters.

EVERY 2 MONTHS

  • Wall Furnace: Clean grills.
  • Range Hood: Clean grease filter.

EVERY 3 MONTHS

  • Faucet: Clean aerator.
  • Tub Drain Assembly: Clean out debris; inspect rubber seal and replace if needed.
  • Floor and Outdoor Drain Grates: Clean out debris.

EVERY 6 MONTHS

  • Smoke Detector: Test batteries and replace if needed.
  • Toilet: Check for leaks and water run-on.
  • Interior Caulking: Inspect caulking around tubs, showers, and sinks; replace any if it is deteriorating.
  • Forced-Air Heating System: Change semi-annually if user's manual recommends high efficiency pleated or HEPA-style filters.
  • Garbage Disposal: Tighten drain connections and fasteners.
  • Clothes Washer: Clean water inlet filters; check hoses and replace them if they are leaking.
  • Clothes Dryer: Vacuum lint from ducts and surrounding areas.
  • Wiring: Check for frayed cords and wires; repair or replace them as needed.
  • Range Hood: Wash fan blades and housing.

EVERY SPRING

  • Roof: Inspect roof surface, flashing, eaves, and soffits; repair if needed.
  • Gutters and Downspouts: Clean them out or install no-clean version. Inspect and repair weak areas; check for proper drainage and make repairs if needed.
  • Siding: Inspect and clean siding and repair if needed.
  • Exterior Caulking: Inspect caulking and replace any that is deteriorating.
  • Windowsills, Doorsills, Thresholds: Fill cracks, caulk edges, repaint; replace if needed.
  • Window and Door Screens: Clean screening and repair or replace if needed; tighten or repair any loose or damaged frames and repaint if needed; replace broken, worn, or missing hardware; tighten and lubricate door hinges and closers.

EVERY FALL

  • Roof: Inspect roof surface, flashing, eaves, and soffits; repair if needed.
  • Gutters and Downspouts: Clean out. Inspect and repair weak points; check for proper slope.
  • Chimney or Stovepipe: Clean flue (more frequently if needed); repair any cracks in flue or any loose or crumbling mortar.
  • Siding: Inspect and clean siding and repair if needed.
  • Exterior Caulking: Inspect caulking and replace any that is deteriorating.
  • Storm Windows and Doors: Replace any cracked or broken glass; tighten or repair any loose or damaged frames and repaint if needed. Replace damaged hardware; tighten and lubricate door hinges and closers.
  • Window and Door Weather Stripping: Inspect and repair or replace if it is deteriorating or if it does not seal.
  • Thermostat: Clean heat sensor, contact points, and contacts; check accuracy and replace thermostat if it is not functioning properly.
  • Outdoor Faucets: If you live in an area with freezing winters, shut off valves to outdoor faucets. Open spigots and drain, store hoses.

ANNUALLY

  • Septic Tank: Have a professional check the tank (watch for backup throughout the year). In many areas, it is recommended that the tank be pumped every year.
  • Main Cleanout Drain: Have a "rooter" professional clean out the main line, particularly if there are mature trees in your yard whose roots could have cracked the pipe in their search for moisture.
  • Water Heater: Drain water until it is clear of sediment; test temperature pressure relief valve; clean burner and ports (gas heater).
  • HVAC System: Have a professional tune up your heat/air conditioning system.

From Sunset Books, JoAnne Liebeler's Do It Herself

For more home improvement tips and tricks, purchase JoAnne Liebeler's Do It Herself

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