Home Maintenance Checklist


There are some advantages to renting a home. One is that if anything breaks down it’s your landlord’s duty to fix it. As a homeowner, it’s all on you. Now, given the option, not many of us would like to spend our weekends pulling leaves out of the gutter, draining the boiler or changing the furnace filter. 

It is however very important as doing these maintenance tasks means you won’t have to pay for costly repairs later. This list might seem overwhelming, especially if you’re a new homeowner, but you need to remember home maintenance operates with the seasons. Once you get into rhythm your home will run like a well-oiled machine.

Spring

Let’s start with you garden since you probably haven’t been able to do much for it during the cold season.

Spring is an excellent time to rake up any leaves left over from the winter and to lay down some mulch to protect your plants from drought as well as keep weeds at bay. You should reseed the lawn and fill in the bald patches before the heat sets in and, when you see the grass turning bright green, it means it’s time to fertilize.

You can put away your snow blower but not before you drain the fuel, check and clean the motor and add a stabilizer. You’ll probably need the lawnmower soon so you can take it out of the garage and give it a checkup.

As you know, springtime means you give your house a deep cleaning. On the exterior, you can wash the windows and doors. Your patio or deck should be swept and inspected for any loose nails or cracks in the wood. Pull out any leaves or other debris from between the boards and treat it with some borate for algae to prevent rotting. After a few days, when the wood dries, you can stain it and seal it. 

In case you have a pool and if the weather is getting warm enough to use it, you should first check the valves, change the filters and treat the water.

If you have central heating you can schedule your biannual checkup with a HVAC technician. They have to check the ductwork and clean your furnace and A/C compressor. 

For boilers, you’ll need to drain it so you can clear out the sediment. Sediment accumulation can cause overheating, blockage of the zone pipes and erosion in the circulating pump. You don’t want your boiler to break down and be left with no hot water. This is even worse in winter. If this happens to you and it turn out you need to replace the boiler, know that there’s the option to rent one. You can search for boiler rental nyc or wherever you live and find a compatible boiler until you can afford to replace yours. 

To drain the boiler you need to allow the boiler to fill with water and place a bucket under the blow-down valve. You open this valve with a wrench. 

Now check the pipes, look under the sinks for sign of leaks and make sure your faucets aren’t dripping. You’ll need to take a look at the flapper of the toilet tank as it may be worn out.

Summer 

We know that in summer you don’t feel like doing any chores, you just want to relax by the pool or stay indoors and enjoy the air conditioning. Still, to keep your home running smoothly there are a few things you need to do. 

First your lawn. Your neighbors will tend to complain if your lawn doesn’t look neat so you’ll have to at least use the lawnmower regularly. The weeds have to be pulled out weekly (ideally). 

You can check if your sprinklers are in good order by turning them on one station at a time and look for clogs, leaks, low pressure or pooling water. 

As for the pool, do your best to keep it clean by removing leaves and debris. The sides should be scrubbed about twice a month (again, ideally) as this keep algae under control. You’ll want to check on the filter basket and the chemical level on a weekly basis. 

During summer, you need to clean the filters from your air conditioner twice a month and, to save on electricity, check the weather stripping around your windows and use drapes to cover the ones that get a lot of sunlight in the morning or afternoon. 

Autumn

Autumn usually means raking leaves, lots of raking of lots of leaves. This unfortunately, has to be done because it doesn’t just annoy your neighbors, it can also smother your grass and lead to mold. 

You’ll have to clean and inspect your gutter as any repairs need to get done before winter snow sets it. You’ll also want to check your roof for any loose or broken shingles. When it starts to get cold, it’s time to turn off and drain the outdoor faucets and roll up the hoses. The sprinkler system need to be shut off as well. In winter the water inside freezes which means the pipes can crack. 

You won’t be getting much use from the pool so you can close and cover it. 

Time to check on your heating systems again. Your furnace and ductwork will have to be inspected for the second time and the air filters might need replacing. For boilers, drain the sediment again and have a look at your radiators. They might need to be drained of air. 

Since you won’t be keeping the windows open as often, you should check your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and change the batteries if need be. 

Winter

Hopefully you did most of the prep work in autumn. Now it’s time to bring out the snow blower. You can send it for a tune-up where they’ll check the engine. You don’t want to be left with just a shovel when the first major storm hits. 

You should check the exterior of your house regularly for icicles and ice dams, insulate the pipes where possible and, even if you travel, set your thermostat to at least 55 degrees F.

You should make a stock of medicines, bottled water and canned goods since a snowstorm can means you’ll be housebound for days.




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