Home Maintenance Checklist to Help Keep your Home in Good Condition
If given an option, only a few of us will surely volunteer to spend our Sundays climbing up the roof and pulling debris out of a gutter. But like most of us, our home is one of our biggest investments, and thus, maintaining it is a definite must. Home maintenance could seem like a daunting task, most especially for busy homeowners who would rather choose to spend their Sundays relaxing. So to help make things easier for you, here is a comprehensive article about home maintenance that saves you money in the long run.
When the heat of last summer is already a faint memory and you are now pulling out your hoodies more than your shorts, it’s about time to tackle some chores that can help to make your winter more pleasant and avoid any nasty surprises on the next spring. So here’s a fall maintenance checklist to keep you guided.
- Stow your mower – if you are not familiar with the fuel stabilizer, then it is about time that you get to know it. If your new mower has been sitting for months with gas in its tank, then the gas will deteriorate slowly and could damage the engine parts. The stabilizer can help to prevent the gas from degrading. You can add a stabilizer to the gasoline can in order for the spare gas to be kept in good condition during the entire winter season. You can then top the mower tank with a stabilized gas and keep it away for the winter. Let the mower run for five minutes in order to ensure that the stabilizer will reach the carburetor.
- Remove hoses from faucets – do not leave the hoses attached to your faucets as this could cause the water to back up in the faucets as well as within the plumbing pipes inside your exterior. If the freezing temps will hit, the water could freeze and will eventually expand and cause damage on the pipes and faucets. You should make this an early priority in fall so that a sudden cold snap will not sneak up and cause damage.
- Put the sprinklers to sleep – it’s time that you drain off your irrigation system. Even the irrigation lines that are buried could freeze, thereby leading to shattered pipes as well as broken sprinkler heads. So turn the water off the main valve, shut down the automatic controller, open the drain valves in order to drain the water and remove any of the sprinklers, while shaking excess water off them.
- Seal the deal – get a couple of tubes of color matched exterior caulk and take a walk around the exterior of your home, sealing up the cracks in between the siding and trims, including those surrounding the door and window frames where pipes would get in to your house. Preventing moisture from going into the walls is among the least expensive, yet most important fall maintenance tasks.
- De-gunk the gutters – clogged rain gutters could cause ice dams that could eventually lead to expensive repairs. Therefore, after the leaves have fallen, take time to clean your gutters in order to remove the twigs, leaves and gunk. Make sure that the gutters are not trapping and sagging water, then tighten the gutter hangers as well as the downspout brackets. Take time to replace any damaged and worn gutters, as well as downspouts.
- Examine your roof – if you’ve got a steep roof or if you live in a multistory house, then make sure that you stay safe and use binoculars in checking your roof from the ground. Check any warning signs, such as shingles that have been buckled, missing or cracked. Black algae stains may just be cosmetic, however, masses of moss and lichen could signal that your roof is decayed underneath.
- Direct your drainage – take a closer look at the soil on your foundation and make sure that it will slope away from your house for about six vertical inches over ten feet. This way, you will keep the water from soaking the soil that’s around your foundation that could lead to leaks and cracks.
- Inspect your furnace – you can hire a heating and cooling company to get your heating system checked and tuned up, to prepare it for the upcoming heat season. This should cost you around $50 to $100 for the checkup.
- Prune the plants – late fall is the perfect time to prune trees and plants, if the summer growth cycle is already over. Your goal should be to keep branches and limbs for at least three feet from your house so that moisture will not drop into the roofing and siding and in order to prevent damaging your house exterior in case of high winds.
- Give your fireplace a makeover – in order to ensure that your fireplace is safe, grab a flashlight and check inside your fireplace to ensure that the damper will open and close properly. Open the damper and check into the flue to free it from branches, leaves, bird’s nests and other obstructions.
- Take care of the shrubs and trees – if you have plenty of shrubs and trees within your property, hire an arborist to care for them.
- Rake the leaves – leaves look beautiful in fall when blanketing your ground, however, leaving too many leaves in the winter is not a good idea so make sure you rake the leaves off.
- Clean the downspouts and gutter – as soon as most of the leaves have already fallen, take time to clean the downspouts and gutters.
- Repair any damages in the exterior – take a walk all over your property and look for any signs of damages to the siding, roof and the foundation and repair immediately any damages you see.
- Seal any gaps – seal all gaps to prevent any critters from getting into your home. Even a tiny gap will allow a small mouse to enter your home and raid your kitchen.
- Stock up on all the necessary winter supplies – if you are from a cold region, then fall is the perfect time to stock up on the winter necessities.
- Shut down the hoses and exterior faucets – keep your pipes protected against freezing temperature by shutting down the exterior faucets and hoses.
- Install weather-stripping – this can be applied all over the frames of the doors and windows to help boost warmth in the winter and cut down on the energy cost.
- Check all safety devices – test the smoke detectors and replace batteries if necessary.
Most homeowners believe that spring maintenance is mainly about the cleaning. Sure, spring-cleaning will consist of a big chunk of any maintenance for the spring, however maintenance is also aimed at various appliances, structures and home systems. Here is the checklist that can help to ensure that your home is in good condition for the whole year.
- Downspouts and gutters – pull away any debris and leaves from the downspouts and gutters. Reattach the gutters that have pulled away from your house, then run a hose at the roof to ensure proper drainage. If there are any leaks, dry the area well and use caulking or an epoxy in order to seal the leak.
- Siding – clean the siding using a pressure washer in order to prevent the mold from growing. Check the entire wood surfaces for chipping paint and weathering. If the wood shows through, sand the area immediately then apply a primer coat before you start painting. If the paint is peeling, scrape the loose paint off and sand off the area before you paint again.
- Exterior – check the caulking and replace it immediately if you notice that it is already deteriorating. Scrape off all the concrete that’s eroding and caulk the area if needed.
- Doorsills, windowsills and thresholds – fill in the cracks, caulk the edges, repaint or replace when necessary.
- Window and door screens – clean the screens and check for any holes. If the holes are bigger than a quarter, then that could mean that there is plenty of spaces for the bugs to climb in. If there are any holes, patch them immediately then replace the screen. Save the bad screen to be used for next year.
- Drain waste and check the vent system – make sure you flush out the system.
- Hot water heater – if needed, lubricate the circulating pump as well as the motor.
- Evaporative air conditioner – clean the air conditioning unit properly, check the belt tension and adjust if possible. Replace the belt that has cracked and worn out.
- Foundation – check the floors, foundation walls, concrete and masonry for any cracks, heaving and deterioration. If there are several bricks that are losing their mortar, then get in touch with a foundation specialist to get it repaired.
- Roof – check the roof surface flashing, including the soffits and eaves. Perform thorough cleaning and inspect the flashings all over the surface projections, including the sidewalls.
- Decks and porches – check the decks, patios, stairs, porches and railings for any loose components and possible deterioration. Open decks as well as wood fences should be treated after every four to six years, depending on their exposure to the rain and sun.
- Sprinklers – check the lawn sprinkler for any exposed lines, leaky valves, as well as sprinkler heads that no longer work well.
- Landscape – this is important for spring home maintenance. Cut back and trim all the vegetation including bushes that have overgrown from structures.
The summertime is definitely the best time to tackle some tasks in your home maintenance checklist. There are so many little things that you can actually do in order to spruce up your home, both indoors and outdoors, while the weather is still warm. So here’s a summer home maintenance checklist to guide you through.
- Exterior paint touch-ups – this is a quick task that will boost your home’s facade. Since the weather is warm enough for you to work outside, you can do a touch-up paint on your home exteriors, perhaps over the weekend.
- Wash the exterior windows – summer is the best time of the year to wash your exterior windows. These are among the things that do not get done too often, and thus, you might need to use a little elbow grease in order to make your windows become squeaky-clean.
- Clean or replace screens – washing the exterior windows will not make so much difference if you will ignore washing the screens. So take off all the screens in your windows and scrub them gently with hot and soapy water. If you think the screens are already very filthy, then consider replacing them.
- Clean up your home exterior – from moss, stains, dingy roofs, decks and siding, they all must be checked to ensure that they are in good condition. If left unattended, these might lead to expensive repairs.
- Reverse the ceiling fans – it’s a good idea to reverse the direction of the ceiling fan in summer so it will spin counter clockwise. This way, the air will be pushed straight down and produce a nice breeze. To do this, shut the fan off and wait for the blades to stop. When everything is still, flip the switch to the opposite direction and turn the fan on again.
- Clean the filter of your air conditioner – this is a very important tip to keep your surroundings cool. Each air conditioning unit comes with a filter that must be cleaned after every two weeks, most especially when it is running at all times.
- Remove the air conditioner fan – the filter is not only the part of the air conditioning system that will require utmost attention. The fan must also be freed of dust.
- Check the furnace filter – your furnace comes with a filter and like the air conditioning unit, it must also be cleaned well. Simply turn the power off and look for the filter right behind the service door. Remove the filter and give it a wash.
- Washing machine maintenance – remember that your washing machine is among those appliances that will require light maintenance every now and then. Once your washer is not in use, check the seal in between the door opening for any soil buildup and stains.
- Clean and check the driveway, walkways and patio – another important tip is to clean your driveway and walkways well. Make use of a pressure washer to do this and before you get your pressure washer, check the areas for any weeds and cracks.
- Wipe and clean the baseboards – baseboards tend to get overlooked when it comes to cleaning your house in summer. It can be hard to muster enough energy to get both hands and knees to clean the trim, but this is something you should do at least once in a year in order to prevent dust and dirt buildup.
Holidays should not be a time for you to handle winter related disasters. Therefore, you should make sure to do some preventive maintenance at this time of the year. Here are some winter maintenance tips to keep your holidays safer and more festive.
- Stay ahead of the ice dams – make sure to remove all debris from the gutters before the winter sets in so as to prevent ice dams from developing.
- Keep watch on the trees – big snowfalls could settle into the tree limbs, which makes them heavy and susceptible to breaking and this can really be dangerous if a tree is just within reach in your house.
- Keep the paths and walkways clear of ice and snow by shoveling regularly.
- If you have not done cleaning your fireplace yet, now is the best time to do so. Regularly cleaning your fireplace is a safety measure, especially for wood burning fireplaces since the buildup of creosote inside the chimney could potentially lead to house fire.
- Consider insulating pipes so as to prevent them from getting frozen in the winter. Since water expands when it freezes, there is a chance that the pipe will burst, which could lead to extensive damage. Hence, a costly repair will be needed.
- Protect the flooring at your entryway. The best way to increase the longevity of your flooring is to place floor mats in both the inside and outside area of your entryway.
- Check if you have enough emergency supplies to get you through the winter. You should stock up on things like shelf stable food, fresh bottled water, flashlights, batteries and more.
- Ensure that your heating system runs smoothly. If you hear any strange noises coming off your heater, then take this as a sign that something must be wrong. You should get it inspected immediately and repair if necessary.
- Check the batteries of your carbon monoxide detectors and smoke detectors. This is very important during winter when the windows are kept closed and we tend to use fireplaces more often.
- Stop cold air from getting in. If you feel like a cold breeze is getting into your house, then take action of this as early as possible.
Below, you will find the HVAC maintenance checklist that can serve as your guide to keeping your home safe and comfortable.
- Inspect, clean and change air filters once in a month – it’s important that you change your filters often in your furnace, air conditioner and heat pump. Dirty air filters could increase energy cost and cause damage on your equipment as well, hence, leading to early failure.
- Schedule a seasonal maintenance of your HVAC system – you should have an annual system maintenance done at least once or twice a month before the summer season will start. Research have shown that keeping your system cleaned and running well efficiently could save you up to 20 percent on your cooling and heating costs.
- Clear the areas surrounding your HVAC system – keep your condensing unit free from any form of debris. Trim the plants and shrubs near your air conditioning unit in order to ensure proper flow of air and circulation.
- Clean the evaporator as well as the condenser coils – the US Dept. of Energy has stated that a dirty condenser coil could increase your consumption of energy by up to 30 percent so you should take time to clean this.
- Maximize the flow of air – clean your registers and vents at least once in a year to help them to efficiently circulate air within your home.
- Install programmable thermostat – thermostats can be possibly programmed to change the temperature while you are away or sleeping and could cut energy consumption by about ten percent.
Just like with the rest of your home, it is important that you also maintain your garden. For everything to grow and bloom, your plants must be kept maintained, pruned and fed all throughout the year. So here’s the garden maintenance checklist to guide you through the important garden maintenance tasks.
- Clean up your garden and yard in order to dispose any leftover leaves. Do not just cover leaves with mulch because damp leaves can serve as a breeding ground for bugs and mosquitoes.
- If your lawn has disheveled, it will not matter how spectacular your garden is anymore, therefore, make sure that you fertilize and reseed any of the bare areas in your garden or lawn.
- Scrub down any of the garden stones that may have been covered with algae and moss.
- During the month of April, continue caring for the seeds you planted last March, and if needed, plant more seedlings inside.
- Twist the vines and the branches to keep them from breaking during strong winds.
- April is also an important month for the rose bushes. If you wanted to grow beautiful roses in July, then you need to fertilize, mulch and prune in April.
- Trim the shrubs in your garden, including all the landscaped areas in your yard.
- Make sure to till and hoe the soil in your garden in order to keep weeds from growing and to prevent them from taking the nutrients away from the seedlings.
- If you have a late winter snowstorm, cover the flowering plants with plastic and keep it secure with bricks or buckets.
- Plant thyme, phlox and other alpines.
- If the temperature of the soil will allow, consider growing some sunflowers.
- Continue your gardening tasks in May, which may include weeding and trimming.
- Check the pH level of the garden soil and do the necessary adjustments.
A well maintained air conditioning unit will be able to run more efficiently and use less energy, thereby, cost less money to operate. So here are some tips when it comes to air conditioner maintenance.
- Clean or replace the air filters – cleaning and replacing your air conditioner filter is a very important maintenance chore into keeping your air conditioner to run as efficient as possible. This task must be done monthly, especially during summer when it is in high use.
- Check the wiring and the important components – before you start working on your air conditioning system, always turn the power off by disconnecting it from the main breaker panel of your home. Then remove the access panels on the condensing unit and check for any signs of overheating that could come in the form of melted wires, blackened wires, as well as burnt looking wires.
- Examine the thermostat – check the thermostat to ensure that it is working well and that it keeps your home at the right temperature. If you have the old and mechanical type thermostat, consider upgrading it to the programmable model.
- Check the condenser unit fan – turn the power off and check the fan that’s mounted right above the outside part of the condenser unit and ensure that it is still in proper working condition. If there are any cracks or visible chips, consider replacing the fan blades.
- Clean the exteriors – over time, grass clippings, dirt and leaves could build up on the outside of your air conditioner unit, which could decrease the system’s capacity and reduce the airflow. Therefore, take time to clean the outside and remove all debris that has lodged in there.
Maintaining your septic tank is not really that difficult for as long as you follow the proper basic guidelines. So here are some tips for trouble free septic tank maintenance.
- Check the toilets and faucets for any leaks and do the necessary repairs, if needed. Lower your water consumption in order not to easily overload your septic tank as well as the drain field.
- Never use your toilet as garbage disposal. Avoid throwing diapers, paper towels, napkins, and other litter into your toilet since these items could clog your septic tank.
- Never pour grease into the drain as this could clog the septic drain field, which makes it impossible for the soil to be able to absorb the liquids.
- Check your septic tank occasionally. Solids should be pumped off the tank. According to experts, a family of 4 that has a thousand gallon capacity of septic tank should have their tank pumped after 3 to 5 years of full use.
- Do not ever attempt to open the tank by yourself. It is filled with several dangerous gasses and bacteria that could harm you. Leave these tasks to the professionals.
With all the daily hustle and bustle, it is easy to ignore the most important component of our house – the roofing. No matter how durable the roofing in your home is, it is important that you take time to inspect it. Here are some roofing maintenance tips to keep in mind.
- Trim the trees – you should not overlook those leaning branches that seek companionship with your roof as they could scratch and gouge off some of your roof materials. So trim them back and chop any branches that get too close to your roof.
- Clean all the debris, especially the leaves – leaves and other debris could clog your gutter system and will cause water to back up on your attic. To ensure that your drainage system will be able to flow freely, you should clean your roofing at least twice in a year.
- Ensure that your roofing is built to breathe – if your roofing does not have proper ventilation, moisture and heat could build up and will cause the rafting and sheathing to rot, while some roof materials will buckle and the insulation will lose its effectiveness, causing your roofing system to be inefficient.
- Check for any attic aftermath – aside from having a well-insulated attic, it is important that you also check for any presence of water stains as well as weak shingles, especially after a heavy storm.
- Check for any signs of shingle damage – your roofing is getting exposed to everyday wear and tear due to the various elements that could cause the shingles to get dilapidated and torn off. This will make the roof structure as well as the interior space to be highly vulnerable to rotting.
The last thing we want is to hear that our boiler has broken down. This is especially frustrating if it happens in the midst of winter. So to keep your boiler in good shape, here are some maintenance tips to keep in mind.
- Lag your pipes – prevention is always better than cure. Therefore, the best time to do pipe lagging is right before the winter will set in. Most of the DIY shops now sell readymade pipe lagging that you can slip over your pipes in a few minutes.
- Switch off the boiler for savings – as soon as the boiler has warmed up, consider turning it off. If you’ve got a combi-boiler, simply switch it to hot water. To avoid problems when winter is back, it is better to switch your boiler on once in a month for about 15 minutes even during summer.
- Keep the pressure up – boilers do not run well if pressure is too low. The right pressure is somewhere between 1 and 1.5. This should be easy to check since boilers have a dial on front that you can refer to.
- Power flush – eventually, sludge could build up into the system of your boiler that could affect its operation. You can get it cleaned through power flush. This can help to clear the debris and sludge that have gotten into the pipes and radiators.
- Regular service – make sure to give your boilers a regular service so it will last long and be able to work more efficiently.
It is unfortunate to know that garage door maintenance is not often on the list of regular tasks people must do. But there are actually some simple things that can be done each year in order to keep your garage door rolling trouble-free.
Give the hinges, rollers, roller tracks and latches a squirt of citrus-based solvent. Lubricate the pulleys at the extension spring openers, including the bearings at the torsion spring openers.
- Clean up everything and apply light oil, perhaps, a 3-in-1 lubricant.
- If any of the hinges or rollers is stuck, soak them with kerosene. Use a small brush to work the kerosene to the cracks. Remove rust using a steel wool. Wipe everything clean and then apply some lubricant.
- Check the weather stripping at the sides of the garage doors. You may need to do necessary adjustments if it’s jamming against the sides. Replace if necessary.
- If your garage door is made of wood and does not come with a bottom weather stripping, then make sure that it is painted or sealed. Touch up when necessary and add weather stripping if possible.
Thankfully, there are certain ways in which you can prolong the life of your water heater and keep it in proper working order. So here are some water heater maintenance tips to keep you guided.
- Find out where your water heater is – not only should you know where your water heater is, you also need to have access to it. In some homes, the water heater is often tucked far away in the basement or attic and is not reachable.
- Know the type of water heater you own – it’s important that you know whether your water heater is electric or propane, natural gas or if it is a storage tank type. This is important for warranty reasons and this is often the first thing plumbers will ask in case you hire them for repairs, etc.
- Know how to shut the water off – before you face any water heater dilemma, you should know how to shut off the water, including the fuel and power supply of the water heater. This is necessary in case of emergency or of your water heater is leaking gas.
- Clear the area surrounding your water heater – it’s important that the areas surrounding the heater is free from any things because if the unit is smothered, it cannot get enough oxygen, which could affects its efficiency and damage the burner chamber.
- Drain or flush the water heater – at least once in a year, drain some few gallons of water heater with a drain valve. Use a five-gallon bucket or a garden hose and run the hose to a place where the hot water will not cause any damage.
Knowing how to maintain your furnace is important in order to prolong its life and improve its efficiency. So here are the maintenance tips to keep in mind in order to keep your furnace to remain in top condition even after many years of use.
- Ensure that you’re working under a safe condition – gas appliances could strike anytime, therefore, you must exercise safety measures at all times. Before you start cleaning and checking the furnace, make sure that you turn it off. Check for leaks because gas leaks can be dangerous and could lead to fatal accidents.
- Replace and clean the filter system – the filter system is a major part of the gas furnace since it helps to prevent dirt from getting into the furnace. It is highly recommended that every gas furnace owner will replace or clean the filter regularly depending on how it is used.
- Check the thermostat – if you are still not comfortable even after setting your thermostat at a certain temperature, then there must be a problem with it. Chances are, the unit may have stopped working simply because it already needs replacement.
- Clean up the blower – after you clean the filter system, the blower should be next. This is located right next the air filter and dirt, dust and debris could easily penetrate through it coming from the filter.
- Clean the furnace ducts – the furnace ducts are actually prone to damage especially if you don’t clean it regularly. Therefore, you should clean it on a regular basis and if you think it has gotten damaged, then make sure that you replace the ducts immediately.
Maintaining your gas fireplace is very important, not only to improve its efficiency, but also for everyone’s safety as well. So here are some of the gas fireplace maintenance tips.
- Check the fireplace regularly for any cobwebs, dust, soot, as well as other buildup of dirt – it’s natural for dirt to buildup on your fireplace, so make sure that you check it regularly and remove all the dirt and debris that have settled. Cobwebs might also form inside your fireplace, especially if you haven’t used it for a long time, so remove these as well.
- Keep the glass door of the fireplace clean – regularly clean the glass-viewing door of the fireplace so you can maintain the quality of the glass. Wipe it with damp cloth or spray with a window cleaner. This can help to keep the glass from getting foggy or cloudy.
- Check the external vent for vegetation or clogs – the external vent must be free from any type of debris. Branches, leaves, twigs, as well as other vegetation could start setting or growing, therefore, it is important that you de-clog these before you use the gas fireplace again.
- Be very mindful of unusual odors and fumes that will come out of the fireplace – if you smell natural gas seeping out of the fireplace, then you should immediately call a professional to get it repaired and checked before any accidents could happen.
- Check if there’s anything broken, cracked and missing – check the fireplace gasket and make sure that it is not damaged or missing. It’s very important that the gasket is in excellent working condition or the carbon monoxide will start getting into your home, which is very dangerous. Moreover, check the wires of the fireplace and ensure that they are just working fine and that there are no damages to it.
As you know, sump pump is an important device used in moving water away from your house, which prevents costly repairs. Therefore, it’s important that you keep this device in good shape by following these maintenance tips.
- Ensure that the pump is plugged into a GFCI outlet and that the cord is in good working condition.
- Check the discharge pipe for any dirt, debris, gravel, etc. Clear anything that’s obstructing it, as this will cause the unit to work even harder when draining the basin.
- Regularly inspect the intake of the screen for any clogs and make sure that you remove all kinds of debris.
- Remove all the visible debris from the pit and make sure that the float component is not obstructed.
- Test the sump pump by pouring water to the basin. When the water level increases, the float must trigger the pump to activate and drain quickly the water.
- If your pump comes with a battery backup, then replace the battery after every two to three years or as needed.
The dishwasher is one of the most important appliances in your home. Aside from helping you to simplify the chore of washing dishes and utensils, it also allows you to save water consumption. So here are tips on how to maintain your dishwasher.
- Clean and deodorize the interiors – use a warm rag and a household cleaner in wiping the spaces in between the door as well as the bottom of your tub. Food particles often get accumulated here and could lead to the growth of molds, as this location could remain untouched during a wash cycle.
- Clean the filters – your dishwasher might have a filter that’s located at the bottom or below the lower spray arm. The filter must be inspected regularly and cleaned well.
- Repair the dish racks – if the plastic coating of the rack starts to wear off, then you should get this repaired as soon as possible.
- Never overload your dishwasher – cramming up two loads in a one load can restrict the water spray patterns, thereby preventing proper cleaning and may require rewashing, which is a waste of water.
- Repair any broken components – if you notice some components of your dishwasher is no longer working, call a professional to get this repaired as soon as possible.
Below are some important pool maintenance tips that every pool owner should try. Whether you have just built a pool in your home or you have had it for years already, these maintenance tips will surely be a big help.
- Skimming and scrubbing should be done regularly – skimming the leaves and debris off your pool surface is important and should be done in a regular basis. If you want a truly pristine pool, then consider skimming on a daily basis. If you don’t mind paying more, invest on a robot vacuum that can help to clean off the bottom of your pool for you.
- Clean out your filter basket once in a week – remember that the filter is responsible for removing all impurities from the pool water that includes the dirt, leave and other small debris. Therefore, you should clean this at least once a week.
- Maintain a consistent chemical level – chemical level is one of the most important facets in pool maintenance. Improperly balanced water could look murky and will irritate your eyes and skin, and may cause your pool to end up as a breeding ground for bacteria. So get the pool water tested at least once in a week to ensure a consistent level of chemicals.
Smart homeowners know how to easily spot and resolve any small plumbing problems right before they can become a major issue. These plumbing maintenance tips can help you with maintaining your plumbing, making sure that it will not cause any trouble that could lead to a major inconvenience.
- Repair problems early on – a leaking faucet is not only annoying. The moisture that it will release could wear out sink fixtures and encourage the growth of mildew and molds. Therefore, keep your household clean and dry at all times.
- Know what to do when trouble arises – if in the event that your plumbing will stop working, you should know where to go in order to stop the flooding. Therefore, find out ahead of time where the main shut-off valve is located.
- Shutting appliances off – you should also know how to shut off washing machines, toilets and other appliances that make use of water. If they end up misbehaving, then you should locate the shut-off valve in order to avoid flooding in your home.
- Know where the sewer valve is – hunt down the location of the main sewer valve of your household. The main purpose of this is to provide access to a proper clogged sewer line.
- Learn how to address even the smallest problems in your plumbing – with the use of some tools and a little bit of knowledge, you should be able to handle even the smallest plumbing emergencies by yourself.
It is very important to check the heat pump system right before the winter approaches in order to maintain a well-efficient and reliable performance. Here are some heat pump maintenance tips to keep in mind.
- Check the air filter. Depending on the overall condition of the air filter, you should consider cleaning it or replacing it with new filter.
- Check the electrical wires in order to make sure that a tight connection exists. Any loose connections could cause the wires to overheat and eventually burn.
- Oil the bearings and blower motors if necessary. Check the blower wheel to ensure it is well balanced and clean.
- Check and clean the drain pan and indoor coils. Use a cleaner that’s safe for indoor coils.
- Flush and clean the drain line. Make sure to prime the trap, if needed.
- Turn the auxiliary strip on for inspection. If the unit makes use of electric heat, then check the wiring for heat damage or discoloration. All the damaged wires must be replaced.
- Check the amperage of the electric elements. Verify if the elements are staging well and shuts down properly.
Below are some home maintenance tips to help you in getting your money’s worth when it comes to your home appliances.
- Clean the rubber gaskets of your fridge – freezers and fridges usually have a lifespan of more than ten years. In order to help you in getting the full amount of years, ensure that you check the rubber gaskets of your freezer and fridge regularly.
- Clean your microwave – your microwave could get overworked sometimes, therefore you need to double up in cleaning it.
- Keep the dishwasher clean and smelling fresh – consider rinsing your dishwasher with a cup of vinegar every week in order for it to smell fresh.
- Clean your air conditioner filter – clean the filters once in every four weeks to achieve optimum airflow. If you got a reusable filter, consider vacuuming it to remove all the dirt.
- Clear the crumbs off your toaster – a lot of people are not even aware that toasters come with a crumb tray. If this is left unattended, this could lead to fire. Therefore, make sure that you empty this tray with crumbs at least once a week.
- Clean up the spilled food at the stove burner. Use a toothbrush and brush off the spills gently from the igniter.
- Change your water filters – as time goes by, your water filters could clog up as a result of the trapped sediments, making it difficult for the water to pass through. Therefore, make sure to change your filters after about six months or even sooner, most especially if you notice a change in the color of the water.
- Check the hoses of your washing machines – prevent any leaks or floods by regularly inspecting the hose of your washing machine. Be very mindful of weak spots, deformities and cracks, and get it replaced as needed.
- Heat up the clothes dryer – if you believe that your dryer is no longer working well when it comes to drying clothes, then this could be because something is clogging on the lint filter. Therefore, with the use of a kitchen brush, scrub off a mixture of hot water and detergent into the filter in order to clean up and remove the clog.
- Ensure that the blades of your garbage disposal is sharp – it’s important that you check the blades of your garbage disposal, making sure that they are sharp and can still work efficiently. Also, in order to give your disposal a fresh scent, pop some water and lemon slices into an ice tray and leave them to freeze. Once they are frozen, drop the ice cubes into the disposal and switch on your disposal.
Although it is a good idea to have a professional clean and maintain your fireplace and chimney, there are actually some things that you can do at home to ensure safety on the use of your fireplace and chimney. Here are some of them.
- Inspect the chimney flashing regularly, especially the bricks and mortar and ensure that they are in good condition and intact.
- Take off any moss or plants that grow in between the bricks.
- Check the crown of the chimney and fill any gaps or cracks with a cement patch.
- Remove any gaps on your chimney and check the flue liner for any obstructions or damages.
- Inspect the fireplace. Check if there are any damages or cracks on the firebox.
- Check the flue liner and see if there is any creosote buildup.
- Take the ashes of fusing a flat shovel, and then dispose it away with a metal bucket. Ashes can be added on compost pile in your garden.
- Have your fireplace cleaned and inspected by a professional at least once a year.
- Check the damper to ensure proper operation.
- Clean the stains on the firebox using a chemical cleaner, which you can apply with a metal brush.
Wooden decks often take a lot of abuse. Aside from getting so much foot traffic, they are often exposed to sunlight and water. With this, it is important that you take time to care and maintain your deck. Here are some tips to keep in mind.
- If you got some planters in your deck, then place them above cement blocks so as to prevent trapping any dirt or moisture at the surface of the deck.
- If you are grilling in your deck, make sure you use a grease catcher and never allow the grease to get into your deck.
- Sweep up your deck regularly in order to prevent dirt, leaves and debris from accumulating and staining your deck surface.
- If there is snowfall, then shovel the snow from your deck as soon as you can.
- Clean and seal the deck regularly. If you don’t have the time to do it, hire professionals that can clean and seal your deck after two to three years in order to keep it protected from outside elements.
- If you have a new deck, get it cleaned professionally in order to kill any of the mildew spores in the wood and to take off all the surface impurities that could prevent the sealing products from penetrating into the deck. Have it sealed with waterproof sealer afterwards.
- Regardless of its age, make sure that your deck is sealed regularly. Sealing keeps it protected against moisture as a result of morning dew and rain that could cause the wood to swell and rot.
- Pressure treated wood will also need to be sealed. As a matter of fact, pressure treated wooden decks that does not have sealant is more porous and are highly susceptible to harsh weather.
- Do the necessary repairs as soon as possible. If there are any rotted parts, make sure to get it replaced immediately. Regular maintenance must also include tightening any loose railings and boards.
There are some maintenance basics that every pond owner should know in order to take care of their pond and maintain its good condition. Here are some tips.
- In the spring, the water will start to warm and you’ll notice the pond will be back to life. This is the time where you need to un-winterize your pond. If you have turned the pump off, then put it back on.
- Pump the water from the pond, and remove all the fishes so you can clean off the pond.
- After the pond is cleaned, pump the water back and put back the fish into the pond. Add de-chlorinator in order to remove the chlorine and pour more water to fill the pond.
- Fertilize the plants that you have in your pond.
- During summer, take time to remove all the dead foliage. If the leaves of the plants have turned brown and yellowish, then you better cut them off.
- Feed the fishes well, but do not overfeed them.
- Fall is the best time to divide the varieties of aquatic plants you grow in your pond. Remove any dying plant foliage as it could decay and will only end up polluting the water.
- If the hardy plants stopped growing, then cut the foliage back and lower the pot into the bottom of the pond.
If you own a fish tank, then it is important that you know how to maintain and clean it. If you are new to this, here are some tips on how to clean and maintain your fish tank at home.
- Check every single day to ensure that the equipment is working properly.
- Every week, count the number of fishes you have in your tank. If something is missing, then this could mean that there is a dead fish in the tank that you need to remove.
- Every other week, take time to test the pH level of the water. Check the carbonate hardness as well including the level of nitrate and nitrite.
- Change about 10 to 15 percent of the water every other week.
- Vacuum the gravel regularly.
- Clean up the aquarium walls and filter the floss starting from the bottom upward and make sure to rinse it often.
- Every month, replace the filter inserts, including the carbon, floss and cartridges.
- Once a month, clean the top of the tank to ensure that the lighting will not be affected.
Just like with the other heavily used fixtures in your home, your toilet will require regular cleanup and maintenance. Here are the steps you can follow when it comes to the maintenance of you toilet.
- Moisten a sponge with hot water and use it to wipe the grime off around the lid, tank, seat, base, as well as the exterior of your toilet bowl.
- Apply a cleaner to the bowl interior and leave it to soak there for a few minutes. Scrub the grime off using a brush, and use water from the bowl to activate the suds.
- Flush the toilet and continue scrubbing while the water is getting drained from the bowl.
- Clean the rest of your toilet using a disinfectant spray. Clean the handle well thoroughly as this is often where the germs and bacteria live.
- Clean your toilet bowl manually and regularly.
Even if you have the most durable siding material installed, there will come a time that the siding will rot and wear out, especially if it’s often hit by strong winds and heavy rains. So here are some maintenance tips to keep your siding in good condition, depending on the type of siding that you have.
- Get your vinyl siding power washed. Spiders as well as other insects may have lived on the small ledges of the siding. Pressure washing can help to take these insects off, including dust, dirt and all kinds of debris.
- Get your wood siding treated after every four to six years, depending on how severe the weather is on your area. Treating will sometimes involve the use of pressure washing, which can also take care of some things for you.
- Get your stucco siding inspected at least once or twice in a year and take off any stains that have formed. You can use a degreaser for this, and using bleach might also do the trick.
- Fix what needs to be fixed on your metal siding. Scrape off rusts and coat with a sealant so it will not rust through. If the peeling is starting to chip, then scrape it off and repaint the siding.
We hope this list will help you save money. Consider watching this video for recommendations on which tasks can be carried out DIY too.