House Maintenance – Tips & Insight

Saving money can be a difficult task and no one wants to be saving for a trip or a family event when a critical appliance or vehicle stops working.

What you need to know is that one of the easiest ways to prevent unforeseen expenditures is to keep a system maintained.

Far too often, an operational device or appliance is left alone until it fails. Creating reminders to up keep systems is a need, not a want.

It is based on the reasoning behind the oil change companies putting a sticker with BIG numbers to remind you that you need to replace the oil in your vehicle. If not, too many people would not remember how long it has been since their last oil change.  This would result in major damage to your vehicles engine.

Below are a few monthly and seasonal reminders that will ensure your house is in good working order and hopefully allow you to spend your hard saved money on a fun event!

Yearly house maintenance
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Monthly Requirements

On a monthly basis these few simple inspections, checks and tasks will help keep your household appliances working smoothly and to identify any minor issues before they become major issues:

  • Detectors – Clean, test and replace batteries (if not hard wired) in all smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

    House Maintenance
    Test All House Detectors
  • Fire Extinguishers – Verify the gauge levels to ensure if required, these critical instruments are ready to be used.
  • Range Hood – Clean the filter and verify it is exhausting properly.
  • More Filter Work – Inspect, clean or replace your furnace filter, humidifier plates or drums and any air filters.
  • Water Leaks – Perform a visual inspection for any water leaks around all toilets, under sinks and around the dishwasher. Noticing a leak while it is small and easy to correct is much better than the alternative.
  • Freshen Drains – Clean out the sinks with a mixture of baking soda, vinegar and hot water. Put down some baking soda and let stand for a few minutes, pour down a half cup of vinegar and leave for another few minutes. Then wash everything down with hot water.
  • Hot Water Tank – Inspect the temperature pressure release on the hot water heater. Drain the tank every six (6) months to prevent sediment build up.
  • Battery Charging – Ensure that you charge your outdoor power yard tools (lawn mower, trimmer, etc) that are battery powered every month, especially during winter. Standing dormant for too long will create a need to buy some expensive new battery components come spring.
House Maintenance
Fire Extinguisher – Verify Gauge Level

Take a look through the various Fire Safety products which can greatly improve your household safety.

Seasonal Requirements

Each season brings about various types of upkeep that is specialized to the individual season. Also, some maintenance is only required quarterly as opposed to monthly:

Spring

  • GFCI Receptacles – Test and operate your ground fault circuit interrupter receptacles and/or breakers to ensure proper operation.
  • Direct Downspouts – Ensure your downspouts are directed away from your house in anticipation of the first rain storm. With the potential of the ground still being frozen, best to get any new water as far away from your house as possible.
  • Caulking – Inspect the caulking inside and outside your house, around counters, windows, sinks, etc. Replace or touch up where required.
  • Windows – Clean your windows, window tracks and ensure weep holes are not blocked. Weep holes are the small opening within ‘newer’ windows that allows water to escape as there is not enough ventilation for moisture to evaporate quickly. Also, lubricate openers, track rollers, etc.
  • Outdoor Water – Turn on your exterior water supplies and inspect for leaks both outside and at the interior shut off valve. Perform a second check a few hours later at the interior valve to re-verify no water build up inside your house.
  • Air Conditioner – Turn on your air conditioner units disconnect. Whether you turned off last fall via the AC Panel breaker or on an exterior disconnect. Ensure that you have the power turned on for a minimum of 24 hours before you turn on the air conditioner.
House Maintenance
Typically AC Exterior Disconnect

Summer

Gutters & Downspouts – Remove all debris from your gutters and downspouts.

Window & Door Seals – Examine the seals around your doors and windows and repair any cracks or issues.

Bathroom Inspection – Verify the condition of the caulking and grout in the bathrooms and repair any issues.  Refer here for all you needs for Caulking Guns and accessories.

Garage Door – Inspect and lubricate the garage door roller shafts.

Locks – Lubricate the locks on doors and windows with silicone spray.

Screens – Check your window screens for any tears.

Concrete – Verify the status of concrete slabs, sidewalks and driveway. Patch any cracks.

Landscaping – Ensure that drainage is travelling in the proper direction. If any water is sitting or collecting towards your house, attempt to build up to have proper runoff.

Insects – Inspect potential ant or other insect areas of your house to ensure none are getting inside. Outside, inspect for any insect nests or ant hills.

Fall

Gutters & Downspouts – Remove all debris from your gutters and downspouts.

Window Inspection – Verify the condition of the caulking around windows for cracks or separation from the window or house.

Roof – Inspect the condition of the roof for loose shingles and to ensure the vents are in good condition.

Grills – Vacuum and clean out supply and return air grills.

Hoses – Remove and store any yard hoses and attachments associated with the exterior faucets.

Outdoor Water – Turn off your exterior water supplies. Drain off the exterior faucets and dependant to whether you have a frost-free faucet or not, either leave in the open position or closed.

Exterior Vents – Check the condition of all exterior house vents (dryer, furnace, etc) and clean as required.

Exterior Window Screen – For any basement windows that have exterior screens, especially if you live in a location that gets any snow, remove. During the winter, you don’t want to break a screen with a shovel!

Air Conditioner – Turn off your air conditioner units disconnect. Either open the breaker within your AC Panel or open the disconnect at the AC Unit.

Sump Pump – Before winter, best to confirm the operation of your sump pump for next spring. Remove the lid and pour several gallons of water into the sump to verify its operation.

Winter

GFCI Receptacles – Test and operate your ground fault circuit interrupter receptacles and/or breakers to ensure proper operation.

During the winter, it is always important to not pile snow up against your home. Putting snow against your house is not recommended as the heat from your house can melt the snow which will either cause water to linger around your exterior wall which may find its way inside or re-freeze as ice and cause a slipping hazard or an expansion that can cause more issues.

Utilizing these easy tips will ensure your house is well maintained and can prevent a major cost at a later date.

Yearly house maintenance
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Mike Page

Michael Page studied electrical engineering and is currently a project manager for a major utility. These skills also help him manage his family life. He has a wife and two kids that he keeps on track. He is a master at planning everything such as vacations, budgets, schedules, menus and home projects.

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2 Replies to “House Maintenance – Tips & Insight”

  1. Wonderful article. We never realized the tasks needed for excellent home maintainance. We’ll need to start now

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