To keep your biggest investment in good repair and avoid unnecessary costs, you’ll want to stay on top of home maintenance. Each season there are chores that need to be done. While it may feel daunting, if you break them down into bite-sized tasks you can easily keep up with your maintenance and enjoy your home for many years to come. Here is a season-by-season checklist to keep you on top of it all!
Fall home maintenance
Fall is an important time for home maintenance as the temperatures are cool enough to take care of projects and you can prepare your home for winter. Here are some home tasks for the fall season.
Close the pool. By September, pool season is over, so in the fall you’ll have to clean and cover it up or have a maintenance company close it for you.
Rake leaves. Leaving all the fall leaves on your lawn could lead to mold growth, so you still should get rid of most of them. One option is to mow the leaves with your lawn mower, which breaks them down and provides nutrients to the grass and saves time on bagging and raking.
Clean leaves and debris from gutters. A clogged gutter filled with leaves can cause damage to your roof or siding and could cause leaks inside your home. Wear safety glasses and gloves when pulling out debris. If you’re not comfortable on a ladder, hire a professional.
Check your heat sources. Make sure your chimney is in top shape for winter use and there isn’t damage or too much soot built up from the previous year. Also make sure your furnace or boiler is in working order before you need to turn the heat on.
Change the air filter in your HVAC system. Replacing the air filter is one of the easiest ways to maintain your HVAC system. A clogged filter makes your system work harder, which can cause maintenance problems and increase your energy costs. If you ran your air conditioning a lot during the summer, fall is a good time to replace your air filter.
Seal windows and doors. Look for any cracks that will cause a draft in your home and also cost more to heat in the winter. Caulk or put weather stripping around the edges to seal any cracks or gaps. You can also get a draft blocker for the bottom of the door to keep heat from escaping.
Winter home maintenance
Winter is when we typically hunker down and take a break from outdoor chores, but it’s a good idea to be prepared for any weather-related maintenance issues that may occur during the long, cold winter months. Here are some tasks to put on your winter to-do list.
Get the snow blower ready. Make sure it’s in proper working condition before the first storm hits. You’ll want to get a tune-up and ensure you have enough gas and motor oil ready.
Stockpile supplies. It’s a good idea to have certain necessities before the first storm such as ice melt for walkways and driveways, a good shovel (if you don’t have a snowblower) and a scraper for the car windows. Also have an emergency kit ready that includes water, canned items, batteries, radio and a first-aid kit.
Check the generator. A portable generator seems to be a necessity in many areas as extreme weather conditions and power outages have become more prevalent. Cover your generator when not in use. After you use it, empty the gas into a separate tank and make sure you have enough gas for backup. Since generators are not used so often, it’s a good idea to start it up every month to ensure it is working properly.
Move outdoor items inside. Before the snow and ice starts falling, it’s a good idea to bring outdoor items inside to a shed or garage to make sure they stay in good shape. This includes any outdoor furniture, portable firepits, outdoor play equipment, and garden hoses (be sure to drain them first).
Inspect trees. Call a professional if you suspect a tree is dead, has a risk of falling or needs to be trimmed back. Heavy ice or snow can bring down branches and trees and can damage property if hanging over a house or car.
Spring home maintenance
Once the weather starts to warm up and the ground thaws, it’s time to head outside and see how your property faired during the winter months. When you are sure the snow is not making an end of season comeback, you’ll be able to tackle some of these springtime chores.
Store your snowblower. Once the season is over, don’t forget to properly store your snowblower. Start by draining the fuel and cleaning the parts. You can also bring it to a professional to clean and check to make sure it’s good for next season.
Check your mower. Make sure your lawn mower is ready to work by having it serviced with a tune up before the grass starts growing quickly. They will sharpen the blades and check all plugs. If you use a service, then make sure your contract is in place. Start cleaning up the lawn from any debris and put some fertilizer down. This will help bring back some of the nutrients and revitalize your lawn for faster growth.
Put down seed. If your lawn is missing some grass in some parts, put some seed down, so it will help foster growth in the spring. It’s also a good time to start planting spring flowers as long as you’re sure there’s no chance of springtime frost.
Check your gutters. With the rainy spring weather, it’s important to check your gutters to make sure they aren’t clogged or have damage. This should be done at least twice a year or more often if many trees hang over your roof.
Change the air filter in your HVAC system. Spring is a good time to change your air filter, especially if you ran your heat a lot during the winter. A clogged filter can cause maintenance problems and increase your energy costs.
Service your air conditioning. Before the summer heat sets in, it’s a good idea to check on your air conditioning so it’s ready to cool you off in the hot weather. Many times, homeowners don’t know they have a problem until the weather gets hot and they turn their system on!
Summer home maintenance
In the heat of the summer with vacations and fun on your mind, maintenance is probably the last thing you want to deal with, but there are a few summer tasks you should keep on your list.
Control pests. Ants, bees, mice and more are out and about during the summer months. Look for cracks along the foundation or by windows and door frames or any gaps in cables or pipes leading into your home. Also, check the attic, basement and garage. If you spot any signs of damage or infestation, it’s a good idea to call in a professional. Having an annual pest control contract can also help you manage these pests all year around.
Check play equipment. If you have a jungle gym or swing set in the back yard, it’s important to make sure it’s as safe as possible. Check bolts and screws to ensure they are tight and secure. Reseal or repaint to freshen it up.
Keep your plants hydrated. Summer is generally a drier season, so if you have a garden or plants that need water, you should set up a sprinkler system. You can get a professional landscaper to install underground sprinklers, or you set up an easier system yourself using timers to help you avoid having to remember to water.
Maintain the pool. Pools need to be cleaned throughout the season of use. Skim the top regularly to remove leaves, bugs and other debris. Clean the sides to prevent algae from growing and make sure to frequently check the water and chemical levels.
Replace window or doors. The warm weather is a great time to tackle a project such as replacing windows or doors. Changing to more energy-efficient ones will save money on heating and cooling costs and could improve curb appeal.