Owning a home is a rewarding experience, but it also comes with responsibilities. Regular preventive home maintenance is essential to keep your home in top shape, prevent costly repairs, and make your home safer.

Monthly Preventive Home Maintenance Checklist

Furnace Filter Cleaning

Regularly clean or replace the filter to remove dust buildup. This improves temperature regulation, allows your system to run more efficiently, and decreases energy bills.

Water Softener Check

Inspect your water softener and replenish salt as needed. A well-functioning water softener prevents mineral buildup and extends the life of your plumbing fixtures.

Drain Inspection

Regularly check tub and sink drains for debris. Clogged drains can lead to unpleasant backups and water damage.

Test Safety Devices

Test smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors, and ground-fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) monthly. These devices are crucial for your family’s safety.

Fire Extinguisher Check

Inspect the gauge and expiration date on your fire extinguishers. A functional fire extinguisher can save lives during emergencies.

Electrical Cord Inspection

Regularly examine electrical cords for wear. Worn cords pose fire hazards. Stop using any appliances with damaged cables until you have them repaired or replaced.

Vent Maintenance

Vacuum heat registers and ensure indoor and outdoor air vents are unblocked. Clean air vents improve indoor air quality.

Water Heater Flushing

Regularly drain hot water from the water heater to remove accumulated sediment. This prolongs the water heater’s life and maintains efficiency.

Garbage Disposal Care

Grind ice cubes, flush with hot water, and add baking soda to keep your garbage disposal fresh and prevent clogs.

Spring Home Maintenance Checklist

Lawn Care and Landscaping

Begin by raking any leftover debris and leaves from winter to allow your lawn to breathe and receive sunlight. Apply fertilizer to promote healthy grass growth and address any bare spots by overseeding.

Exterior Inspection and Maintenance

Check the exterior of your home for any damage caused by winter weather, like cracked or peeling paint, damaged siding, or loose shingles. Repair any damaged areas and consider giving your home a fresh coat of paint if needed to protect it from spring showers.

Gutter Cleaning and Inspection

Clean out gutters and downspouts to remove debris accumulated over the winter months. Ensure that gutters are securely attached and properly pitched to prevent water from pooling around your home’s foundation.

HVAC System Maintenance

Schedule a professional HVAC inspection and tune-up to ensure your air conditioning system is ready for the warmer months ahead. Replace air filters to improve air quality and system efficiency.

Outdoor Equipment Preparation

Inspect and service outdoor equipment such as lawnmowers, trimmers, and garden tools. Sharpen blades, replace worn parts, and ensure everything is in good working condition for the upcoming gardening season.

Deck and Patio Maintenance

Inspect your deck or patio for any signs of damage, such as loose boards, cracks, or rot. Clean and pressure wash surfaces to remove dirt, mold, and mildew buildup, and reseal or stain as needed to protect against moisture damage.

Window and Door Maintenance

Check windows and doors for any damage or drafts, and replace worn weather stripping or caulking. Ensure screens are intact and in good condition to keep pests out while allowing fresh air to circulate.

Outdoor Lighting

Test outdoor lighting fixtures and replace any burnt-out bulbs. Consider upgrading to energy-efficient LED bulbs for cost savings and longevity.

Pest Prevention

Inspect your home’s exterior for any openings where pests could enter, such as gaps around doors and windows or holes in siding. Seal any openings and consider applying a perimeter insecticide to prevent pests from entering your home.

Spring Cleaning

Declutter and organize outdoor storage spaces, such as sheds and garages. Dispose of any unwanted items and clean tools and equipment to keep them in good condition for the season ahead.

Remember, preventive home maintenance is an investment in your property’s longevity and your family’s well-being. You’ll keep your home in good condition, allowing you to enjoy its comfort and beauty for years to come.

Maintenance FAQs

When should I call a professional for preventive maintenance? 

Schedule a professional inspection of the major systems in your home every other year or so to help you stay on top of issues you may not notice. Call professionals to maintain major appliances like your HVAC system as well as anything that could be a safety risk such as roof inspections.

When should I replace smoke/carbon monoxide detectors?

You should replace your batteries twice a year and replace the detector unit entirely every five years or so to ensure your safety devices are working properly. Test any smoke or carbon monoxide detectors once a month.

What can I do with yard waste during regular yard maintenance? 

Use yard waste like leaves and grass clippings to mulch flower beds or build a compost pile for a nutrient-rich supplement for your garden and flower beds. You can also use a mulching lawnmower to cut yard waste into fine enough pieces to leave on your lawn for fertilizer.

When should I replace my fire extinguisher? 

Most fire extinguishers should be replaced after they’re used or when they reach the expiration date listed on the tag. If your fire extinguisher is showing low pressure you will want to replace it as well.

Delta Home Inspection provides inspections for homebuyers and sellers in Mobile and Baldwin Counties in Alabama. Contact us to schedule our services.