A Home Maintenance Checklist

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Home ownership is likely the biggest financial investment most people make in their lifetime. So it stands to reason that we want to take care of, and protect our investment.  After all, this is our home, our refuge, and the place we make memories. One of the biggest challenges of homeownership is keeping up with maintenance. Renters can always call the landlord, but when you are the landlord, it’s up to you to take care of all the fixes and repairs that are needed throughout a home’s lifetime.  One thing you can do to make such a large responsibility a little easier to handle, is to break up the tasks into a calendar and make them part of your routine.  Here is a list to help get you started.


  • Inspect fire extinguisher – see this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ey7Uorz8qEw
  • Change air filters
  • Clean heat/air vents and registers
  • Clean garbage disposal – vinegar ice cubes are a good option.
  • Clean range hood filter

Every 3 months

  • Clean tub drain and bathroom sink drains
  • Test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
  • Test garage door auto-reverse feature.
  • Run water and flush toilets in unused spaces such as a guest bathroom.

Every 6 months

  • Washer – check all hoses for leaks and clean water inlet filters – see this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Louu72ZCmA
  • Clean dryer vent, duct and surrounding areas. You can even open the dryer up to vacuum out the interior if needed – see your specific model instructions for cleaning details.
  • Check dishwasher for leaks
  • Give your house a deep clean (spring and fall cleaning).
  • Replace batteries in smoke/carbon monoxide detectors.
  • Vacuum your refrigerator coils.
  • Clean gutters and downspouts
  • Inspect roof
  • Clean windows and window sills



  • Have your septic tank system inspected and serviced
  • Have your furnace cleaned and serviced
  • Have your water heater checked for sediment build up and leaks.
  • Have a professional inspect and clean out your main cleanout drain line, especially if there are trees in your area that may have cracked a pipe.




  • Take some time and look over the exterior of your home. Check for damage (especially water damage) to brick or siding, signs of leaks, cracks, and also for pest issues.
  • Now is a great time to get your air conditioning system ready for summer by having it serviced.
  • Repair/replace damaged window screens.
  • Check trees for interference with electric lines and have them pruned if needed.
  • Inspect roof surface, flashing, eaves, and soffits; repair if needed.
  • Clean out your gutters and downspouts. Check for proper drainage and make repairs if needed.
  • Exterior Caulking: Inspect caulking and replace any that is deteriorating.
  • Windowsills, Doorsills, Thresholds: Fill cracks, caulk edges, repaint; replace if needed.
  • Window and Door Screens: Clean screens and repair or replace as needed; tighten or repair any loose or damaged frames and repaint; replace broken, worn, or missing hardware; tighten and lubricate door hinges and closers.


  • Clean and paint any areas on the house or garage that need it, especially any bare wood.
  • Wash the exterior of your home. That doesn’t always mean pressure washing – some exteriors, such as brick are better washed by hand and a garden hose. Here is a great article on how to do it – http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/17268616/list/how-to-wash-your-house
  • Look for signs of carpenter ants, termites, or any other destructive insects and take action as needed.
  • Check for mortar that needs repair, including chimney mortar and inside fireplace.
  • Clean and repair concrete drive, sidewalks, patios, and decks.
  • Clean and organize your garage and shed.
  • Inspect your plumbing systems for leaks.


  • Inspect roof surface, flashing, eaves, and soffits; repair if needed.
  • After leaves are done falling, take a nice day and clean out the gutters and downspouts. Look for and repair any leaks or weak areas.
  • In early fall, it’s a good time to have your fireplace and chimney inspected and cleaned for the coming cold weather.
  • Check over your exterior caulking to ensure everything will be sealed up nice and tight before the cold weather hits.
  • Storm Windows and Doors: Replace any cracked or broken glass; tighten or repair any loose or damaged frames and repaint if needed. Replace damaged hardware; tighten and lubricate door hinges and closers.
  • Inspect and repair or replace window and door weather stripping if it is deteriorating or if it does not seal.
  • Thermostat: Clean heat sensor, contact points, and contacts; check accuracy and replace thermostat if it is not functioning properly.
  • If you have a well, now is the time to properly winterize your water pump.


  • Aside from winterizing your home, this is also a good time to look at repairs and maintenance needed on the inside of your home.
  • Around the start of winter, shut off interior valves to outdoor water pipes to prevent them from freezing, open the spigots to drain them and store your hoses away for the season.
  • Change furnace filters monthly.
  • Repair any interior wall damage; touch up or repaint as needed.
  • Check and re-grout tile in all bath and kitchen areas, as needed, and apply a silicone sealer.
  • Create a plan for next summer’s home improvement projects.
  • At winter’s end, re-open interior valves supplying outdoor water pipes.

While this list is detailed, it is certainly not all-encompassing and we would encourage you to create a relevant checklist for your specific home needs and location.  Keeping up with the maintenance of your home will not only protect the value of your property and preserve it for years to come, but more importantly, help keep bigger and often unexpected repairs from sneaking up on you.  Here’s to a happy, well-maintained, home!


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