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To-Do List: Home Maintenance Guide

Whether you’re a new homeowner or have lived at your address for several years, the job of maintaining your property is a never-ending process. Homeowners need to monitor constantly to make sure their home remains structurally sound, that heating and cooling systems are working both properly and efficiently, that wood isn’t rotting or infested, and that the foundation isn’t showing signs of cracking, settling or moisture penetration.

Below is a guide to how often different home tasks require your attention:

Annually

  • Check for signs of insect infestation
  • Check grading to make sure water drains away from your house
  • Check the finish on doors, windows and trim
  • Check door hardware and oil or tighten it as needed
  • Check garage doors for proper functioning
  • Check the home’s foundations, framing, and walls for new cracks
  • Check for water stains or mold/mildew evidence
  • Check double-pane windows for signs of condensation
  • Check electrical panels for signs of rust
  • Check indoor wiring and appliance cords
  • Check well water (if applicable)
  • Check bathroom caulking
  • Check toilet seals
  • Check hot water heater tanks
  • Clean and lubricate humidifiers and dehumidifiers
  • Bleed radiators to release trapped air
  • Contact WIN for yearly homeowner inspection

Every six months

  • Inspect chimneys for loose bricks and stones and clean their interiors
  • Check roof soffits and fascia on eaves
  • Check foundation for evidence of cracks or moisture intrusion
  • Check exterior walls for cracks, separation, missing shingles, or settling
  • Check batteries in smoke and fire alarms.
  • Check that bushes and trees haven’t grown within six inches of the house
  • Clean gutters and inspect downspouts.
  • Check that window exteriors are clean and unbroken, check screens
  • Install or remove storm windows
  • Check outdoor structures (fences, sheds) for signs of rot or infestation
  • Check the attic and its insulation for water stains, moisture intrusion and to see if vents are functioning properly
  • Check electrical systems by flipping breakers or tightening fuses
  • Check that outdoor wiring is not impacted by vegetation or moisture exposure
  • Check for dampness around plumbing pipes and in the basement.
  • Check sump pump operation or sprinkler system
  • Check gas furnace heat exchanger and burner flame color

More frequent tasks (quarterly or monthly)

  • Inspect filters in air conditioner, furnace and swimming pool.
  • Check plumbing supply’s water filters
  • Inspect smoke and fire alarms.
  • Test for radon, if you’re concerned about it in your home.
  • If you’re using the air conditioning, clean its grills and compressors.
  • If you’re using your heating system, clean its filters.
  • Review the home’s exterior for signs of structural wear and tear.

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