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Home Maintenance Checklist

Home Maintenance Checklist:

Seasonal and Monthly To-Dos

Let’s face it, being a homeowner is expensive. Figures on maintenance costs vary, but one quick rule advises homeowners to budget 1% of their home value in annual upkeep costs when tackling a home maintenance checklist. That means that with the median home price at the end of 2021 reaching just over $400,000, owners should expect about $4,000 in annual maintenance costs.

Although you’re pouring money into the property, you’re not going to see the value of your home increase simply because you replaced the air filters or cleaned out the rain gutters. But, if you aren’t maintaining your home as you should, you could actually see the value of your home decrease when you decide to sell.

Note: You can get an idea of what your home’s value is, whether it needs minimal or significant maintenance, by using our Home Value Estimator. If your estimate is lower than you anticipated, following this home maintenance checklist is a great start to increasing your home’s value.

What’s Your Home Currently Worth?

Home maintenance is an essential step to preserving home value.

Get an estimate of what your house is worth today.

Tierny Jordan one of Dallas/Fort Worth’s top 1% of real estate agents, shared an instance where she had two similar listings, one that was well-maintained (albeit not updated) and another that was not. The first listing sold above the asking price within five days. The second home sat on the market for several months and was only sold after several price reductions.

“Buyers do appreciate when a home has been maintained,” Wyss points out. If the functional features (water heater, furnace, roof, windows, and plumbing) of the house are well-maintained, the outdated countertops and vinyl flooring can be overlooked.

Home maintenance checklist: Where to begin?

Sometimes it can be hard to decide where you should start making repairs; especially if you’re planning to sell within the next year or two. While that sounds like a long way away and you have plenty of time to get started, if you set aside a little time throughout the year to tackle these simple tasks, you’ll see that it’s worth the effort. Not just while you’re living in the house, but when you put it up for sale, too!

Are you ready to get started? We’ve organized our home maintenance checklist so you know how often a task should be done and the right time of year to do it.

Monthly maintenance tasks

The following maintenance tasks should be done each month, regardless of the season. They’re quick to do, but they’re also easy to forget.

Clean and replace HVAC filters

Replacing the air filters on your HVAC system can extend the life of your unit, improve air quality throughout the home, and make the unit work more efficiently.

Pro tip: An air filter subscription service like Second Nature is a great service for those who forget to change the filters on time. 

Check the water softener

Hard water is horrible for your pipes, appliances, and even makes cleaning difficult due to mineral buildup. Look inside of your brine tank once a month to make sure it’s half full. Refill if needed.

Clean and descale faucets and shower heads

Over time your faucets and shower heads are going to get grimy and may even have scale buildup. They can be cleaned by filling a ziplock bag with white vinegar and then tying it to the shower head or faucet using zip ties and letting them soak for an hour or two. Remove the bag and use a cloth to remove any sediment. You’ll then want to run hot water to flush out the holes.

For more details on cleaning shower heads, click here.

Inspect drains for clogs

This is pretty straightforward. If your drains aren’t working properly, you can use a drain cleaner like Liquid-Plumr. For home remedies, you can also try either a mixture of baking soda and vinegar, or simply pour boiling water down the drain. For more stubborn clogs, you may have to contact a plumber for help.

For more details on how to clean your drains, click here.

Test alarms

The US Fire Administration recommends changing the batteries once a year, but it doesn’t hurt to check them on a monthly basis. You will also want to make sure your fire extinguisher is easily accessible, there’s enough pressure in it, and there aren’t any visible signs of damage.

If you need to update your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors, Consumer Reports has a list of the best models on the market right now.

Inspect electric cords

Walk around your home and check the electric cords to make sure they aren’t frayed or damaged. Damaged cords can lead to an electrical fire.

Clean garbage disposal

A garbage disposal can get pretty gross if it’s not cleaned regularly. Throw a couple of ice cubes and citrus peels into the disposal and turn it on. It’ll break down any food build up and the citrus peels will make the kitchen smell nice and clean!

Seasonal maintenance

Disclaimer: Most of the seasonal maintenance tasks can be done on your own, but if you don’t feel confident in your skills, don’t hesitate to contact a professional for assistance. 

Winter maintenance tasks

Check for signs of ice dams

Ice dams (thick ridges of solid ice) and icicles can cause a lot of problems if left hanging on the roof eaves. If you see any forming, use a roof rake to safely remove the snow without damaging the roof or the siding. For larger dams, pantyhose filled with a de-icing agent is an effective remedy. If ice dams are a persistent problem, your roof may benefit from more significant remodeling.

Winterize pipes

If you’re traveling during coldest months, you will want to winterize your pipes to prevent them from exploding because the water froze inside them. To do this, turn the water off at the source and turn all the faucets on in the house so there is a slow and steady drip.

For more details on winterizing your pipes, click here.

Spring maintenance tasks

Spring cleanup

You’ll want to rake up any leaves that you missed in the fall and then lay mulch in your flowerbeds. The mulch will protect your plants from any cold snaps, block the weeds, and protect your plants from drought. Walk around and check the trees for signs of broken limbs, damage caused by bugs or animals, or if a tree is dead or dying.

Click here to find an arborist near you.

Lawn prep

If you’ve dreamed of having a luscious green lawn, now’s the time to get started. Reseed the lawn and fill in any bald patches. You won’t have to fertilize it right away, but make sure you have some on hand for when you do. Maintaining a great landscape isn’t just nicer to look at, but can help increase the value of your home. Even a $300 investment in lawn care can generate a fourfold return to homeowners!

For more details on lawn care, click here.

Inspect the exterior of your home

On your tour around the exterior of your home, you’ll want to check the roof to make sure there aren’t any missing shingles, there aren’t any gaps where water can leak through, and there’s no sign of wood rot. On the ground, if you notice any cracks in the patio, walkways, or driveway, fill them in with concrete.

Gutter maintenance

Neglected gutters that are filled with leaves and debris can wreak havoc on your siding and can cause water damage. To prevent this, you’ll need to roll up your sleeves, grab the ladder, and start scooping out the muck.

You can make this task easier by installing gutter guards after you’ve cleaned the gutters. The guards will keep your gutters clear and clog-free.

For more details on installing gutter guards, click here.

Clean the exterior

The exterior of the home is going to get dirty and springtime is a good time to break out the power washer (or rent one). Before you begin to powerwash the house, walk around and make sure the siding is in good repair. If you notice any signs of damage, you’ll want to address it right away to prevent wood rot.

For more details on power washing a house, click here.

Repair and clean the deck or patio

While you have the power washer out, you don’t want to forget to power wash the deck and patio! Check to make sure there aren’t any loose boards, screws or nails. If there are, repair them.

For more details on power washing a deck or patio, click here.

Check entire HVAC system

If you have an HVAC system, you’ll want to call a HVAC professional to have them come up for a good cleaning and a checkup. They will look for signs of damage to the duct work, clean and service the HVAC unit, and can clean the vents in the bathroom as well.

Click here to find an HVAC professional near you.

Check the plumbing

Check the pipes, water heater, and supply line for signs of leaking or corrosion. Sometimes you can catch these things early enough that there’s no damage done. However, if you have a big problem like corroded pipes or a leaking water heater, you’ll need to hire a plumber.

Click here to find a plumber near you.

Test the sump pump

You don’t want to be ankle-deep in water because your sump pump stopped working. You can test to make sure that it is working properly by pouring water into the pit and waiting for the pump to turn on. If the pump doesn’t get triggered, then you’ll need to have it repaired.

What’s Your Home Currently Worth?

Home maintenance is an essential step to preserving home value.

Get an estimate of what your house is worth today.

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