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The Comprehensive Home Maintenance Checklist

Wouldn’t it be great if children were born with instructions? Or if people were equipped with “illness indicators” so you would know to stay away from them? Or there were signs in your office that illuminated when your boss or co-workers are in a bad mood?

Home maintenance checklist

This guy may be angry AND sick.
 

Well, science has yet to create these helpful aids. But if you’ve ever wanted to know every single task that should be performed each year to maintain your home, you’re in luck. Behold: the complete home maintenance checklist as prepared by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development!

Tasks to be performed each autumn:

Exterior

  • Inspect attic vents
  • Check/clear exhaust duct and dryer vents
  • Fix glass that is broken or cracked
  • Clean all gutters and downspouts
  • Drain hoses and outdoor faucets
  • Inspect pool/spa fence
  • Clean window wells and make sure they drain properly
  • Search for trip, fall, or sharp edge hazards
  • Look for signs of pests or animals

Basement/attic

  • Inspect insulation and augment if needed
  • Look for puddles, wet surfaces, or other signs of water damage
  • Make sure sump pump and check valve work
  • Look for signs of pests or animals

Garage

  • Make sure garage door opener’s safety shutoff works
  • Inspect fuel can storage for leaks
  • Search for trip, fall, or sharp edge hazards

HVAC/Electrical

  • Test smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors
  • Search for damaged electrical cords
  • Replace furnace filters
  • Replace filters for outdoor air to return to heat recovery ventilation

Appliances

  • Tune up and clean furnaces and hot water heaters
  • Tune up and clean ranges, stoves, and ovens
  • Clean outdoor air screens and intakes

Plumbing/Interior

  • Inspect drain and supply line for leaks
  • Inspect boiler and hot water heater for leaks
  • Inspect water meter, water main, and/or well pump for leaks/sweating
  • Test bathroom/kitchen fans

Home maintenance checklist

Don’t write these on a chalkboard.
The items could get smudged or erased.
Plus, your hand would fall off before you completed the checklist.
 

Tasks to be performed each spring:

Exterior

  • Inspect shingles on roof
  • Inspect plumbing vent, valleys, chimney, and skylight flashing on roof
  • Search for leaks at door sills, windows, and places where deck attaches to home
  • Check flashing below doors and windows
  • Check/clear exhaust duct and dryer vents
  • Clean all gutters and downspouts
  • Ensure that gutters and downspouts channel water away from home’s foundation
  • Inspect pool/spa fence
  • Clean window wells and make sure they drain properly
  • Search for trip, fall, or sharp edge hazards
  • Look for signs of pests or animals

Basement/attic

  • Look in attic for indications of roof leaks
  • Make sure sump pump and check valve work
  • Make sure that basement floor drain works
  • Check for puddles or wet surfaces and vacuum basement flooring

Garage

  • Make sure garage door opener’s safety shutoff works
  • Inspect fuel can storage for leaks
  • Look around for indications of water damage
  • Search for trip, fall, or sharp edge hazards

HVAC/Electrical

  • Test smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors
  • Test ground fault interrupters
  • Search for damaged electrical cords
  • Replace filter in air conditioner
  • Replace filter in dehumidifier

Plumbing/Interior

  • Look for indications of peeling paint
  • Inspect drain and supply line for leaks
  • Test bathroom/kitchen fans
  • Clean exhaust fan screens and outlets
  • Clean dryer vents and screens
  • Clean air conditioner drain pan and coils
  • Clean coils on dehumidifer

Tasks to be performed once a year:

Exterior

  • Check for ice dams and icicles (wintertime)

Basement/attic

  • Make sure exhaust fans push air outdoors
  • Inspect ductwork connections

Plumbing/Interior

  • Look for indications of water damage in all doors, walls, windows, and ceilings
  • Inspect dishwasher hoses for leaks
  • Inspect refrigerator icemaker connections and drip pan for indications of leaks
  • Make sure toilet supply shutoff valve works
  • Inspect drains and traps under tubs, showers, and sinks for indications of leaks
  • Look for water damage in shower/tub surrounds
  • Check washer hose connections

Feel free to print out this list and keep a copy in your garage or on your refrigerator door. Making sure that these tasks are completed will help minimize the odds of your home incurring costly repairs.

Home maintenance checklist

They’re smiling because they know their home is well-maintained.
Written by Del Thebaud

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