Whether it’s cold and wet outside or the summer sun is beating down, your home is there to protect you, and the feeling should be mutual. You also need to work to protect your home. Your home needs consistent maintenance throughout the seasons, and maintenance needs to take place in all of your home systems, from the interior rooms to the exterior landscaping. Use our handy home maintenance checklist to ensure that your home is a safe, well-maintained space.
Your Home’s Foundation
Your home’s foundation is the structure that underlies your house. Even though it’s invisible as you walk up the driveway, it’s one of the most important parts of your home.
The home’s foundation is truly the core of the home. Before you build anything else, you need to create a foundation. It’s not just a barrier between the house and the ground, it keeps out moisture, insulates the house, and stabilizes the house as the soil shifts over time. With a strong and well-maintained foundation, your house is able to last over time.
Typical Problems With Your Home Foundation
Shifting, cracking, and leaking are all serious problems when it comes to your home’s foundation. You will find that your foundation shifts over time, but the extent of the changes and the impact that they have on your home depend on the stability of the soil and the amount of time you spend on preventative maintenance of your foundation.
Seasonal Preventative Maintenance on Your Home Foundation
Home maintenance shouldn’t just be about repairs. When you perform routine preventative maintenance tasks regularly, you can avoid expensive emergency repairs. Even though it’s relatively invisible, your home foundation needs regular attention. All of the rest of your home relies on a strong foundation, so you need to perform regular maintenance and spot checks to ensure that your foundation is in good repair.
- 1. Clean Your Basement. At least twice a year, give your basement a deep clean. Clear out the clutter and sweep, dust, and wash off the walls. You’ll be able to see any issues with the foundation much more clearly if they’re not buried under a pile of toys that need to be put away.
- 2. Monitor For Leaks. Look closely at your basement floor and walls. Look for signs of damp, including wet patches on the walls and staining. Look for cracks as well.
- 3. Look for Cracks. Make sure that there are no cracks on your floor or basement walls. If there are, monitor existing cracks to ensure that they are not expanding quickly.
- 4. Check Your Exterior Drainage. Make sure that water is flowing away from your home and that there are no puddles or other areas of standing or flowing water. This will prevent concerns with foundation leaks.
- 5. Pump It Out. Test your sump pump, if you have one. This pump helps remove water from the areas around your basement, preventing foundation leaks. Testing your sump pump helps you ensure that you’re protected in case there is a lot of water that flows into the area around your foundation.
The Living Area
When you think about home maintenance, the issues that usually spring to mind are the ones in your living area. These interior spaces are full of furniture and are where you live every day. They see a lot of maintenance challenges due to ongoing wear.
Typical Maintenance Problems in Your Living Spaces
Your home’s living spaces see so much use, and, as such, they experience a lot of maintenance problems. These maintenance needs include everyday cleaning, repairs due to use and breakage, and ongoing wear and tear on your plumbing and electrical systems. Keeping up with maintenance tasks can seem overwhelming, but if you do a small amount of maintenance every day and every season, you’ll prevent more serious problems from occurring.
Seasonal Maintenance in Your Living Spaces
There are innumerable seasonal maintenance tasks to do in your living spaces. Some tasks need to occur every day, while you need to complete others once a year. To keep your living spaces in peak condition, you need to:
- 1. Monitor Your Electrical Systems. Install new fixtures correctly or get an electrician to do it. Pay attention to flickering lights or areas of your home that frequently lose power. If you have an older home, make sure that all of your electrical wiring is up to code. Test your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors seasonally as well, just in case there is a fire.
- 2. Tighten Loose Parts. Keep doorknobs, handles, racks, and shelving tight and well-maintained. Check the locks and bolts on your windows and doors.
- 3. Keep Water Under Control. Check accessible plumbing such as the under the sink zone for leaks. Look at the caulking and grout around your bathtub, shower, and surrounds and around your sinks. Flush your hot water heater and remove the sediment, and check your hot water tank for signs of age.
- 4. Maintain Your Heating and Cooling Systems. Winterize your air conditioning and get your furnace maintained before winter begins. Make sure that each heating or cooling system is working well before you need to use it.
- 5. Keep It Clean. Do a deep clean of your home at least once every six months. Remember to clean out frequently used areas such as your freezer, sink drains, range hood, and garbage disposal.
The roof is more than the boards and shingles that sit over your head. Your roof protects the entire home system. It’s there to enclose the house and to protect you from the weather, including the wind, rain, and snow. Your foundation and your roof are two key elements of your home that are often neglected in everyday maintenance since people tend to know what maintenance is required in their living spaces and outdoor spaces but may neglect to look on the roof.
Typical Maintenance Problems on Your Roof
Your roof receives the brunt of the weather, so it can experience many different problems over the course of the seasons. Typically, you want to avoid problems from ongoing wear, such as loose shingles. This can lead to leaks and further degradation of your roof. You also need to be vigilant before, during, and after stormy weather. A winter storm can send branches through your roof, damaging the roof and the areas beneath it.
Seasonal Home Maintenance Checklist for Your Roof
Keep your roof in top shape with the appropriate seasonal maintenance. You’ll also want to check your roof after seasonal storms to make sure that it has not gotten damaged. Your seasonal roof maintenance should include:
- 1. Examine Your Roofing Shingles. Whether you choose tile or metal or the traditional asphalt, you need to examine your roofing shingles seasonally and after each storm to make sure that your roof is still intact. Look for shingles that are shifting, cracking, or peeling. Also look for fine sediment from shingles in your gutters. If there’s a lot of sediment, it could be that your shingles are gradually degrading and that you need a new roof.
- 2. Look Inside. What’s inside your roof can tell you a lot about what’s going on outside. Look in your attic and on your walls to make sure that there is no moisture, softness, or staining. All of these can be signs of a roof leak.
- 3. Watch for Ice Dams. In the winter months, the freeze and thaw process of water can be insidious to your roof. Watch out for water that’s thawing, moving to your gutters or into roof cracks, and then freezing again. Look for icicles or blocks of ice in your gutters. These can prevent your roof from draining and can back water up onto the roof, where it leaks into your building.
- 4. Clean Out Your Gutters. Make sure that your gutters are clear of debris such as blossoms and branches. These items can clog your gutters and make it hard for water to move efficiently into your drainage system.
- 5. Ensure That Your Drainage System Works. In addition to your gutters, you need to ensure that your drains work and that they’re sending water into an appropriate place in your yard. Check under your gutters for areas where water has spilled over and caused potential foundation damage. Make sure that the end of each drain either moves water underground or sends it to an area such as a rain garden.
Your Home’s Exterior
The outside of your home is a protective shell that allows you to live comfortably inside. However, you also need to make sure that you maintain your home’s exterior too. This includes your home siding and the surroundings of your home, such as decks, porches, stairs, and garden landscaping.
Typical Maintenance Problems On and Around Your Home’s Exterior
Like your roof, your home’s exterior is exposed to the elements. This means that it experiences problems from sun, wind, rain, ice, and snow. Sun can break down your exterior over time, weathering it and making it weaker. Wind causes branches to break and damage your home. Rain, ice, and snow can lead to leaks, and water also leads to mold and moss growth. Water also changes materials over time, causing weathering and erosion.
Seasonal Home Maintenance Checklist for Your Home’s Exterior
While you can’t stop the weather from gradually degrading areas on and around your home’s exterior, you can perform maintenance tasks that will help you remedy some of its effects. Here’s what you need to do to make sure that your home’s exterior is ready for every season:
1. Look at Garden Drainage. Check the areas underneath the eaves, but look beyond that as well. How well is your garden draining? Are there areas with puddles or areas that are eroded? Make sure that your garden drains well so that it can remain stable and contribute to the overall drainage around your home.
2. Keep Your Siding Clean. Like your roof, your home’s siding protects your home from the elements. Clean it to make sure that it’s free from mold, algae, and moss. Check it regularly for signs of wear, cracks, and loose areas.
3. Monitor Screens, Windows, and Doors. These structures are entry points into your house, but they’re also entry points for moisture and insect damage. Make sure that they’re secure, and monitor them for chipping paint, loose areas, and soft wood.
4. Clean and Repair Decks, Patios, and Stairs. Over time and with use, these areas tend to get dirty, worn, and damaged. Check to see if your home needs new railings or stair treads, and make sure that all areas of your deck or patio are non-slip and solid.
5. Check Your Pavement. Cracked pavement can cause people to trip, and it can also lead to puddles and other drainage issues. In the spring and summer, repair your pavement so that you’re ready to meet the challenges of the winter months.
At Harry Helmet, we’re here to help you create a home that works. From your exterior landscaping to the rooms inside, your home is a comprehensive system, and you need to be able to maintain it easily, no matter what the seasons bring. Use our home maintenance checklist to ensure that your home is in the best possible shape in every season of the year, and schedule an appointment to look at ways that roofing and gutter covers can help you achieve your home maintenance goals.