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Home Maintenance Checklist

Home maintenance checklist

When it comes to taking care of your house, there are so many things to think about. It’s easy for homeowners to get overwhelmed by all of the work that come with protecting your biggest investment. What are a few things you can do every month to maintain your home? Whatever month you are in, we have a home maintenance checklist printable to keep you on track.

Home Maintenance Checklist

As homeowners, time may be our most valuable resource. With that in mind, how can we best spend our precious free time taking care of our homes?

January

Prepare for warm and rainy spring days

It may feel like winter now, but warm days will be here before you know it. Time to repair or replace any damaged window screens. While you’re at it, inspect your roof for damage to shingles and flashing, especially areas that might have been pulled up by the wind. Check your fascia under the roof for insect or rodent damage.

Replace HVAC filter

You should change your filters at a minimum every three months. If you have pets or allergies, or if you live in a dry or dusty area (especially new subdivisions or along dirt roads), this may need to be done monthly.

Prune live oak and red oak trees
To avoid oak wilt, prune live and red oaks before Feb 1 or after June 30.  Whenever you prune these trees, alway be sure to coat the exposed areas with wound dressing or latex paint, and then clean all tools with 10% bleach solution or disinfectant spray before pruning another tree.

February

Clean up your yard

Give your lawn a head start for the spring. Rake up leaves and from your lawn, or mulch them into your grass with your mower. Remove all plants that have died over the winter and add them to your compost pile, bag them up for a friend or neighbor who composts or if the service is available, put out your yard clippings on your trash day to be repurposed as mulch.

Make sure your mower is ready to go

Sharpen mower blades, as dull blades can weaken grass and make it susceptible to lawn diseases. It’s not a bad idea to get a new spark plug and air filter for your mower as well.

Get your air conditioning system ready for summer

Rather than wait until warm weather to discover problems with your AC, now’s a great time to have it serviced. Technicians are a lot less busy at this time of year, too!

Control Fleas

February is the perfect time to apply beneficial nematodes to your lawn and other outdoor areas. You can find nematodes at your local garden center. These helpful creatures will significantly reduce flea populations come summer.

March

Safety First
Along with the start of Daylight Savings Time, it’s time to replace batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Also test fire extinguishers in your home and car to make sure they are working.

Power-wash windows and siding

Whether the exterior of your home is made of siding, brick or stone, it’s a great idea to freshen everything up with a good cleaning using a power washer. And while everyone hates to do windows, this is a great chance to take care of your whole exterior at once.

Lawn and Irrigation
Apply fertilizer once your grass starts growing in the spring. Also test your irrigation system to make sure all of the sprinkler heads pop up as expected, none are clogged or malfunctioning, and your timer is set properly.

April

Clean out gutters

If you don’t have screens over your gutters, they’re probably full of leaves, twigs and acorns. Clean them yourself or hire a professional to take care of this sometimes difficult chore.

Clean and repair deck or patio

Most decks and patios will need a good raking or sweeping to remove leaves and other debris. If it’s been a while, you might also need to stain your deck again, or reseal it if the weather has been particularly harsh. Also check for loose or spongy boards and insect damage, and repair as needed.

Plant Your Garden

April is a great time to get started with your garden. This is an ideal time to plant most bedding plants, vegetables, and herbs, as well as most seeds. By giving plants a good head start, they can establish a healthy root system before summer hits.

Replace HVAC filter

It’s that time again – time to change your filters. As we mentioned above, if you have pets or allergies, or if you live in a dry or dusty area (especially new subdivisions or along dirt roads), this may need to be done monthly.

May

Inspect plumbing

Take a look at any exposed pipes and inspect for leaks. Clean faucet aerators. In guest bathrooms or other unused areas, run water in sinks and tubs, and flush toilets. This will remove built-up grime and dust, and will also ensure everything is working properly.

Check your vents

Inspect and vacuum your clothes dryer and other exhaust vents. Run the dryer and make sure air is flowing out the exhaust. Pull dryer away from wall and remove vent. Vacuum the lint at the dryer and inside the lint compartment.

Prune dead wood from trees

After trees and shrubs have fully leafed out for the spring, you can identify dead sections. Prune them carefully back to live wood.

June

Seal drafty doors and windows & check for cracks

Check your windows and doors for cracks around the frames and caulk or seal as needed. Apply new weatherstripping. Consider getting an energy audit to test for leaks that you can’t detect.

Irrigation and watering

It’s starting to get hot, so you will need to monitor the irrigation your outdoor plants and adjust accordingly. Don’t forget about plants in hanging baskets and other containers that dry out quickly. Water plants at dawn or dusk to reduce water loss from evaporation. Follow local water restrictions for automatic watering schedules.

July

Bathroom maintenance

Clean tile grout and repair or replace grout and sealants as needed. Check caulking around shower fixtures and bathtub faucets as well. Remove showerheads and soak in vinegar or lime remover to remove hard water buildup. Check toilet handle and float inside tank to make sure toilet isn’t running unnecessarily.

Deep clean kitchen appliances

You can use vinegar in your coffee pot (diluted) and dishwasher (full strength) to clean sediment and freshen them. Try baking soda in your dishwasher if it is starting to smell a bit musty. Grind vinegar ice cubes in your garbage disposal to sharpen blades and freshen the unit.

Replace HVAC filter

It’s that time again – time to change your filters. As we mentioned above, if you have pets or allergies, or if you live in a dry or dusty area (especially new subdivisions or along dirt roads), this may need to be done monthly.

August

Hot water heater

August is generally a time when people don’t use a lot of hot water, so use the opportunity to flush it out to remove sediment and calcium buildup. This prolongs the life of the heater and helps with efficiency as well.

Plant Fall Garden

If you want to extend your vegetable garden into the fall and winter, this is the best time to plant transplants of plants such as broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage. Sow seeds of beets, swiss chard, lettuce, spinach, and kale. Many people also try a second run of tomatoes at this time. If you do plant a fall crop, plan to water daily as new plants and seedlings won’t have established root systems to handle the hot dry weather. It’s also a great idea to provide shade cloth to protect them from the hot afternoon sun.

September

Fireplace and heating

It’s still hot outside but cold weather is coming. Get your furnace serviced to make sure there’s no debris, loose gas lines, leaks, or other problems. If you have a fireplace, get your chimney cleaned by a professional chimney sweep to make sure there is no soot or bird’s nests that could start a fire. Make sure the fireplace damper opens easily and closes tightly.

Swimming Pool

If you have a pool, this is a good time to prepare it for closing it over the winter. Stock up on supplies and chemical treatments and make sure you know all the proper steps. Here are some steps you can take to winterize your pool.

October

Clean your refrigerator

The holidays are coming up, and you don’t need to have old food hanging out in your fridge. Scrub produce drawers and shelves. Defrost freezer if necessary. if you have a coil-back refrigerator, vacuum the coils so it will run up to 30% more efficiently.

Clean the oven and stovetop

Check that all burners are working properly. If you have a gas stove, check for the smell of natural gas, and make sure all burners and the oven light properly. Get an oven-safe thermometer and make sure oven heats up and maintains temperature. Replace old or loose knobs. Wash the stove hood vent filter.

Lawn & Garden

This is an ideal time to patch areas of your lawn that have dead grass. If you want a lush winter lawn, overseed with annual ryegrass. Compost flowers and vegetable plants past their prime. Add compost and plant cool-weather annuals. Plant wildflower seeds for a beautiful spring show.

Replace HVAC filter

It’s that time again – time to change your filters. As we have already mentioned, if you have pets or allergies, or if you live in a dry or dusty area (especially new subdivisions or along dirt roads), this may need to be done monthly.

November

Safety First
As Daylight Savings ends, it’s again time to replace batteries in smoke/carbon dioxide detectors and test your fire extinguishers.

This is also a good time to check all locks and deadbolts on your doors, windows and gates. If anything doesn’t work right, adjust them or consider getting new locks.

Garden Cleanup

Clean up the garden after the first frost. Toss all dead plants in your compost and give it a good turning. Add dead leaves and the grass clippings from your final mowing of the year. This is also a great time to plant new trees and shrubs to give them time to send out roots and get established.

December

Lighting

It gets dark a lot earlier in the day. Check your inside and outside light fixtures, replacing burned-out bulbs with more energy-efficient LEDs. Clean out bug and dirt from lampshades and hoods. Test solar lighting as well as any motion-sensitive lighting for effectiveness, and clean solar panels.

Holiday maintenance

Entertaining for the holidays or having family come visit? This is a great time to do some spot cleaning and maintenance. Clean your carpets. Tighten drawer and cabinet handles, knobs, and other things with screws. Do a once-over in the guest bathroom and bedrooms. Are curtains or blinds in good shape? Do closet doors and dresser drawers open easily? Do you have sufficient spare towels, sheets and guest soaps?

ABC Can Help Maintain Your Home

If you find you just don’t have time for home maintenance, or need a little help, keep ABC in mind. We are here to help lend a hand, whether that means sealing the exterior of your home to prevent pests from making their way inside, trimming your trees, performing preventative maintenance on your HVAC system, cleaning your pool, washing your windows or power washing your deck, painting or performing handyman tasks, including carpentry, gutter cleaning and even furniture assembly.  

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