A home is one of the biggest and most expensive purchases a person may make in their lifetime. Not surprising, it is hard work to protect and maintain that investment. It’s the reason why homeowners are acutely aware of all the numbers involved when make a home purchase. From the down payment and mortgage rate to closing costs and other fees, you have a lot to consider. However, one of the factors that often comes as a surprise is the home maintenance. Each year, homeowners encounter numerous routine and unexpected repairs for their home maintenance. For that reason, implementing a home maintenance schedule is an ideal way to keep your home in the best working order for years to come.
A good rule of thumb in terms of home maintenance and a maintenance schedule is to budget within three percent of your home’s value to take care of general home maintenance. If you have an old home, you may need to up the percentage. In addition, that number may change if you are considering home maintenance that bridges home renovation.
Home Maintenance Coverage
Three percent of your home’s value will typically cover routine home maintenance as well as the occasional surprise. As a homeowner you may have to deal with broken windows, a burst pipe, pest removal, and other surprises. While it’s a good idea to have a nest egg to cover those unexpected issues, a home maintenance schedule can help you avoid those issues completely. When you stick to a homeowner’s maintenance schedule checklist, you will get the big picture of home maintenance needs one a yearly basis.
Home Maintenance Timeline
An extensive timeline that doesn’t only look at monthly tasks but one that looks at home maintenance for the entire year, is a good idea. Even much further out such as five or ten years can help you plan to stay in your home for longer. And when you do decide to relocate and sell your home, the home maintenance timeline could become something new such as a home renovation timeline. This will ensure your home is in good shape and stays that way for a profitable sale in the future. With a home maintenance schedule, you are supporting your home to maintain or increase in value while keeping it in working order. This type of scheduled checklist can offer the safety and comfort, so you know what to expect.
Schedule Home Maintenance Tasks
Keeping a home maintenance schedule takes the guess work out of knowing when it’s time for routine check-ups. It also ensures you fix problems before they start. You’ll identify the smallest repairs before they lead to bigger, more expensive projects. This guide can help you keep track and schedule all the maintenance needs of your home. Usually done by season, keeping up with these monthly tasks is vital. If any of them go beyond your scope or skill level, be sure to call one of our expert Fairmarket contractors to get involved with repair and home maintenance.
Create a Maintenance Schedule for Each Month
There are numerous tasks that should be done every month. Luckily, most of them can be done fairly quickly and do not take up much time. In an average home, the following should be done every month regardless of the season:
Check and Maintain all Safety Equipment
Carbon monoxide detectors, smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, and all ground-fault circuit interrupters should be checked every month. This includes any and all of the following such as: checking the date of expiration, checking the batteries, and testing the product.
Replace or Clean Filters
Clean common and heavily used appliances such as the garbage disposal by grinding and crushing ice cubes alone (no food) and then flushing the system with baking soda, vinegar and hot water. You’ll also need to replace or clean filters such as: your HVAC (furnace and air-conditioning) air filters, humidifier filters, ventilation filters, and range hood filters if these appliances are heavily used each month.
If for whatever reason you don’t use them frequently, you could probably get away with changing them every other month. But no more than that as changing the air filter regularly helps prolong the life of your HVAC system.
Knowing the signs that your furnace needs changing can help you identify the right time to do so. The clean, white filter you originally use will be noticeably gray. You will actually be able to see various dust particles. You will also notice your home being dustier than usual or that it takes longer to heat or cool your home.
This is also a good time to vacuum heat vents and registers, check that outdoor and indoor air vents are not blocked.
Inspect Electrical Cordsand Panels
It’s a good idea to ensure all electrical cords in your home are in good working order. OSHA suggests that any electrical cords used outside for home repair or landscaping use be thoroughly checked every month. Electrical panels should also be tested, inspected and cleaned to ensure they are working properly, not overheating, or experiencing any other kind of disfunction.
Home Maintenance Each Spring Season
Once the weather gets warm, you’ll want to power wash or pressure wash your home. The high pressure from a power washing wand is ideal for the siding, sidewalks in front of your home, decks, and any other tough spot to clean. The pressure is measured in psi or pounds per square inch, which is the amount of pressure the liquid (usually plain water) puts on the walls of the container. Pressure washers are available in both electric and gas models.
Although power washing is fairly simple, there are many hard-to-reach places for the average homeowner to reach. Additionally, power washing requires special clothing because the user gets completely soaked. Homeowners should not try to do this type of home maintenance themselves and should instead leave it up to a professional. A Fairmarket contractor is trained to power wash your home and can do it in just a few hours. Washing windows as well as window screens and door screens should also be done at this time.
During this time, a Fairmarket contractor will also remove debris from gutters, drain spouts, and window wells. They will also inspect the siding, roof, trim, and chimney for damage that you may not have noticed. Add a screen to your chimney to keep birds, squirrels, and other animals out of your fireplace. The Fairmarket contractor will have their ladder handy and will already be in high places, so they will be happy to inspect these areas of your home as part of the job. They will let you know if it is time to replace or repair the caulking or weather stripping around doors, windows, and mechanicals.
The spring is also a good time to be sure your air-conditioner is in working order. It is vital to have the system serviced before the summer. Many air conditioning systems break down in the summertime and HVAC contractors are in high demand. Instead of waiting until it is an absolute emergency, get your air conditioner checked and serviced ahead of time.
Home Maintenance Every Summer
As the temperatures rise, everyday appliances we use, have a
tendency to fluctuate with the heat. For instance, your garage
door. You may find that the door hinges and chain need extra oil. Check the
garage door opener and mechanics during this time, too.
The summer is also a time to clean out dryer vents and washer hoses. Be sure to remove all lint from the outside and inside the washer.
Clean your kitchen exhaust fan filter and replace it, if necessary. A Fairmarket contractor is happy to assist as this is not something a homeowner should do on their own.
Check your dishwasher for leaks, bathroom and kitchen sinks for leaks and replace any interior or exterior washers and faucets if needed. This is also a good time to refresh the caulk and seal tile grout.
Of course, your landscaping and curb appeal is more important than ever in the summer. Shrubs and trees grow exponentially during this time as does the lawn. If you have an artificial lawn, this is the time to regularly rake and clean it. Use the summer as an opportunity to replace outdoor flooring around porches, pool decks, walkways, and drive ways.
Home Maintenance Every Fall
Although the temperatures in most of Texas do not change as
drastically as in other parts of the country, there are still home maintenance
requirements in the fall. This is the time to once again remove debris from the
gutters, drain spouts, and window wells. Excess leaves and debris from the
summer and fall tend to build up in these areas. If the debris remains it can
cause drainage problems and other common issues.
If you plan on using your fireplace in the fall or winter, this is the time to inspect the chimney for leaks and obstructions. Clean the fireplace flues and do a full chimney sweep. Additionally, have the furnace serviced so it is in good working order for the upcoming colder months. As with the air conditioner in the spring, it is better to do the inspection and servicing prior to the season. Contractors get very busy with emergences when the season actually arrives.
Home Maintenance Every Winter
In an effort to protect your air-conditioning unit, you’ll want to cover it. If you are unsure about air conditioning covers or how to appropriately cover it, a Fairmarket contractor can help while they are there inspecting and maintaining other parts of your property. Just be sure to mention it and they will be happy to help.
Prior to winter storms and after summer storms ensure that your basement is free of leaks. Once again inspect the roof for damage after storms.
Take the time to vacuum the bathroom exhaust fan as the winter season means less open windows and less ventilation. Check for mold in the bathrooms and in the attic.
Colder temperatures are also a time when rodents such as mice, squirrels, and bats look for opportunities to make their nests inside. Thoroughly check your home, especially the attic for signs of rodents. Always remember to close the fireplace flue after use to keep animals from falling into the fireplace.
Give Fairmarket a Call
As you can see, a home maintenance checklist is very important. But it should not be overwhelming. If it is to you, Fairmarket can help! We know that owning a home takes a lot of work, which is why our expert contractors are available for you all year. They will help you maintain your home every season, so it is in good working order for years to come. Best of all, when you automate your home maintenance with Fairmarket, it’s one less thing for you to think about. Post your job(s) today and get started.