Home maintenance is an ongoing process. From raking leaves and replacing shingles to cleaning disposals and replacing batteries in smoke detectors, there’s always something important to take care of. How do you know what to do? And when should each task be done? To help, you need a home maintenance plan.
Each season, you can work through the checklist to maintain your home and prevent the need for some repairs. Here’s a seasonal home maintenance checklist that helps you take care of your house all year.
Spring home maintenance tips
You may be ready to enjoy the warm spring weather, but is your home? During the spring, focus on outside tasks while the weather is cooler. We’ve put together a spring home maintenance checklist to help ensure a smooth seasonal transition. Here’s what’s on the checklist this season:
Do an exterior inspection
Take an afternoon to look at your house closely and carefully. Take a notebook and pen with you to write down any damage you see. Check the:
- Yard for pooling water
- Siding and foundation for damage
- Windows and doors for cracks
- Roof for missing or cracked shingles and trouble spots
Another quick tip: if you have an asphalt shingles on your roof and keep finding piles of black grit in your gutters, it’s likely from your shingles decomposing. Sun damage causes asphalt shingles to break apart, and when this happens, it’s time to replace your roof. Doing so in the spring can help prevent the hot summer sun from causing even more damage to your roof.
Make a list of repairs needed and start addressing them. You may need to contact contractors who can perform some of these jobs.
Clean out your gutters
Dirty gutters can cause all sorts of problems. If there’s a heavy rainstorm, gutters and downspouts can bet backed up and fail to do their job: keeping water away from the foundation of your house. Gutter cleaning is a simple job that can prevent some significant problems for your home. Grab a ladder and get all the leaves and other debris out of your gutters.
Schedule an AC service call
It’s a good idea to bring the HVAC crew to your house for a maintenance call. On the first 80-degree day, you want your AC to kick on right away so you can stay cool.
Access and replace screens
Spring is a good time to replace window screens that were damaged during winter.
Trim trees or shrubs back and take special care of any trees near power lines. Keep them as short as possible, and make sure they’re not growing onto neighboring properties.
Have your air conditioner checked
Air conditioning is a necessity for comfortable spring and summer living in much of the country. Get your system checked out early in the spring to make sure it’s running properly and ready to fend off the summer heat. Offer to do this for elderly parents or neighbors as well, since heat waves and resulting high temperatures can be especially taxing on the elderly.
Check your outdoor furniture
Another part of a thorough spring yard clean-up is checking on your furniture. Well-worn furniture is like an old pair of jeans—comfortable. However, if your chairs are rusted, wooden benches are rough, cushions have dry rot or paint is peeling off your porch swing, it can be hard to relax outside. Do yourself and your guests a favor and make sure your furniture is ready for use.
Clean the grill
Thoroughly cleaning the grill before its first use is a smart move in twofold. First, removing stuck on food, grease, and grime from beneath the grates prevents fires and helps your food cook more evenly. Second, a deep clean of the grates removes harmful bacteria that can make you sick if it contaminates your food. It also doesn’t hurt to review BBQ safety rules before you get grilling this spring.
For even more spring home maintenance tips, check out this slideshow:
These spring cleaning tips are also helpful to complete during this time of year.
Summer home maintenance tips
When the temperatures rise, focus on these indoor home maintenance tips :
Pull out the fridge
Clean behind the fridge and vacuum the coils in the back to keep it running smoothly.
Inspect all of the drains in your home for leaks. Check for a line leak by seeing if water flows at a drip or the flow of water can be stopped by placing your thumb over the faucet. Look under the sinks, check washing machine valves and inspect outdoor faucets.
Leaky faucets can do a number on your water bill, and, if unnoticed, can cause some soggy ground. If a faucet or spigot is leaking onto a wooden deck, it could potentially cause wood rot. Sometimes, the solution is as easy as replacing the spigot handle.
Clear lint and debris from the hoses behind your washer and dryer. Vacuum lint out from deep within the hose.
Grease the garage door
The tracks to your garage door require a little oil to function properly. Grease the track and any chains you see.
Replace batteries in safety devices
Replace the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Test them to make sure they’re in good working order.
Fall home maintenance tips
Your home maintenance checklist continues during the fall with these jobs:
Flush the hot water heater
A hot water heater needs an annual flushing to remove buildup that collects in the tank.
Seal your deck
Sealing your wood deck or patio in the fall ensures it’s well-protected from winter weather. If you live in a dry area, you can typically seal your deck every two or three years. In wetter climates, annual sealing is helpful.
Schedule a service call for your heating system
Set up a service call to ensure your heating system is ready to go for cold temperatures ahead.
Clean the chimney
If you have and use a wood-burning fireplace, clean the chimney out before using it in winter.
Seal cracks in windows and doors
To keep heat in as the weather cools, make sure all of your windows and doors are sealed. This prevents drafts.
Extend the life of your driveway by sealing any cracks you see. Do the same for walkways. The upcoming freeze-thaw cycle in winter can cause damage to the driveway if cracks aren’t sealed and melting snow seeps in.
Clean the carpeting
You’ve likely tracked in dirt while spending time outside during the summer. It’s a good time to vacuum and steam the carpets. Have rugs cleaned to look great for the upcoming holidays, too.
Manage outdoor water
Prep for winter by insulating outdoor water lines and hose bibs and turning them off.
Start prepping for the chilly season by using these winterizing tips, too.
Winter home maintenance tips
During the winter months, you can take it easy with just a few things on your home maintenance schedule:
Look at the grout and seals in your bathroom and fix any problems you find.
Soak showerheads in vinegar to remove buildup.
Clean garbage disposal
Using an ice cube tray, mix a little vinegar and water to make “disposal cubes.” Once they’re frozen, toss them in the disposal and turn it on to clean it.
Clear out closets and sift through old boxes in the basement to make your home more livable while you’re spending more time indoors.
As part of your home maintenance checklist, take some time to address your garage, too. These useful tips can help you get organized and improve your storage solutions in this space.
While taking care of your home maintenance can help protect your house from damage, the unexpected can still happen at any time. Be sure you’re covered with the reliable home insurance from Nationwide.
 “Keep Your House in Tip-Top Shape: An Incredibly Handy Home Maintenance Checklist,” Art of Manliness