Most of the items on this list can be done by you, even if you don’t have much experience. If you need to know how to do a particular repair, I suggest that you look on YouTube for an instructional video. If you would like hands-on help, please contact me, and I can put you in touch with professionals who can help. Remember, maintaining your home is easier and cheaper than fixing issues that arise due to neglect.
Here is a printable version of this checklist in PDF format. Print and hang it on your fridge.
Not every item on this list will apply to your house, or there may be other items you feel you should add.
- Check to be sure your fire extinguisher is fully charged. If it will not hold a charge, replace it. Be sure that it is in a place with easy access.
- Clean out any debris from bathroom, kitchen, and laundry sinks. Do the same for all showers and tubs.
- Clean your garbage disposal. This can be done by adding ½ cup of baking soda followed by ½ cup of vinegar. Let sit for 10 minutes and then flush with boiling water. Alternatively, you can freeze vinegar in an ice cube tray, then run the vinegar ice through the disposal. This freshens the sink and sharpens the blades. If you choose to use the first method, you can run regular ice cubes through your disposal to sharpen the blades.
- Change the filters once a month on your forced-air heating system. Some filters suggest you only change bi-monthly. It will still be a good idea to check your filters monthly. If you find that they are dirty, change them. If not, you can wait the 2 month period of time. Those with pets or who live in areas with high pollen or pollution may need to change filters more regularly.
- Test your garage door’s auto-reverse feature. Place a 2×4 on the ground under the door. When the door hits the wood, it should reverse and go up. If it does not, contact a technician to fix the problem.
- Check your water softener salt drum and replace salt as necessary.
- Replace the batteries in your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors even if they are still running correctly. Studies have shown that replacing batteries twice a year saves lives.
- If you use high efficiency pleated or HEPA-style filters, they need to be changed twice a year. Change them when you replace your batteries in your detectors as an easy way to remember when your six months is up.
- Change the filter in your refrigerator water line.
- Repair or replace any weather stripping.
- Have your furnace serviced.
- Clean the heat sensor, contact points, and contacts of your thermostat. Replace if necessary.
- Check foundations to see if dirt is being washed away. If so, look for the cause and fix it. Also remove any wooden items such as firewood or debris to keep termites at bay.
Areas With Freezing Temperatures During the Winter
- Prepare your fireplace for winter. Clean the chimney and repair any cracks in the flue.
- Exchange screens for storm windows and storm doors. Replace any broken glass.
- Shut off valves to outdoor faucets.
- Drain and store hoses.
- Flush out and drain the sprinkler system before the first hard freeze.
- Remove and store window air conditioning units. If you have central air, cover the outside unit with a tarp or plastic sheeting and secure with bungee cords.
- Buy winter supplies such as sidewalk salt.
- Service snowblower.
- Store outdoor furniture and cushions.
- Check driveway/pavement for cracks. Reseal before winter to keep ice from expanding the cracks and causing further damage.