Monthly Home Maintenance Checklist
Moved into your new home after months of running around for loans and documentation? What’s next? Your commitment towards your new home doesn’t end after you complete the furnishings and decor; it actually starts there. You need to maintain your property internally and externally.
Home maintenance is important so you stumble upon a problem early and don’t end up wasting time or money when the problem goes out of hand. When you follow a maintenance checklist, you keep your home in good health for your family’s benefit. It involves everything from the electrical systems to the inspection of the roof, and since the tasks are unending, maintaining a checklist is the best way to go about it.
If this sounds intimidating, don’t worry because once you get a hang of it, it’ll actually be fun. You can keep ticking off the tasks on your checklist every weekend. If you’ve moved in with your kids, you can involve them in the monthly maintenance, it’s a great bonding activity and makes them feel involved!
When you run maintenance checks and keep up with repairs, you automatically increase the lifespan of your house and its appliances. If you’re planning to follow monthly maintenance, this monthly home maintenance checklist is sure to help you!
Change The HVAC Filters
HVAC filters are used in the heating and cooling systems in your home. These filters filter out dust, dirt, debris, pollen, and other small particles, thus preventing airborne allergens from circulating around your home. In order to ensure your family is breathing fresh air always, you should keep changing your filters from time to time.
Ideally, HVAC filters should be changed once every 30-60 days, but stick to changing them every 30 days if you have pets in the house as pet dander and fur can be a major allergen. You must also frequently inspect and change filters in summers and winters since you’ll be using heating and cooling systems more often. Doing so maintains the efficiency of your systems and increases their lifespan.
A pro tip will be to get cheaper HVAC filters and change them frequently rather than get expensive ones and avoid changing them for months altogether because they cost you a lot!
Test The Fire Safety Systems And Devices
In order to ensure the complete safety of your house, you should check the fire safety systems like smoke detectors or carbon monoxide detectors on every floor. The alarms should be in working conditions; it’s better to buy alarms with a test button so you can check them every month. If you have smart detectors, keep your phone connected and test if the detectors are working. If your alarms aren’t working, replace their batteries right away.
You should also check if every floor of your house has a fire extinguisher. It should be in an easily accessible place and not blocked by any furniture. Check if the gauge in the extinguisher shows adequate pressure, read the expiry date, and ensure it doesn’t have visible signs of wear and tear. If you see any dents on your extinguisher, it’s time to replace it.
Also See: Home Fire Prevention and Safety Tips
Check The Burglar Alarms And Locks
Just like you checked your smoke alarms, make sure to check your burglar alarms. Try testing the alarms and replace batteries if they don’t work. You must also run a quick check on who all has the keys to your home and whether any keys are missing.
Unclog The Sink And Other Drains
You should check if all the drains around your home are working properly, right from the kitchen to the bathroom. You can freeze vinegar in an ice tray and then run these ice cubes through your sink, this keeps the sink disposal running properly. You can also use a mixture of baking soda and vinegar to do this or use a drain snake to unclog the drain.
Next, you should check your bathroom and bathtub drain for any hair or debris. You should also see if there’s any clogging or improper drainage in the gutters around your house. This is especially important in the fall season when the leaves can be a nuisance that clogs your gutters.
Inspect The Plumbing Systems And Leakages
Inspect your pipes monthly to spot any rusting or leaking to avoid major plumbing repair works later on. Have a close look at all the pipes and check for discoloration on metal pipes, cracking on plastic pipes, or deposit build up on pipes. You should also check for leaking taps, leaking toilets, or slow running drains as this can cause wastage of water and money!
You should also clean your dishwasher according to the user manual. This prevents any kinds of clogs or leaks and helps you spot a leak early. Also, look for AC line leaks, and don’t take a few drops of leaks lightly as they only get worse. Leaks also ruin the functioning of the AC by making it work harder, and subsequently cuts its life short.
See Also: Finding Handy Man for Plumbing
Clean Your Trash Cans
We know you’ve been procrastinating it long enough, so make it a monthly goal to clean your garbage disposal. Trash cans get really unhygienic with mold, slime, and sticky buildup. They are a hotspot for odor and all kinds of bacteria. To clean them thoroughly, pour in half a cup of baking soda and let it rest for a half-hour, then pour a cup of vinegar and after some time rinse off with boiling water. Make sure that all the food particles and slime have been washed off well.
Clean Your Kitchen
The kitchen can get really messy with all the sauces, seasonings, and liquids that fall on the countertops when you’re cooking. You should scrub your kitchen countertops, tidy up your cabinets, and clean your appliances once every month.
Go through your inventory and discard what’s expired, make a list of what needs to be restocked and label the jars that confuse you every time you cook. You should also clean your refrigerator thoroughly. First, disconnect the power supply to your refrigerator, empty it of all its inhabitants, and then clean it well. Also, remember to replace the water filters if you think it’s needed.
While you’re at it, scrub down the exhaust fan too. This appliance collects a lot of grease and needs to be cleaned. If you ignore the exhaust fan for too long, the grease buildup will block the fan and affect its efficiency. Just detach the filter from the hood and then wash it in hot running water, scrub it with a degreasing dish soap, and then let it dry before you attach it back in. You may also read our article on Stocking your kitchen for first time.
Replace Your Furnace Filter
You should replace your furnace filter every one to three months otherwise the filter will become clogged and air won’t pass through it anymore. When air doesn’t pass through the filters, the heat from the furnace will get trapped, causing the furnace to overheat. That’s why it’s important to check for dirt or debris buildup and replace the filters if you see any. Doing this not just ensures that clean air circulates in your home but also keeps your energy costs down.
Check For Wears In Electrical Cords
You should inspect the exposed electrical cords in your home for any kind of wear and tear. Open electrical wiring or damaged cords are hazards as they can cause electric shocks or electrocution. If you see any worn cords, mend them with electrical tape or replace the cord entirely if it cannot be repaired
Attend To Your Lawn And Garden
Just mowing your lawn once a week isn’t enough, you should attend to your garden too. Your duty towards your garden doesn’t start and end with watering your plants. You must trim the plants and tend your flower beds to keep the landscape in good shape. If you notice that debris or fallen leaves are collecting around your house, you must clean them up. Make it a monthly plan to clean any unruly weeds. Attending to dry debris and weeds keeps both pests and fire hazards away, so don’t forget to add it to your checklist.
Clean Your Bathroom
Your bathroom can get pretty damp and humid, especially if it has poor ventilation. Mold or mildew can easily grow in such a surrounding if you don’t scrub your bathroom every month. Grab a scrubbing brush and a combination of cleaning products, then get down to scrubbing the tiles.
While you’re at it, check the caulking around the toilet bases, showers, bathtubs, and repair them if necessary. If you notice cracks in your bathtubs while cleaning, get them repaired immediately or they could grow wider and lead to water leaks. You can get the issue repaired by a professional or buy a DIY bathtub repair kit if the cracks are small.
Inspect Your Property
Walk around your house and peep into every corner to check for any structural issues or required repairs. Check your attic and under decks for the presence of rodents, rot, or mold to identify problems early. Walk around your property and check if there are cracks in the foundation, standing water, or decay in any tree. Test if the garage door is opening smoothly and if the garage lock systems are working.
Create A Seasonal Maintenance Checklist
While you should stick to your monthly checklist, you should add some tasks to it according to the changing seasons. With four seasons spread throughout the year, no two months are entirely the same, and that’s why you need a seasonal checklist too. Here’s what you need to have in this checklist:
Spring is the time when you should check for any holes in the window screens and fix them so bugs don’t enter. You should check if the branches of trees in your property are crawling near the electricity lines and trim them if they grow closer to the lines. If there are shrubs or vines growing on the walls of your house, nip them so they don’t cause cracks or ruin the longevity of the structure. Make complete use of spring and get your cooling systems serviced in preparation for the summer that lies ahead.
Summer is the time all insects come crawling out. So, ensure you have ant sprays, insect repellant, and bug sprays handy. Clear the walls and ceilings of any cobwebs and ensure all your windows have meshes attached. Check if your deck requires a coat of stain or sealant, also check for protruding nails and hammer down any visible ones. Summer is also an ideal time to check your lawn irrigation system and repair it in order to prevent wastage of water.
If you’re in the middle of a fall month, make sure you prepare for the winter. Check your heating systems, inspect your furnace, replace your filter, and clean your chimney. Check the windows and doors for any openings and ensure no furniture is blocking the heating vents.
Call up professionals to have your roof inspected and fill depressions around your foundation so the snow in the approaching winter doesn’t collect there. This is important as accumulated snow or water can cause dampness and weaken your foundation.
The winter months are great to do some indoor DIY projects or cleaning tasks that you’ve been procrastinating. While you don’t have to run any maintenance checks on the exterior of your house in such cold weather, what you must not overlook are the icicles. Get rid of icicles since they are a hazard to people standing under them, damage your house since they’re heavy, and damage your foundation after they melt. For more tips on this read our blog on Home maintenance for Winter.
That was it with your monthly home maintenance checklist. Don’t worry about sticking to the checklist we put together for you, you can curate your own list according to the needs of your house. If you have trouble finding local professionals for repair works, install some handyman apps as they help you find professionals for everything from carpentry to plumbing works.
You shouldn’t keep putting off the tasks in your checklist as it can become a burden if ignored for long. If you keep your home in good condition, it will increase your home’s value and benefit you if you decide to sell it. We hope this monthly home maintenance checklist helps you and your home!
FAQs On Monthly Home Maintenance Checklist
Is Maintaining A Monthly Maintenance Checklist Enough?
Running monthly maintenance checks helps your house stay in good condition but is not enough. You should also maintain a seasonal, quarterly, bi-annual, and annual maintenance checklist to keep your home in great shape internally and externally.
Can I Do My Own Plumbing?
While you can change your tap if there’s an emergency, it’s best you leave the plumbing work for the professionals. This is because doing plumbing repairs yourself can leave behind small leaks or malfunctioning fixtures. If you have zero knowledge about pipes and fittings, you can cause a plumbing disaster in your home.
How Much Does Monthly Maintenance Cost?
This depends on the kind of repairs or replacements you did in your house. The maintenance cost will go up in the summer or winter seasons. There’s no approximate budget you should set aside for monthly maintenance since it depends on how many HVAC filters you replaced, if you replaced any electrical cords, or if you got structural repairs done.
How Long Will The Monthly Maintenance Checklist Take To Complete?
There’s no specific answer to this since the checklist should not be completed at a time. Divide your tasks over your weekends and take your time with understanding your home. Some tasks, like changing the furnace filters, won’t take you longer than 15 minutes while others, like tending to your garden, will claim entire afternoons!