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Checklist for Preparing Your Home for Each Season

Friday, September 23, 2022   /   by Laura Larson

Checklist for Preparing Your Home for Each Season

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The majority of us don't want to spend our Saturdays doing home upkeep. Few people might say, "I can't wait to flush out the hot water heater today." The majority of us, though, place the most money into our homes. You have to keep it in good shape. If you allow the paint to flake off the shutters or the gutters to fill with leaves, you risk incurring expensive repair costs.

Home upkeep might seem burdensome, especially for a first-time buyer used to having the landlord handle it. However, it need not be intimidating. Plan to complete one set of quick tasks by the month and additional tasks by the season.

Monthly Tasks
Clean the furnace filter
. Your HVAC will operate more effectively and last longer if you have clean filters. This can also save you money on costly maintenance and cleaning expenses. Depending on factors including if you have allergies or pets, the quality of the filter, and how often you replace your filters, you may want to do it either monthly or every few months.

Heat registers and vents are vacuumed. The accumulation of dirt, dust, and debris in registers restricts airflow and forces your HVAC system to work harder to keep the interior temperature stable.

Test smoke alarms and fire extinguishers.  Your largest investment is likely your home. Verify that the fire protection equipment is in good working order.

Examine the wear on the electrical wires. Cords create a fire hazard if the rubber coating becomes worn or splits.

Garbage disposal cleaning. Ice cubes should be ground before flushing the device with hot water and baking soda to get rid of food residue that could harm it.

Aerators and showerheads should be cleaned. Tap water mineral deposits accumulate and reduce the water flow. After removing the aerators, soak them in vinegar for the entire night and scrub with an old toothbrush.

Spring Tasks
Examine the trees. Call a qualified arborist who can check for illness and spot a problem before it kills the tree if you notice a lot of dead branches on a tree or if a tree hasn't developed spring leaves as it should. Additionally, you don't want a sick tree to topple upon your home.

Clean the gutters. In order to safeguard your roof, walls, and foundation, gutters manage the flow of precipitation and snowmelt onto your home. Gutter blockages might result in roof leaks or water intrusion into your home. If many trees hang over your roof, clean them more frequently than twice a year.

Refresh the paint on the outside. You might need a touch-up or a completely new coat of paint if you notice paint that is flaking, peeling, or chipping. Prior to the summer's intense rains and hot temperatures damaging exposed surfaces, complete the painting.

Clean the home. Give the outside of your house a thorough scrub. Wash the windows and screens, then use a hose to remove the mildew, grit, and grime from the exterior. Over time, such dirt can harm brickwork and paint. Spray a gentle cleaner that won't damage your landscaping, then water it off. Power washers can harm siding and brick, so you might want to avoid using one.

Verify the HVAC. To have your HVAC system checked and serviced twice a year, call a technician. They should clean and service the furnace and A/C compressor in addition to inspecting the ductwork for any damage.

Clean the vents and ducts. Call a professional to clean the system of the accumulated filth, dust, and, if you have indoor pets, dog or cat hair. If the ducts are clear, your HVAC won't have to work as hard, prolonging its lifespan.

Verify the deck. A perfect time to refinish the deck or replace rotting planks is during the cold spring days.

Update the pest control agreement for your house. Hire a pro to perform a monthly inspection for termites, rodents, and other intruders that cause damage to homes.

Fertilize your lawn, trees, and shrubs. They slept all winter. Feed them now that they’re waking up.

Summer Tasks
Water foliage and plants. Make sure your landscaping receives enough water.

Analyze the sprinkler system. Keep an eye out for water pools, loose valves, and clogged lines. Examine the timers. If you discover issues, contact a professional for repairs.

The garage door opener needs oil. Shine up the hinges and chain on the garage door.

Look for leaks in the dishwasher and near toilets. If you see issues, contact a plumber.

Prune your shrubs and trees. By doing so, you can keep them healthy and eliminate any dead or sick branches.

In the kitchen and bathroom, seal the tile grout. Ensure that water doesn't penetrate between the tiles and ruin your floors and walls.

Fall Tasks
Your garden needs fertilizer. Before the cold sets in, give your grass, trees, and plants one last boost.

Sanitize the gutters. This will be the largest gutter cleanout of the year because of the falling autumn leaves. Keep in mind that blocked gutters might result in roof leaks or water entering your home.

Look inside the chimney. Call a chimney sweep for an annual inspection and cleaning before you use your fireplace. They ought to examine the damper, firebox, and flue.

Hire a professional to service your furnace and ducts, just like you did in the spring, and check the HVAC. Ask the technician to make sure the thermostat is working and that the ducts and vents are clear of obstructions and damage.

Dryer vent cleaning. You can do this yourself or hire an HVAC technician with expertise in dryer vents to clean the lint from the vent and check it. Nearly 3,000 fires are started by clothes dryers each year, and a clogged vent forces your dryer to work harder than necessary, eventually blowing its heating element.

Clear the water heater's hot water supply. By doing this, accumulated silt that could harm the appliance is removed.

Eliminate air leaks. Grab a few tubes of exterior caulk that match your home's color and fill up any gaps around window and door frames, trim and siding, and any places where pipes or wires enter your home. By doing this, moisture won't enter your walls.

Drain sprinkler systems that are buried. Any water that is still present in the pipes could freeze and harm the system.

In unheated garages, insulate pipes and outside faucets. Uninsulated pipes could freeze, and when they thaw, flooded homes could result.

Winter Tasks
Your air conditioner should be covered. Use covers designed specifically for this purpose to shield it from the weather.

Cleaned coils in the freezer and refrigerator. Using a coil brush to remove the dust buildup will make your fridge function better and last longer. First, unplug the refrigerator. Clean and empty drip pans as well.

After a storm, check the roof, gutters, and downspouts. During the winter, your house experiences the most damage. If you notice damage, contact an expert. Check for leaks in your basement now if necessary (once the ground has thawed out).

Watch out for pipes. There are more things you can do to prevent your pipes from freezing after wrapping them in the fall. In order to keep water flowing on chilly nights, let a faucet drip. If you're not home, make sure the thermostat is set to at least 55 degrees.