December 6, 2021

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A Handy Home Maintenance Checklist to Protect Your Biggest Investment

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Making the decision to own a home is a major commitment. Once you’ve moved into your dream property, completed any renovations (a standout kitchen is a must!), and executed your decorating plans, you still have to consider the routine upkeep that’s necessary to ensure it looks its best for years to come. And it’s not just about aesthetics. There are certain measures all homeowners should take to guarantee that their families remain safe in any property they live in.

Regular maintenance, involving tasks that need to be handled monthly and annually, should not be overlooked. Whether it’s getting into the habit of examining electrical systems, removing debris from gutters, or hiring a professional to inspect your roof once a year, investing the time and money to maintain a polished property can save you headaches in the long run.

To get you started, here’s a thorough home maintenance checklist to protect one of the biggest assets you own.

What to Handle Monthly:

  • Test carbon monoxide detectors, smoke detectors, and fire extinguishers, which should be kept on every floor at a minimum.
  • Clean your garbage disposal.
  • Unclog bathtub and sink drains throughout your home.
  • Deep clean dishwasher (be sure to remove and wash the filter, too).
  • Clean range hood and furnace filters.
  • Deep clean washer and clothes dryer, including the chamber where the filter sits. (Also, keep in mind that your dryer’s lint filter should be cleaned after every load. Its vent should be cleaned every six months to a year, depending on use.)

    What to Handle Annually:

    • Maintain quarterly appointments with an exterminator to keep your home pest-free.
    • Clean your bathroom’s exhaust fan grill to avoid dust from building up.
    • Check all radiators and surrounding pipes for leaks or cracks.
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      Getty Images

      See below for what areas of your home you should be checking in on each season.


      • In early spring, clean your lawn and take the time to remove dead foliage, weeds, and debris as well as prune your trees.
      • Evaluate exterior siding to determine if repairs or replacements are needed.
      • Hire a professional for a chimney safety check and cleaning.
      • Service your air conditioning system.
      • Upgrade faulty windows and replace with energy-efficient designs.
      • To avoid water damage, re-apply caulk to bathtub, shower, and sink.


          • Seal any exterior cracks in stucco, windows, and doors and touch up exterior paint.
          • Walk around the deck to make sure wood and nails are in good shape.
          • Tend to your lawn as needed — consider the Good Housekeeping Institute’s lawn mower recommendations.


            • In early fall, you should bleed your radiator — remove any trapped air from it — to make sure it works well.
            • Make appointment to have your roof inspected.
            • Clear rain gutters to prevent water backup.
            • Drain hot water from the hot water heater, as it can help clear any debris.
            • Service heating systems/furnaces.
            • In late fall, schedule an irrigation inspection. This will involve checking lawn sprinklers to make sure they’re focused on your garden rather than your home’s exterior, which can lead to wood damage.


              • Inspect basement and attic for pests and leaks.
              • Vacuum refrigerator coils to remove dust and dirt.
              • Insulate exterior pipes in basement and garage to prevent freezing.
              • Upgrade winter storm essentials, including your generator, flashlights, and snow shovels.

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