When regular maintenance is performed the Winter Home Maintenance Checklist is easy, but make sure that all your Fall Checklist items are complete first! Check the Fall Checklist here.
Entering into service agreements with companies to come out for yearly maintenance can make our honey-do lists much shorter and help protect our home over the long term. For those of us that want to save money and perform some maintenance items ourselves, we will have to acquire new equipment and learn new skills.
WINTER HOME MAINTENANCE CHECKLIST
Complete All Fall Checklist Items:
Many of the items needed to prepare the home for Winter are found in the Fall checklist. See our Fall Home Maintenance Checklist for more information.
Prepare Entryways for Icy Conditions:
Secure steps and handrails. Keep salt on hand for freezing events. Take steps to mitigate slippery surfaces (grip tape, textured paint, etc…)
Prevent Plumbing from Freezing/Bursting:
During extreme cold events, faucets located in unheated or under-heated areas should be opened slightly (regular drips) to help prevent freezing. Plug-in heaters can be used near unheated or under-heated plumbing areas like washing machines located at porch additions or basements. Plumbing in unheated areas should be protected by heat, insulation, or heat tape.
Deep Cleaning of Appliances:
Clean inside and out of kitchen and laundry appliances and inspect for leaks. Clean behind the refrigerator to maximize proper airflow. Clean out the refrigerator water dispenser drain pan.
Clean Range Hood and Filter:
Hood vent filters become clogged with grease and food debris over time. Most filters are washable filters that can be cleaned with soap and water.
Clothes Dryer Duct Cleaning:
The transition duct (behind the dryer) and even the smooth metal pipe through walls/floors can become clogged over time and any lint within the system can create a fire hazard. They sell attachments for cordless drills that can be used or alternatively a qualified contractor can be hired.
Caulk/Grout Tile Surrounds:
Maintaining the caulk and grout in plumbing areas helps prevent leaks, water damage, and air quality issues.
Test and Maintain Garage Doors:
Prevent garage door failures with preventative maintenance such as lubricating moving parts and testing auto-reverse safety features. Auto reverse sensors should be no more than 6 inches off the floor on both sides of the garage door.
Schedule Annual Home Maintenance Inspection:
It is recommended to have your property inspected every year. Annual Inspections help prevent financial and personal catastrophes from floods, fires, carbon monoxide poisoning, plumbing or gas leaks, disruption of service, electrical hazards, fall/injury hazards, renter liability, and more. Existing clients receive a 40% discount on the initial inspection and new clients receive a $75 discount on an initial Home Inspection– Schedule a maintenance inspection today.
SEASONAL HOME MAINTENANCE CHECKLIST
Replace Water Sediment Filter:
Water sediment filters prevent silt from clogging and damaging the plumbing lines and fixtures. Commonly found in homes for well systems, these are becoming more common in homes with municipal water as they help prevent clogging/sediment in the lines when the municipal lines are being repaired/replaced. Follow the directions given with the filter or call a specialist for maintenance.
Clean Faucet Aerators:
Faucet aerators are the small mesh screens at the end of a faucet– they catch small particles that slip through sediment filters as well as reduce the flow coming from the faucet to prevent excessive splashing. The aerators for sinks can become clogged with sediment (well systems or municipal water) The aerators should be removed (a special key or tool is usually required) and cleaned as needed.
Replace HVAC/Furnace filters:
Through time, filters will clog with dust, dirt, and grime, making your system work harder and less efficiently. Dirty filters can also cause bad odors and unsanitary conditions. It is recommended to upgrade 1″ filters to 4 or 5″ media filters over the long term for better convenience, energy efficiency, and filtration.
Inspect for Plumbing Leaks:
Inspect sink cabinets and around tubs/showers/toilets for evidence of a leak. Inspect the Water Heater area for leaks and the indoor Heating/Cooling equipment for condensate leaks. If unchecked, a small leak can escalate into catastrophic water damage. Contact a plumber for repairs as needed.
Test GFCI outlets and breakers:
Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) outlets help prevent electrical hazards near plumbing fixtures or other sources of water by cutting power in the event of a ground fault. To test the outlet just press the test button in the middle of the outlet. If the test does not reset, contact an electrician for repair.
MONTHLY HOME MAINTENANCE CHECKLIST
Maintain Plumbing Drains, Dishwashers, and Washing Machines:
Clean garbage disposal (if there is one). Unclog sink/tub/shower drains. Clean dishwasher and washing machine (Clean cycles, tablets, enzyme packets, and home remedies can be used like vinegar and baking soda). Refer to the owner’s manual of each appliance for more information.
Test Smoke and CO detectors:
The USFA recommends testing the alarms monthly. Smoke Detectors are the most important item in your home when it comes to your family’s safety, these help to alert you and your family to fire and dangerous smoke while there is still time to evacuate. These detectors should be replaced every ten years. Carbon Monoxide (CO) is produced when carbon-containing fuels (such as coal, oil, kerosene, and natural gas) are burned. CO inhibits the blood’s ability to carry oxygen to body tissues thus these detectors should be installed and maintained so that the alarm can be triggered by any fuel-burning appliance such as gas cookers, boilers, and ovens that are emitting CO. These detectors should be replaced every ten years.
Inspect Fire Extinguishers:
The NFPA recommends inspecting fire extinguishers monthly. Extinguishers help control small fires– especially kitchen fires. Make sure the extinguisher is accessible and charged. Contact your local fire department for further instructions on how to maintain fire extinguishers. In many cases, the fire department will be glad to give instructions and inspect the extinguishers in your home.