Whether you are thinking about buying a home or if you already own one, this list is for you. Owning a home is about more than just paying the bills in exchange for a place to live, it is about building your equity and investing in your future.
Without any maintenance, a home can quickly lose value. Exposure to natural elements and wear and tear from daily life can rapidly cause its condition to deteriorate and ultimately result in irreparable damages.
Preventative maintenance can save you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars. By consistently monitoring the condition of different aspects around your home you can minimize surprise expenses and potentially catch issues before they lead to bigger problems.
Monthly Home Maintenance
Monthly home maintenance is an important part of keeping your home in tip-top shape and keeping it functioning efficiently. Take a look at some of the maintenance items you should be checking off monthly in and around your home:
- Check drains for build-up and clogs – Consider getting drain catchers for hair and other debris to minimize the likelihood of build-up and clogging
- Inspect HVAC/furnace filters & replace if necessary – The build-up of dust, hair, dirt and other particles can cause your HVAC system to work harder and shorten its life span, check it regularly and replace when dirty (more often if you have pets)
- Clean kitchen garbage disposal – Clean regularly to prevent unpleasant smells and unwanted buildup of harmful bacteria
- Clean your range hood and filter – Clean regularly to prevent buildup of dust, grease, dirt and grime and improve the efficiency of your range
- Inspect your fire extinguisher – Ensure your fire extinguisher is easily accessible, the pressure gauge is in the green and has not been tampered with
- Check your water softener & add salt if necessary – Lift the lid of your unit and check the salt level and refill when necessary, to keep your water soft and minimize build-up
- Deep clean your house – This can be done monthly by sectioning off the house and deep cleaning a section at a time, do not forget areas such as closets, basements, etc.
- Check for leaks – Regularly checking for leaks in basements, around water sources and other at-risk areas can catch problems early, preventing major water damage
- Run water in unused areas of your home – If you go an extended period of time without using a washroom or running water it can invite pests and sewer gases into your home, take the time to run water for 1-3 minutes a month to keep your water seal intact
- Test GFCI outlets – Ensure your home’s GFCI outlets are working properly by using the test feature at least once a month
Quarterly Home Maintenance
Certain parts of your home can go a bit longer without needing to be checked or maintained. However, they should still be checked on a regular, quarterly basis to ensure the efficiency of your home and the safety and well-being of your family. Below is a list of quarterly home maintenance tasks that should be completed to keep your home in good shape:
- Clean faucets, showerheads, aerators – Keeping faucets and showerheads clean can eliminate the buildup of calcium deposits and improve water flow/efficiency
- Test your smoke/carbon monoxide detectors – Most models have a built-in test function in which you can push the button and test if they are working properly
- Test dryer ventilation & vacuum surrounding areas – Ensure your dryer is venting properly and clean lint build-up from in and around the dryer. Ensure that you are emptying your lint tray with every use
- Vacuum heat registers & vents – Vacuuming these areas to remove all dust, dirt and built-up debris, doing this regularly can help improve your home’s air quality
- Electrical walkthrough – Walk through your entire house and inspect all of the electrical cords on your devices, if anything is frayed/damaged you should replace it immediately
- Test your garage door – Ensure your auto-reverse function is working properly and any other safety features that are installed, oil your door as well to improve efficiency
- Check your rain gutters – This should be done several times a year or more depending on the likelihood of them becoming clogged, ensure they are draining properly to protect your home’s foundation and prevent the buildup of water
Bi-annual Home Maintenance
Furthermore, we have biannual maintenance tasks that only need to be completed/checked twice a year to ensure efficiency and safety in your home. Check out the maintenance tips below:
- Check your water heaters pressure relief valve – Ensure the valve is working to avoid excess buildup of pressure inside your tank, which could lead to a burst hot water tank
- Replace your fire detector batteries – Regardless of if the batteries are dead, it is recommended to replace them every six months for the safety of your home and family
- Vacuum refrigerator coils – Keep your refrigerator running efficiently by vacuuming the coils and area behind your fridge
Annual Home Maintenance
Many of the tasks above are general tasks that should be done on a schedule for the benefit of the efficiency and value of your home. When it comes to annual home maintenance, we have broken down these tasks into seasons (Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter), our seasonal home maintenance guide has more information. Some of these tasks may overlap depending on seasonal aspects and to emphasis the importance of completing them. Every homeowner should develop a maintenance schedule that works best for their household and the area in which they live.
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If you are thinking about buying a home in The Niagara Region, our team of dedicated real estate professionals at Davids & DeLaat can help. We are experts in the local real estate market, from St.Catharines to Port Colborne. Take a look at the current available MLS listings in the Niagara Region today to get started! If you see something you like, you can contact us directly for more information.