Home preventive maintenance

Here are a few things you can do to avoid major repairs in your home’s future.

January:  Pull out the refrigerator, clean the area behind it, vacuum or dust off the condenser coils, fan blades and housing if possible.

( this one thing could prevent your refrigerator from breaking down)

Check filters under your microwave or range hood. Check the schedule of the refrigerator water filter.

February: Inspect caulk and grout around sinks, backsplash, bathtubs, and showers.

Repair compromised areas to avoid water intrusion. (control mold and fungus with a mix of water and bleach, when spraying use a mask and avoid breathing fumes).

Remove the drain cover and use a wire or clothes hanger with a bent tip to extract hair build-up. Check  plughole in the sink for hair build-up which can be accessed from plughole or drain trap)

March: Replace batteries and test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. ( If you are planning an extended vacation test the cells before your trip so they won’t go off while you are gone)

Lubricate garage door components.

Before April’s winds and rainy season arrive, check flashlights for batteries in case you lose power. If you have to use a generator for extended periods to save the items in the refrigerator,

make sure fumes directed away from your home, use in a well-ventilated area. Fill natural gas tanks for home and portable units that may be needed for grilling if you lose power in the house.

April: Clean all rain gutters, direct water flow away from the house foundation.

(Keep an eye on the gutter nails that have backed out, have a professional secure them when having utters cleaned).

If pollen has subsided, consider power washing exterior of the home. (check for moisture inside around windows and doors after service is complete).

Make sure no shrubs are too close to the outside HVAC system condensing unit. ( Remove excess leaves and  debris from around unit and use a hose sprayer  to spray off the cooling fins to remove built-up dirt on the a/c condenser,

don’t use high pressure to avoid damaging the fins.)

Check base to make sure there isn’t visible erosion that can affect the balance and stability of the unit.

May: Service your HVAC system before the hot weather, including changing system filters.

Establish a schedule for regular replacement of filters (higher quality filters are better for your health and last longer)

Check caulking around exterior windows and doors that may have been affected by winter to seal before the hot weather/ and rains can intrude.

If you have a basement, consider using a dehumidifier to avoid musty smells and remove excess moisture in summer months. (remember to dump water on regular intervals or run a permanent hose to a place the water can drain safely).

June: Clear out the lint from dryer exhaust hose and filters, and if your washer has a screen, clear it as well. Replace vacuum bags or clean canister. Adjust sprinkler heads to avoid water intrusion and mold on exterior home walls.

Check around your home to make sure rainwater is flowing away from the foundation.

Lubricate any squeaky hinges for interior and exterior doors if you have an outside deck hammer down exposed nails that may have loosened.

July: Check GFCI outlets using the test button. If you know how to flush the water heater, drain it or consider having service done. ( this is an excellent time to make sure the thermostat  is at the desired temperature )

If your toilets continue to run after flushing, it may be time to change internal components or make appropriate adjustments.

Add enzymes to bathroom toilet ( best to go to highest point in-home)at night after last use to help septic system (good idea to do this on a regular schedule,

Rid X works nicely as well as the commercial-grade treatment you can buy online.)It will extend the life of the system and help it to do a better job of break-down and elimination.

Don’t forget to have a septic system serviced (rule of thumb is every five years or if you have a high use more often).

August: Inspect your roof for missing shingles or signs of damage or water intrusion both outside and inside.

High winds and rains are critical to these systems, so be observant.

Check under sinks for any plumbing leaks and toilet base to see if loose.

September: Consider accumulating firewood/ fire logs for the winter months while available at lower prices and in dry conditions. (store in an area away from home foundation and elevate off the ground to keep dry).

Clean accumulated dirt, dust, and build up from ceiling fans, HVAC system returns, and vents, including exhaust fans in bathrooms.

October: Inspect, clean, and service if necessary, the fireplace and flume. Consider servicing the HVAC system for winter.

Winterize outside faucets where necessary. Make sure external exhaust drain lines are not obstructed or have mold build-up from summer months if the line is long,

considered wrapping in foam AC line insulation to avoid freezing in colder weather. Check around outside HVAC condenser unit again for shrubs or accumulation of debris so that it will run efficiently in winter months.

November: Time again to clear gutters of leaves from the end of fall, and check batteries for smoke detectors ( remember if you hear them chirping they are getting ready to go out( always use higher-quality batteries, they will last much longer).

December: Check all space heaters for placement and safety, have a fire escape plan for all home occupants, make sure if you have fire extinguishers that they are correctly charged.

Adjust your systems thermostats to reasonable levels too save power and not overstress your system.

( consider putting a tag with desired degrees on thermostats so others will see and maintain your desired levels)

Check thermostat batteries throughout the year if applicable to your system.

Make sure your fireplace safety curtains and dividers are available and working to keep firewood, logs, and debris secured. (remember heavy winds can blow ash into your home; keep flammables at a safe distance.

(Be careful lighting the pilot light to your gas fireplace systems) (observe the inlet gas line to make sure it’s fully caulked and sealed at the entry wall).

Home pest control is recommended, on a schedule that your service provider can establish based on your home’s needs. ( termite protection is advisable as well,

make sure the service policy is a repair and replace contract)( do your research to see if a liquid barrier or a bait station application is best for your home)

Your home is the second most important system you need to maintain besides your body, so take care of it with the same concern and attention.

If you are unsure of how to do something on this list, Youtube is an excellent resource for  DIY instructions.

Remember safety first, and if you are still hesitant, call a professional. Your home is worth the price to do it right.

If you need a recommendation for a service provider or vendor, I would be glad to help if I can.

 When it comes to your Real-Estate needs, It would be my pleasure to extend to you the same level of service, cooperation, and concern as I do with all my clients.

Enjoy your home, take care of it, and it will take care of you.