Since we spend almost two-thirds of our daily lives at home, you’d think that maintaining our biggest asset, our home, would be a top priority, wouldn’t you? If you are anything like me, though, it’s all too easy to prioritise other things – shopping or taking the kids out, for example.
Yes, when it comes to home maintenance, for many of us, it’s “out of sight, out of mind” – just until something malfunctions and an expensive repair bill is on the horizon.
So think of home maintenance as a way of cutting your long-term costs and making your living space more enjoyable.
Here is a handy home maintenance checklist if you’re not sure where to start.
First of all, start with the interiors. If you feel a slight breeze inside even though your windows are closed, try fixing the frames, sealing them, and changing the screens if they are broken.
This will also help to preserve heat and save you money on those ever-increasing utility bills.
If you have air-conditioning, note that the air filters need to be clean at all times, so wash them at least once a year, preferably at the end of spring, and make sure they are serviced from time to time.
This may prevent allergies with your family members, as can keeping the house clean and free of insects.
Make sure your fire extinguishers are working, and change them if you need to.
Inspect your plumbing in the house. If the water runs slowly, that is extremely easy to fix. Keep your sink clean, and use vinegar or chemicals when you need to clean the kitchen sink disposal. Your range hood filters also need to be free from grease.
If you have sinks or toilets you don’t use, (perhaps in an ensuite), make sure to run water there every month or two and flush the toilet to check everything is flowing properly and there are no leaks.
At least twice a year give your home a full treatment – a whole weekend of dusting, mopping and vacuum cleaning.
Pay special attention to refrigerator coils, as when they are clean, your fridge runs more smoothly and expends the least energy.
At this point, you could also remember to pay attention to the exterior. If everything seems to be in order, check exterior drainage and clean the gutters.
Clean the garage which, if you’re like us, tends to be a dumping ground for anything we do not need in the house. It’s too easy to lose track of what we’ve got in there.
Once the garage is in order, it is time to focus on the plants in the garden.
Prune any overhanging tree branches that may be intruding into your neighbour’s garden and reshape hedges.
Get rid of any dead plants and weeds. Weeding the patio and drive is a constant process in my experience but it needs doing to prevent the weeds from growing between the bricks or in small cracks around the house.
Make sure you are careful if you use weedkiller due to the risk to children and small animals.
The patio will need a good wash every now and then with a jet washer.
Check your garden fence – panels or brickwork may need repairing. Talk to your neighbour if you have a ‘party wall’ as you may be able to share the cost of patching these up.
The roof is another important thing on your check-list, as it needs to be free of damage, cracks, holes and leaks at all times. It’s worth investing in a good pair of binoculars to see if you can spot any obvious damage.
It is also important to keep the chimney clean, as it keeps your house safe from all the harmful effects of gases. Check it at least once a year.
If you have the luxury of an outdoor pool, you will need to check the pool pumps are functioning correctly and there is no damage.
Finish your inspection by checking the driveway for cracks, and then your to-do list of things to keep your house in good order is done.
With these tips, you will be ready to tackle most troublesome home issues without even calling a handyman!
What tasks do you have on your home maintenance checklist?