I am on my pedestal again about keeping your home in the best shape. This past fall and winter we had all our windows remade because of wood rot. Did you know you need to open your windows 3-4 times a year? Clean out the tracks and spray the mechanics with a dry lubricant. Do not use WD40 as it does not dry and dirt adheres to it, aiding in rotting the wood.
That information made me think…what other routine maintenance chores should we be doing? Two for sure: First, with our dryer vents that are vented through the roof, you need to have them cleaned out once a year. And second, change out smoke detector batteries every year…we do ours at Halloween.
I researched other ideas on maintenance and found this interesting article:
▪ Inspect, and possibly change out HVAC filters. Many experts will say to change the filters monthly, but that’s not always necessary. For smaller families without pets or allergies, you’ll likely be okay changing the filters every 2-3 months. If the filter is dirty, change it out, otherwise inspect it again next month. We have an annual HVAC check.
▪ Clean kitchen sink disposal. There are a bunch of ways to do this, but the handiest and best all-around solution seems to be vinegar ice cubes. Put some vinegar in an ice tray and let it freeze, then run the ice cubes through the disposal. It freshens it, but as a bonus, ice sharpens the blades. It worked nicely!
▪ Clean range hood filters. If you’ve never thought of doing this, you’re in for a real “treat” when you get that filter off the hood to clean it for the first time. The Family Handyman suggests simply using a degreaser from an auto parts store mixed with hot water. Let the filter sit for a few minutes, rinse it off, and you’re good to go. Sounds easier than trying to replace it!
▪ Inspect your fire extinguisher(s). We’ll assume you have and know how to use an extinguisher. This inspection doesn’t require much: ensure it has easy access (not being blocked by a garbage can or anything else), that the gauge shows adequate pressure, and that it has no visible signs of wear and tear.
▪ Test garage door auto-reverse feature. In 1993, federal law required all garage doors to have this feature after multiple child deaths. Test every month by placing a 2×4 on the ground where the door would close. It should reverse after a second or so when the door hits the wood. Also test the photo-electric sensors if you have them by placing something in front of them (not your body). If the door doesn’t immediately go back up, you have a problem. For updates, we used Discount Garage Door and they were ok.
▪ Run water and flush toilets in unused spaces. This mostly applies to guest bathrooms, or any other sinks/water sources you don’t use on a regular basis. The idea is to prevent grime or any other kind of build up. Regularly running a little bit of water through will prevent this.
▪ Hot water tanks: This article recommended flushing it out, etc. We just had our hot water tank replaced…ours was still working after 18 years…but they usually last 13 years. A friend of ours said…What are you waiting for? It goes out and you are out of hot water, for how long? SO we have a new high efficiency tank that is eligible for an energy rebate and we do not have to do any maintenance on it.
▪ Give your house a deep clean. Take one Saturday every six months and give the whole house a proper deep clean. Appliances, windows, dusting every nook and cranny etc. Keeping things clean and not letting dirt/grime/dust build up over years and years will help keep your home in tip-top shape. We have Stanley Steemer come out at least annually to “powerwash” the tile and grout in the house. We also had them reseal the grout in high traffic areas.
▪ Vacuum your refrigerator coils. The fridge can use up to 15 percent of your home’s total power, so you want it running as efficiently as possible. Over time, the coils get dirty and your fridge requires more juice. You can save up to $100 a year by doing this, and it’s not at all a difficult task. “He” job in our house!
Annually (Organized by Season)
Spring is a big month for home maintenance. They don’t call it “Spring Cleaning” for nothing. Especially focus on the exterior of your home as it’s just gone through winter and is preparing for summer heat, and in some parts of the country, brutal humidity.
▪ Check the exterior drainage. Will rain water flow away from the house? Puddles should not stand around your home for more than 24 hours. If water stays, or moves toward your foundation, you have a few options. First, check your gutters. It could be a bad spout or a loose connection there; they may also just need cleaning. Second, you can grade the area around your home yourself with some dirt.
▪ Clean out gutters. They’ve likely accumulated leaves from the fall and grime/sediment from the rains. We have added screens now to the gutters!
▪ Inspect the exterior of your home. Is any paint chipping? Are there any holes in your stucco/brick? Take a close look all around your house, and make any repairs as needed. A good silicone/caulk can fix a lot of your problems.
▪ Repair/replace damaged window screens. You don’t want bugs making their way in because you missed a hole in a window screen. And no, duct tape doesn’t count. It can be a quick fix, but don’t leave it for long. It just looks bad! (not my comment lol)
▪ Clear dead plants/shrubs from the house. This could double as a gardening tip, but if you didn’t trim trees or shrubs in the fall, do so now. Plants can weasel their way into cracks and holes on the exterior of your home, causing damage and shortened longevity. Nip that in the bud before it’s an issue. If you have decorative vines on the exterior, pay close attention.
▪ Check tree growth (Are the trees preventing the grass from getting sun, infringing on the house or lanai screen?) Have trees professionally trimmed if necessary.
▪ Inspect roofing for loose tiles, cracked tiles, damage, leaks, etc. Repair as needed; you may need a professional.
Summer is a great time to focus on the exterior of your home, as well as your lawn and garden.
▪ Check grout in bathrooms, kitchen, etc. as well as the caulking around showers, tubs and toilets…repair as needed. This will prolong the life of your tiled surfaces and just looks better.
▪ Inspect plumbing for leaks, clean aerators on faucets. Go around to all your faucets and toilets and check for any small leaks. If you have poor water pressure out of a faucet, the aerator is the likely culprit and it’s an extremely easy fix.
▪ Take care of any insect problems you may have. Summer is their playground. You probably won’t have to look too hard to notice any insect problems. Wasp nests, ants, spiders, moths, etc. are all common, and fairly easy to take care of.
▪ Get chimney cleaned, if you have a wood burning fireplace.
▪ Test your electricity to the extent that you can. Always, always be extra careful when working with electricity. You can do a couple things on your own, though. Check that all outlets work; if they don’t, you can re-wire them on your own. Also, test your GFCI outlets. There are wildly varying opinions on how often to test this. Some say monthly, others say annually. Home inspections often find faulty GFCI switches…
▪ Tighten any handles, knobs, racks, etc. Go through the house and inspect anything that could have a loose screw.
▪ Check all locks and deadbolts on your doors and windows. If anything doesn’t work right, replace.
▪ Remove shower heads and clean sediment. This prolongs its life and helps with water pressure as well.
Article from: https://www.artofmanliness.com/
Last updated: December 14, 2017