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preventative maintenance tips

The first step in creating a low maintenance home - one you don't need to worry about when rains fall and winds blow - is to solve small problems before they need big, expensive fixes.

Some problems you can handle yourself, depending on how handy you are; others call for a professional.

In either case, if you're a homeowner, being aware of what requires regular maintenance - be it annually or on an as-needed basis - is key to keeping your home running smoothly.

These simple preventative maintenance tasks below take just a short time to perform, but they are vital in preventing hazardous conditions and expensive repairs down the road. 

Tackle these tasks throughout the year to keep your home running smoothly. If you pencil them in on your calendar at the beginning of each year, you'll be more likely to remember and take care of them. 

Monthly Preventative Maintenance Tasks

Here are the essential preventative maintenance tasks to perform monthly.

Take advantage of sunny days to inspect and clean your home's exterior as needed. Specifically, plan to:

  • Clear your front walkway of surface debris, algae, snow, and other pedestrian hazards. 
  • Test the batteries in your smoke and carbon-monoxide detectors.

Seasonal Home Maintenance

Seasonal preventative maintenance you should perform on your home include:

  • Check your home's masonry and stucco for surface cracks;  seal and repair, if needed. 
  • Clean or change furnace filters (do this monthly, however, if you have pets.) 
  • Check the areas around your washing machine and dishwasher for leaks, and seal or repair as needed.

Semi-Annual Tasks

Twice yearly tasks to tackle around your home:

  • Scrub away any mold or mildew on your home's exterior with a bleach and water solution.
  • Check for leaks in the attic, basement, and garage. Repair yourself or bring in a professional if needed.
  • Check caulking around tubs, showers, and sinks; replace caulking in these areas as needed.

Annual Home Maintenance Checklist

Yearly home maintenance tasks include:

  • Have your chimney inspected; and cleaned if needed. 
  • Have heating and cooling systems professionally serviced to keep them in tip-top working condition. 
  • Inspect and clean roof, downspouts and gutters, and repair if needed. 

Inside your home, check the seal around your windows and doors, and replace weather stripping as needed to keep your home as energy efficient as possible.

This is also the time to check your home's flooring for wear, and plan to refinish, repair, or replace, as needed. 

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› Preventative Maintenance Checklist