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 definitely 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.
Even if you live in an apartment or a condominium, there are simple steps you can take to maintain your home in its best condition.
These simple preventative maintenance tasks take just a short time to perform, but they are key to preventing hazardous conditions and expensive repairs down the road.
Below are the tasks you should be sure to tackle yourself during the year to keep your home running smoothly. If you pencil them in on your new calendar at the beginning of each year, you'll be more likely to remember and take care of them.
Here are the essential home maintenance tasks to perform monthly.
Take advantage of sunny days to inspect and clean your home's exterior as needed. Specifically, plan to:
Indoors, you should test the batteries in your smoke and carbon-monoxide detectors monthly.
Seasonal preventative maintenance on your home should include:
Outside your home, check your home's masonry and stucco for surface cracks. Seal and repair, if needed.
Inside, clean or change your furnace filters (do this monthly, however, if you have pets.) You'll also want to check the areas around your washing machine and dishwasher for leaks, and seal or repair any leaks found.
Twice yearly tasks here include checking your home's exterior for any mold or mildew, and scrubbing away any of these unsightly growths found.
Indoors, check the attic, basement, and garage for any leaks. Repair yourself or bring in a professional if needed. Inspect the caulking around tubs, showers, and sinks; replace caulking in these areas as needed.
Yearly, plan to have your chimney inspected, (and cleaned) if needed. You should also plan to have your heating and cooling systems professionally serviced to keep them in tip-top working condition. Once a year you'll also want to inspect and clean your 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.