The Home Owner’s Guide to Maintenance



Proper maintenance and regular upkeep will keep your home looking its best, help prevent major repairs, and save money in the long run. Even newly constructed homes should have a regular checklist to make sure everything remains in working order. When you purchase a new home, most of what you purchased with the house will be under warranty.  These items can easily be repaired or replaced – often at no cost to you. Catching potential issues during the warranty period will save you time, trouble, and hassle.

Things You Should Do Monthly

  • Check for leaks around toilets and sinks: Since even a tiny leak can cost hundreds of dollars, if there is any sign of water where there shouldn’t be, you should investigate further.
  • Check HVAC system filters: Clean or replace filters when they get dirty, which could be anywhere from 30 days to a few months. If your home has central heat and air, call your HVAC technician twice a year to schedule checkups and service the furnace and A/C compressor. Your check-ups should typically land when there are big shifts in the weather: entering into winter months or enter into summer months.
  • Test smoke and carbon-monoxide detectors: You should make sure that your smoke and carbon-monoxide detectors work as they should every month. In addition, it is a good idea to switch batteries every six months.
  • Clean your kitchen sink disposal: Freezing vinegar in an ice cube tray and then running the cubes through the disposal is a good way to freshen up the disposal. In addition, to cleaning up the disposal, the ice helps to sharpen the blades at the same time.
  • Inspect the fire extinguisher: If you have a fire extinguisher make sure the gauge shows adequate pressure and that it is easily accessible.
  • Check the kitchen vent hood filter: Clean or replace if needed. You can let the filter sit a few minutes in hot water mixed with a de-greaser from an auto parts store.

Things You Should Do Every Few Months

  • Check garage door auto-reverse feature: Federal law requires all garage doors to have this feature. Test and make sure that the door goes back up if it comes into contact with any object in the way of the door closing. If you have photo-electric sensors, test them to make sure that the door immediately goes back up if there is an object in front of the sensors.
  • Check water softener: If necessary, replenish salt.
  • Check your water heater’s pressure relief valve: This will help prevent mineral and corrosion buildup, which protects against leakage. It will also make your heater work more efficiently and save utility cost.

Things You Should Do Once a Year

  • Look for signs of termites and other insects: A swarm of termites or other insects may lead to huge expenses.
  • Clean out your gutters: Clogged gutters may lead to water damage, ice dams, or become a new home for vermin.
  • Do an overall inspection of your home’s exterior: Check for damaged Paint chipping, holes in brick, windowsill touch-ups or replacements, and get everything repaired. This also includes the roof. Make sure there are no leaks and that the roof hasn’t been damaged by snow, ice, or water.
  • Inspect your chimney: If you have a chimney, check it and clean it. Make sure Saint Nick can still get down it to bring you that handy dandy tool box you’ll be needing.
  • Check the water heater: Flush the water heater and remove sediment to keep everything working smoothly and to help with efficiency.
  • Check washer and dryer: Remove lint from inside and outside the washer hoses and the dryer vents.

There are a lot of responsibilities that come with new home ownership. But staying informed and knowing what those responsibilities are before you purchase your home will make your life as a homeowner as rewarding as possible. Read more about everything you need to know as a new home owner.