Keeping your home in good shape is an important part of homeownership and crucial to protecting your investment. While homeowners insurance can protect you from the unforeseen, it doesn’t cover basic wear and tear or seasonal maintenance. Fortunately, most yearly home maintenance is simple and inexpensive to do yourself. Making and following a seasonal home maintenance checklist can help you keep track of what you need to do and when you need to do it to keep your home in top condition all year round.
Spring home maintenance checklist
As temperatures warm and the sun starts to last longer into the evening, most people remember to do spring cleaning inside. But the winter can also be hard on the exterior of a house, especially if you live somewhere with cold weather or lots of ice and snow. Spring is a great time to assess the outside and upkeep of outdoor spaces.
- Check the roof for loose shingles or damage from ice and snow.
- Check for damage to power lines, trees, or other external structures.
- Clean the gutters and make sure they drain well.
- Examine the deck or patio. Consider replacing rotten boards and renewing the finish or weather-proofing.
- Change batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
- If you have a chimney, you may want to check or clean it after using it throughout the winter.
- Remove seasonal weather items like storm windows or insulating plastic.
- Do any primary lawn care, like planting seeds, fertilizing the grass, or repairing sprinkler systems.
- Check your air conditioner. Make sure to do it in time to have any necessary repairs before hot weather hits in earnest.
Summer home maintenance checklist
Summer brings warm weather and long days, so make sure your house is ready for the temperatures and any entertaining or seasonal activities you take part in.
- Lawn care is essential in the summer. Make sure to water your lawn if you live somewhere hot or with low rainfall. Mow the yard, but don’t cut it too short. A bit of length can protect the roots from heat and drought.
- Check insect screens for holes and repair as necessary.
- Keep an eye out for pests in the house, as they may be trying to escape the heat too. It’s easier to get rid of them if you catch them early rather than once you have a full-blown infestation.
- Change the direction of your ceiling fans, so they blow air downward.
- Prepare swimming pools, grills, and other outdoor equipment. You might give them a good cleaning and get them ready for use.
- Check and clean your major appliances (refrigerator, washer, dryer, etc.). If they need to be repaired or replaced, it’s more comfortable to go without them for a day or two while you have good weather.
Autumn home maintenance checklist
As the weather starts to cool back down, it can be a good time to work on bigger projects, especially outdoor ones, since the weather is mild and dry. You’ll also want to start getting your house ready for winter weather before it hits.
- Consider updating or touching up your siding, trim, and paint.
- Perform a bi-annual check of the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
- Rake the lawn. If your yard stays covered with too many leaves, it can promote mold growth.
- Clear your gutters periodically. Falling leaves can easily clog them.
- Have your home and heating systems winterized.
- Drain and put away hot-weather gear like sprinklers, pools, and hoses.
- Install any cold-weather systems like window plastic and storm windows.
Winter home maintenance checklist
Thanks to the colder weather, winter often involves more preparedness but fewer chores than other seasons.
- Get winter weather supplies like salt or sand for your driveway.
- Locate and check snow shovels, snowblowers, and other winter tools to ensure they’re in working order. Make sure you have fuel for snowblowers on hand.
- Change your ceiling fans so they pull air up toward the ceiling.
- Keep an eye out for ice accumulating on your home, especially on the roof and eaves. Icicles can be dangerous if they fall, and ice dams damage the roof and siding.
- Plan for any holiday travel or winter weather emergencies. If you’re leaving home or if there’s freezing weather, make sure you know how to winterize your home and prevent your pipes from freezing.
Now you can make a home maintenance schedule for each season of the year. You might keep a log of the tasks that only need to be done every few years so you can remember the last time you did it. Consistent interior and exterior home maintenance keeps your home looking its best, and it helps to protect your investment.