Home Maintenance Resolutions to Keep

By the time the clock strikes 12 on January 1st, you probably have a list of resolutions in mind for starting the new year off on the right foot. If you’re thinking of improving your fitness, wealth or health, we have the resolution to improve all of those things – for your home! Follow this checklist of home resolutions to make this year the best year yet for your home’s maintenance.

Check & Change Your Furnace Filters

Be sure to regularly check your furnace filters. They may not need replacing every time you check, but it’s a good idea to regularly inspect them and replace them when they need it. If you have reusable filters, you’ll need to clean them out just as often. This can help extend the life of your furnace and help keep down dust and allergens in your home.

Do This: Every Month

Check, Clean or Replace Your Hood Vent Filters

This is one filter that is often overlooked but is easy to clean or replace. You can use any type of degreaser to get this greasy filter clean or buy replacements if it’s past the point of no return. Try an auto parts degreaser for a quick and easy solution.

Do This: Every Month

Test Your Garage Door Safety Feature.

Your automatic garage door will have a safety reverse feature to ensure that if something is blocking its path, it doesn’t close. It may not be something you’ve considered before, but like the other safety precautions you take in your home, you should test to ensure this feature is properly functioning.

Do This: Every 3 months.

Test Your Sump Pump

If you have a battery backup for your sump pump, check that too. You’ll save yourself a lot of time, trouble and money if you catch a problem with your sump pump before it's too late.

Do This: Every 3 months.

Check for Drafts

Drafts in your home can cost you a lot in heating or cooling but can also lead to damage if moisture is getting in these leaks as well. You should make it a habit to inspect your windows and doors for leaks and seal up any drafts.

Do This: Every 3 months.

Inspect the Exterior.

You might spend a lot of time around your house, but when was the last time you gave the exterior a really thoughtful look? Is any siding damaged from winter storms? Is there any missing mortar or broken bricks? How is your paint holding up? Are there any cracks in the foundation that need repair? Take the time to actively inspect the exterior of your home for damage or wear that could worsen over time.

Do This: Every 3 months.

Check Your Caulking & Grout

Do this in both the kitchen and bathrooms. Check the caulking around your sinks, tubs, toilets and the grout in your tiles. If these are not properly sealed, water will get behind your tiles, under your floors and against your walls, which can lead to rot, decay and/or mold. Making sure your caulking and grout is in good shape can spare you major renovation costs in the future. It is easy to replace or repair both caulk or grout and will be well worth the trouble.

Do This: Every 3 months.

Inspect Your Roof

If you can tell from inside your home that there is a problem with your roof, then you likely haven’t been keeping up on your roof inspections. You should regularly get up there to check for any signs of trouble. Check out our guide for inspection and maintaining your roof for more on this home maintenance must-do.

Do this: Every 3 months.

Check Your Smoke & CO Alarms

This must-do home maintenance isn’t just for the good of your home, but for all the people in it. Replace the batteries and test the alarms to be sure they are in good working order. This is also a good time to check your fire extinguishers to ensure they aren’t showing any signs of wear, and that the gauge shows sufficient pressure. Make sure they are in suitable and easily accessible places, like the kitchen and the garage.

Do this: Every 6 Months

Check & Service Your Utilities

Your furnace should be inspected and maintained before it kicks in for use in the winter. Your air conditioning unit should be checked and serviced before the summer heat hits. Additionally, any other utilities, like your hot water heater, boilers, etc. should also be regularly looked after. You can do some of this work yourself and/or you can have a service technician come in to inspect the utilities. Additionally, you should be properly winterizing your A/C in the off-season to help extend its life.

Do This: Yearly

Clean Out the Gutters

Clogged gutters can lead to a laundry list of issues not just for your gutters themselves but for your roof, the exterior of your home and the foundation. Check out our how-to guide to get this job done.

Do This: Every Fall

Check Your Window Screens

Check your window screens for any damage and replace or repair as needed. Damaged screens can lead to bugs and pests getting in your home. While you’re at it, check your window locks and levers to ensure everything is in good working order.

Do This: Every Spring.

To help ensure these important resolutions aren’t forgotten by the first thaw like so many other New Year's promises, take out your calendar and create reminders for the tasks. With just a little time each month, you can stick to these new resolutions and come next countdown, you’ll be glad you did.