Author’s Note: This article was originally scheduled for later in the year, but with Michigan and other states currently in lockdown we thought it might be a good idea to push it up in the schedule and help inform any of those home improvement or preventative maintenance projects you may or may not be working on!
Managing a home takes energy, with household maintenance and home improvement projects and expenses that ebb and flow over time. Unfortunately life happens and even dedicated homeowners can easily fall behind or put off daily chores, preventative maintenance, major repairs, and long-overdue home improvements and renovation.
This is one reason why a schedule helps: if you can plan ahead and get in the habit of taking care of your home proactively, it will make unexpected issues that much less frequent and (hopefully) easier to deal with when they crop up.
Check/Replace your HVAC system filters. Depending on your filter and system style, as well as your home’s size and air quality, you may need to change filters monthly or every two or three months.
Check your kitchen vent hood filter.
Test all smoke and carbon-monoxide detectors.
Schedule an HVAC checkup to address any winter wear or tear, or signs of trouble before air conditioning season.
Visually your roof for damaged or missing shingles, as well as water penetration into the attic.
Clean and check your gutters for proper drainage, to keep water flowing down and away from your foundation.
Lubricate your patio door and window tracks to keep them opening and closing smoothly.
Trim around your outdoor HVAC units to keep them clear of grass and weed overgrowth.
Inspect your wooden and if necessary tap down any protruding nails, replace any broken or splintering boards, and add a fresh coat of stain or sealant to restore color and weather resistance.
Check your siding for any signs of damage or animal activity, and if needed give it a good pressure washing.
Inspect your foundation and crawlspace for cracks or water penetration.
Test your lawn irrigation system or sprinkler system for performance or any evidence of leaking.
If you haven’t done it already, set up an HVAC checkup to take care of any furnace issues before your system kicks on.
Remove your hoses and turn off any outdoor hose bibs.
Check your wood-burning fireplace or stove before starting the first fire of the season and have them cleaned to remove any hazardous buildup.
Empty all your gutters and check the roof for evidence of damage before heavy rains or frost.
Look around your home’s foundation for any depressions that could trap water or snow and fill them. Be sure that water will flow away from your home.
Watch for ice dams, or any other suspicious ice buildup on your roof or around your home. Ice dams can lead to severe water damage in your roof and can be prevented with proper home insulation service.
Check for drafts around doors and windows and block them using caulk, weatherproofing strips, and other products to save energy and comfort.
Test your home’s sump pump using water to ensure your basement stays dry during the next big thaw.
Close your foundation vents to keep heat in and unwanted moisture out.
Cover your outdoor air-conditioning units with a cover or tarp to prevent snow and ice damage.
Inspect bathroom grout and caulking and touch up any voids or cracks in your tubs or showers. This keeps things looking clean and avoids water damage due to seeping.
Unplug your clothes dryer, remove the hose, and vacuum out the connection points to remove hazardous lint buildup. You should also vacuum out the external exhaust vent.
Lubricate your garage door springs to keep things opening and closing without issue.
Drain your hot water heater to remove any sediment buildup in the bottom of the tank.
Check the pressure and expiration date on your kitchen fire extinguisher (which you should have).
If your sewage collects in a septic tank it should be inspected annually and emptied as needed. The average household needs a septic tank cleaning every two or three years.
Have your air ducts cleaned out by a professional HVAC service to improve system performance and indoor air quality.
Seal your bathroom and kitchen grout to resist water infiltration, stains, and discoloration.
Give your carpeting a professional deep clean using a steam cleaner or other solution.
Maintain window and door efficiency by replacing the caulk surrounding it.
Paint your home’s exterior wood siding to head off any flaking and keep the home looking good.
Replace your kitchen sink. Most steel sinks wear out after about five years and few make it to ten without major issues.
Expect to replace a number of home appliances including the dishwasher and microwave.
Even more appliances will wear out at this mark, including hot water heaters (electric and gas), garage door openers, refrigerators, stoves, HVAC units, and more.
Replace your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors every ten years, even if they are working. When it comes to the safety of your family and home, don’t make compromises.
Replace your roof as the condition of the roofing and its published rating warrants. Most asphalt shingle roofs last between 20 and 30 years.
Replace your deck. Wooden decking generally lasts around 20 years.
Replace your kitchen and bathroom faucets and consider remodeling both rooms to stay with the times and boost home value.
Amber Valley Construction is an independent, local Grand Rapids Michigan home contractor with available services ranging from deck construction and repair to doors and window replacement, roof replacement, interior remodeling, and even whole house construction and remodeling.
Contact us today to learn more and schedule a (virtual—for now!) project meeting.