New Home Maintenance Checklist
Part 2: A spring and summer maintenance guide
Ah, you’ve arrived. Savor the decorating process, including unpacking all those boxes. Embrace projects like adding a new layer of paint to a spare bedroom. Get to know your neighbors. And when you have a moment, step out to the curb and take it all in. That’s your home.
Which means you’ll want to take care of it with routine maintenance.
Unlike an apartment or other types of rental residences, YOU are the maintenance person on duty. That’s doesn’t mean you – or your spouse or other family members – are alone in this. There’s help from skilled experts for every aspect of your home that might need repair. But there are also some simple tasks that you can do to help make sure your residence is home sweet home for as long as you live there.
Below, you will find Part 2 of our New Home Maintenance Checklist, which covers Spring and Summer, including the monthly checklist that we covered in Part 1, which definitely bears repeating.
- Filters, filters, filters! – They’re easy to forget but oh-so-important. Maintaining fresh filters in your furnace unit not only allows fresh air to flow into your home, it also protects your heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system. If you don’t change the filters, the unit will no longer be able to filter the air properly, and that leads to dust and contaminants getting in, which jam up moving parts like fan motors and valves. Filters are inexpensive and you’ll save money in the long run on your energy bills. The bottom line: HVAC units run more efficiently with fresh filters.
- Clean the garbage disposal – This sink monster can get stinky. Tossing a lemon or orange peel in there might keep it fresh but try ice cubes and vinegar – the ice sharpens the blades and the vinegar helps with odors.
- Test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors (yes, you need both) – Some say to do this quarterly. We think your life is much more valuable, so check them every month. That’s what the “test” button is for – it’s simple, easy and fast. Do it. Also, change the batteries regularly. Sorry to be so bossy, but this is important.
- Tackle the outside first by picking up and tidying around the yard.
- Rake any renegade leaves leftover from fall.
- Lay fresh mulch on your flowerbeds and under hedges (after you trim them up).
- Reconnect outdoor hoses and check faucets.
- If you mow your own lawn, change the lawnmower’s spark plug, air filter and oil and get its blade sharpened.
- If you plan on using a lawn service, give them a call and confirm the schedule.
- Inspect trees and trim where needed. Call a professional tree trimmer for the bigger cuts.
- Check and clean gutters where needed or hire a gutter cleaning professional.
- Conduct a good walk-around of your home. Need any paint touch-ups? Your house also probably needs a bath. If you have siding, attach a cleaning kit to the hose and wash away. Renting (or purchasing) a power washer is also an option, especially if you have a wooden deck that needs a refresh.
- Get your AC unit serviced. A technician can check for signs of damage and will clean the compressor.
- On the inside, there is plenty to do in the spring as well, such as:
- Go around to all of your bathrooms, sinks, the washer connection, etc., and give them a look-over. Any leaks? Any dripping?
- While you’re there, flush toilets that aren’t frequently used to be sure they are working properly. Run the sinks, too. Make sure the flow and drainage are up to par.
- Test all of your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors using the “test” button. You should change the batteries every six months, so if they’re due, replace them. This can save lives.
- Clean under the refrigerator. Time for the dust bunnies to find a new home.
- We’ll start with the outside again:
- How’s that garden? Don’t have one? Then you can skip this step. But if you have flowers, veggies, etc., be sure to routinely pick weeds and keep them watered.
- Set your mower to the highest setting; you don’t want to cut too short in the summer. That could expose your lawn to drought and weeds.
- Keep those sprinklers handy and water the lawn as needed.
- Repairs? Summer is prime time to take care of any small repair projects outside your home, like fixing a shingle or a porch light fixture.
- Summer on the inside of your home:
- This can be done in the spring, too, but you can also do this in the summer on a cooler day: Clean the garage. Trust us, you will feel so much better afterward.
- Make sure your ceiling fan is turning counterclockwise (forward direction) so air is being pushed down. That helps keep air flowing throughout the house and forces it downward, which provides a wind chill effect that makes it feel cooler.
- Summer is an excellent time to run through an emergency drill checklist: Live in a tornado-prone region? Where do you go in case of a tornado? What happens if there is a fire on a lower level and you are upstairs? Do you have an emergency ladder in place to escape from an upper-level window if needed? Who’s calling 911? Make sure all of the family members are on the same page with these procedures.
- Bugs tend to be a real nuisance in the summertime. Mosquitos, ants, fruit flies, spiders and their various insect pals might turn up. If so, treat those critters ASAP.
- Thinking about a major home improvement project? Now is a good time to act.
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