The Essential Home Maintenance Checklist

Lauren David
Written by Lauren David
Updated August 5, 2021
Person cleaning table with cloth and cleaner
Maridav - stock.adobe.com

Taking care of a home can be a lot of responsibility, but creating a home maintenance checklist makes it a lot easier to manage

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There are a lot of perks and benefits as a homeowner. That is, until something needs to be fixed or replaced and you realize you can’t call the landlord to deal with it. But you can stay on top of tasks and keep everything in order with regular home maintenance to minimize problems that may come up.

Monthly

Some maintenance is best done each month to ensure everything is in working order. Creating and keeping a maintenance schedule, plus a separate deep-diving cleaning checklist, will make taking care of your home easier. Breaking down big projects into smaller tasks will help reduce costs and time spent, too. 

  • Check and test all things related to detecting and putting out a fire, including carbon monoxide detectors, fire extinguishers, and smoke alarms

  • Make sure indoor and outdoor air vents aren’t blocked

  • Clean the garbage disposal

  • Clean air filters to minimize pollution and dust

  • Wash throw rugs to reduce dirt, allergens, and dust

  • Vacuum and dust frequently

Bathroom

  • Check and clean faucets and showerheads for any mineral deposits or lime build-up

  • Check sink, shower, and bathtub drains for hair and debris to prevent clogs

Seasonal

Some jobs are seasonal rather than monthly. Here are different home maintenance tasks to complete based on the time of year.

Summer

During the summer, you likely want to spend more time outdoors and having a good time than worrying about home maintenance and repair. Typically, you’ll spend more time with garden and lawn care.

Kitchen:

  • Clean the freezer and refrigerator coils and clear out the drip trays

  • Inspect the dishwasher for any leaks

  • Clean the kitchen hood or fan filter

Outdoors:

  • Prune and trim trees

  • Clean out the gutters and downspouts

  • Fertilize the lawn

  • Install a water meter to your hose to reduce water expenditure

Fall

During this season, it can be a great time to get a head start on many home maintenance projects, both indoors and outdoors.

Outdoors:

  • Rake the leaves in the garden and lawn

  • Clean out debris from downspouts and gutters

  • Drain and put away garden hoses and sprinkler systems

  • Prepare faucets and pipes with insulation in unheated areas

Indoors:

  • Inspect the fireplace for any hazards, debris, or damage

  • Contact a professional to check your fireplace

  • Get your heater professionally checked out

  • Caulk windows and doors to remove cracks or spaces or install weather stripping

  • Consider upgrading older windows for glass that is energy efficient to keep in the warmth

  • Check the water heater for any leaks or drips

Winter

In winter, you’re likely spending a lot more time indoors. Cold weather can pose challenges for the home, including freezing pipes and roof damage. 

  • Check gutters, downspouts, and roofs after a storm for any damage or leaks

  • Check basements or attics for any leaks, especially after a snowfall

  • Sweep or vacuum refrigerator and freezer coils 

  • Protect the air-conditioning unit with a cover

  • Clean the dishwasher 

Spring

As the weather slowly becomes warmer, spring is the time to go through the home and get rid of things you’re no longer using, do a deep spring cleaning, and prep your home inside and out for summertime temperatures.

Person deep cleaning a stovetop
Aleksandra Suzi - stock.adobe.com

Kitchen:

  • Deep clean the stove and inside the oven

  • Defrost the freezer for a deep clean and clean the coils (remove all items first)

  • Go through all the food in the cupboards, pantry, fridge, and freezer and toss any expired items

  • Remove items from cabinets and wipe down inside

  • Reach up high and wipe down the tops of the refrigerator, exhaust hood, cupboards, etc.

Outdoors:

  • Clean out the downspouts and gutters

  • Inspect sprinkler heads for any leaks and ensure they’re functioning properly

  • Check the air conditioning system and get it serviced by a local HVAC pro (to avoid hot surprises in summer)

  • Clean air conditioning coils

  • Check the roof and chimney for any damage

  • Install screens for all windows and doors to keep out insects

  • Check and service your lawnmower

  • Paint and repair siding and trim that’s loose or has peeling paint

Indoors:

  • Check bathtub, shower, and sink, to see if anything needs to be caulked

  • Check your medicine cabinet for expired medication and cosmetics

  • Consider (re)caulking windows as well as adding weather stripping on doors and windows

  • Inspect smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and add new batteries, if needed

  • Drain the water heater

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