Seasonal Home Maintenance Considerations

Some home maintenance is required monthly.

Flushing your kitchen drain, vacuuming refrigerator coils, cleaning the kitchen stove exhaust filter and hood and cleaning or replacing air conditioner and furnace filters are all examples. Beyond these monthly tasks are other maintenance duties you need only perform every few months or yearly. Different seasons of the year places different demands on a home. Supporting your home in meeting those demands the best it can every year requires maintenance and, more particularly, specific maintenance for specific seasons.

The key benefits of seasonal home maintenance are, of course, it helps you maintain the most optimal useful life of your home for as long as possible and avoid far greater repair costs down the road. This, in turn, can save you money on the daily usage of your home and help keep you and your household healthy, safe and comfortable. An added benefit of performing maintenance on your home seasonally is you spread out what could otherwise become an overwhelming pile of maintenance chores demanding your attention all at once.

Spring Home Maintenance

Almost everyone has heard of “spring cleaning”, the deep cleaning so many people give their homes in the spring. Spring is a perfect season for airing out the house, clearing off the dust, looking for leaks, stains, mildew or mold from the winter and prepare for the coming summer heat. Among the maintenance chores you should perform every spring:

  • Cleaning gutters and clearing debris from the yard, driveway and walkways.
  • Clearing hallways and entries and exits from clutter.
  • Replacing or repairing any damaged windows or window screens.
  • Inspecting caulking on kitchen and bathroom fixtures and re-caulking as necessary.
  • Cleaning kitchen stove exhaust filter and hood.
  • Testing, dusting and installing new batteries in carbon monoxide and smoke detectors and checking fire extinguishers.
  • Checking and touching up any exterior paint that may need it and inspecting masonry and siding for damage needing repair.
  • Inspecting the attic and basement, if applicable, for any leaks and the roof for any damage.
  • Inspecting paving on walkways, driveway, stairways and other surfaces outdoors and fixing any uneven or broken places.
  • Fixing any broken fences, gates or doors.

The spring is also the season to schedule an inspection of your air conditioning system. If your home has a deck, spring is the time to clean and, if necessary, reseal it. If you have any outdoor recreational equipment, spring is the time to inspect them for safety and clean them.

Summer Home Maintenance

Most people associate the summer with relaxation and play. The last thing you want to have to deal with during the summer is home repairs. Therefore, a few simple maintenance tasks at the start of every summer can make sure your summer is cool, comfortable and safe, including the following:

  • Reversing ceiling fans.
  • Inspecting the foundation for issues with drainage, such as poor grading or clogged downspouts.
  • Inspecting the whole home for the presence of beetles, cockroaches, termites, wood bees, ants and other insects as well as for mice, rats and other pests.
  • Checking for moisture issues in crawl spaces and basements.

Fall Home Maintenance

Fall home maintenance chores are all about preparing for winter. It is far better and easier to perform any repairs needed to prevent potential wintertime hassles when the weather is still reasonable and there is no snow on the ground than when the temperature is below zero and you cannot see the ground. Useful fall home maintenance tasks include the following:

  • Removing screen windows and installing storm windows.
  • Shutting off the outdoor water supply and removing and storing hoses.
  • Cleaning up yard debris, like leaves and fallen tree branches and trimming shrubs and trees back at least two feet from the house, driveway and road.
  • Testing, dusting and installing new batteries in carbon monoxide and smoke detectors and checking fire extinguishers.
  • Draining sediment from the hot water heater.
  • Insulating exposed pipes.
  • Covering or removing air conditioners in windows.
  • Inspecting and cleaning chimneys and flues.
  • Checking the roof for damage and cleaning gutters.
  • Inspecting the seals and caulking around doors and windows and resealing as needed.

The fall is also a good time to schedule a professional inspection of your furnace and handle any needed repairs that might be found. If your home has a deck, the fall is a good time to check for loose or dislodged screws or nails, and, if you have any outdoor furniture, a good time to cover or store it.

Winter Home Maintenance

Ideally, you should have no repairs to perform during the winter. All the maintenance you did during the rest of the year should help ensure that winters are cozy and warm. Still, there are certain small maintenance tasks you can make during the winter to make sure you stay that way. Moreover, while the house is closed up tight for winter, there is all the more reason to stay on top of maintenance duties that could keep you and your family healthy and safe during the winter. Useful winter home maintenance tasks include:

  • Reversing ceiling fan directions.
  • Inspecting all indoor and outdoor lighting fixtures.
  • Turning off all water pipes leading to outdoor faucets.
  • Checking the toilets and sinks for leaks.
  • Cleaning the dryer vent.
  • Inspecting the hoses on ice makers, dishwashers and washing machines for leaks.
  • Testing GFCI outlets and looking for overloaded extension cords.
  • Testing sump pump.
  • Check space heaters to ensure they are working properly and placed safely away from curtains and furniture.

As snow and ice accumulate outside your home, be sure to keep your driveway and paths clean and clear of it. You may sometimes need to put down some form of ice melt as well to keep them safe for walking and driving. Checking your home emergency kit is also a wise move before winter sets in too deeply. Make sure it has plenty of clean bottled water, canned foods, batteries, light bulbs, a weather or emergency radio and extra blankets and warm, dry clothes.

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