Without regular maintenance and care, your home will quickly lose its value. Here's a monthly checklist for keeping up with the biggest investment of your life.
Your home is one of the biggest investments you have. For most people, their first mortgage is the biggest financial commitment of their life compared to their net worth.
Just like everything else, your home needs maintenance and care. Sure, we all clean our houses and such, but there are a lot of little things that are easy to overlook in a home. The more things you overlook, the more it will cost you.
How will it cost you? Your heating and cooling bills will go up. Your unexpected repair costs will go up. Your house finishings and furnishings will wear down faster. You’ll run into countless little difficulties when something important comes up. Your home will have significantly less value when you go to sell it because all of the little neglects will show up.
All you have to do to combat all these things is spend a couple of hours during your free weekends doing some simple home maintenance tasks.
Personally, I use a home and auto maintenance checklist. Whenever I have a few free hours without much to do, I’ll usually turn on my headphones (if I’m home alone) or recruit a young helper (if the kids are home) and get to work on a few tasks.
Over five years ago, I posted a sample monthly home and auto maintenance checklist. I’ll quote it here, for reference’s sake. This is long, but don’t worry about it. I’ll explain how to make this very easy in a moment.
Check the tire pressure on all cars and air them up to the recommended maximum
Check the oil on the lawnmower and sharpen the blades – well-sharpened mower blades drastically reduce mowing time
Check, clean, and perhaps replace the air filter on all automobiles
Check the fluid levels in all automobiles and adjust as needed
Check and fill all gas cans for lawnmowers, etc.
Check for squeaky doors and oil them as needed
Check and clean range hood filters
Check and replace furnace filters
Check and replace other ventilation system filters
Check and replace humidifier filters
Remove grills on forced air system ducts and vacuum inside the ducts
Examine the foundation for any cracks
Examine exposed wood (attic, etc.) for insect damage and do any insect preventative maintenance that needs to happen
Test all ground fault circuit interrupters
Check all vents (inside and outside) and make sure there are no obstructions
Remove screens, clean window wells, and dry them
Examine all outdoor items and see whether any seasonal maintenance needs to be done
Drain off a pan full of water from the clean-out valve at the bottom of your hot water tank (removes sediment and maintains efficiency)
Check your sump pump for any issues
Test all fire/smoke/carbon monoxide detectors in the house
Check all window and door locks to ensure they’re all in working order
Check your fire escape plan and make sure that furniture additions haven’t changed this
Check all faucets for dripping water and change washers if needed
Run all sinks, toilets, baths, and showers to ensure no problems (mostly just the ones not used frequently)
Check the gauge on all fire extinguishers and replace if needed
Use a pipe cleaner and baking soda to clean all drains