May 4, 2014

A Handy To-Do List to Keep Your Home Safe and Well Maintained




A Handy To-Do List to Keep Your Home Safe and Well Maintained -Owning a home means you are responsible for its building maintenance. If you don't attend to your home until things stop working, leak, or break; it will generally cost you more in time and money in the long-run. Whether you are an experienced DIYer or hire your local handy-man, preventative maintenance will save you money and provide you peace of mind that your home is safe and well maintained.
Though not conclusive, the following, 'To-Do List', will ensure that your home's building maintenance is properly scheduled.

MONTHLY
•HVAC filters should be replaced or cleaned. If you have purchased the longer-lasting filter follow the manufacturer's instruction and modify this list accordingly.
•Range Hood filters should be inspected and cleaned as necessary. Remove filters and soak them in hot soapy water to dissolve grease; rinse, let dry, and re-install.
•Deodorize and clean your garbage disposal. Turn on the disposal and drop ice cubes down the drain with a minimal stream of cold water. Next, wedge a fresh lemon and drop the sections down the disposal. The 'what's that smell' question you ask when you first enter the house will be gone. (Tip: Make sure the wrench for freeing a jammed disposal is handy and that all members of the household know how to use it properly.)
•When you take a look under the kitchen sink visually inspect the fire extinguisher to make sure it is easily accessible and appears in good working order. Don't forget the one hanging on the wall in the garage, inspect it too.
•Inspect your plumbing fixtures and faucets, including the ice maker connection. Take the time and specifically inspect them monthly. A constant drip will ruin cabinets over time if ignored. (Tip: Make sure that all drains are flushed. Unused shower drains or out-of-the-way basement floor drains are the ones most often forgotten. Sewer gas is unpleasant and can be dangerous.)
•Test your smoke alarms and CO2 alarms.

QUARTERLY
•Check your water softener's salt level and fill as needed.
•Replace your drinking water filters.
•Irrigation systems should be checked quarterly for broken or misdirected sprinkler heads and piping damage. It's a rude surprise to find a huge increase in your water bill, not to mention dead or dying landscaping.

SEMIANNUALLY
•Clean the coils on the exterior portion of your air-conditioning system. Most big-box stores carry products designed for this purpose. The energy savings and longer life of the system are well worth the time and expense. (Tip: Keep the air intake and discharge to the condenser unblocked to maximize its performance.)
•It's great to do your spring cleaning after a long cold winter, but you should do it again in the fall. In addition to a thorough whole-house cleaning, don't forget to inspect your fireplace's flue; especially in the fall.
•While you are mopping the floor under the refrigerator, it's a good time to bring in the shop-vac and clean the refrigerator's coil.

ANNUALLY
•Smoke/Co2 alarm batteries should be replaced, even if yours are newer and hardwired to the house's electrical system. The only exception is if you have the 10 year lithium batteries; then follow the manufacturer's instruction. The USFA and FEMA recommend you replace your alarms every 8-10 years.
•Walk through the inside and around the outside of your home with screw drivers and an adjustable wrench. Check and tighten loose knobs, handles, hinges, devises, and fixtures as needed. Outside specifically, inspect weather-seals and sealants. If they are excessively worn or dried-out replace as needed. Inspect the house's finish, your driveway and sidewalks for damage. Tree roots can heave a sidewalk causing a trip hazard.
•Turn off your water heater and drain it to remove the hard-water scale build-up. If its gas fired, remove the inspection panel and using a flash light inspect the 'bonnet' over the burner for damage. Inspect the flue for damage or blockage. Carefully follow the manufacturer's instruction when relighting the pilot, if one is installed. If your water-heater is electric and older, pull the heating elements and inspect and/or replace as needed.
•Your washer and dryer should be inspected at least once a year. For the washer check the connections at both ends for leaks or bulges in the hoses. Pull the dryer out from the wall, disconnect the vent hose, and vacuum the hose and vent piping. If it is accessible, inspect and vacuum the vent outlet as well. Be careful not to kink the hose when you return the dryer to its place. Like with the water-heater, if your dryer is gas-fired remove the inspection cover and inspect the heater and corresponding flue. (Tip: If you plan to leave your home for a weekend or longer turn off the water-supply faucets.)
•Prepare for the part of the country where you live. Hurricanes, Tornadoes, earthquakes, or freezing winters; be prepared with food stores, etc.

As stated earlier, this list is not all inclusive, but it should serve as a good start for you to make your own list of scheduled building maintenance items.

1 comment:

Weekend-Windup said...

Wonderful tips to keep the home in good condition!

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