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The Never-Ending House Maintenance – Tips for New Homeowners

Homeownership has one major drawback – house maintenance. That is why some prefer to rent and leave this responsibility in the hands of the landlord. Is the kitchen faucet leaking? Not your business. Does the hardwood floor need to be resurfaced? You don’t have to move a finger. But when you own a house, you are entirely responsible for solving all the issues that arise around it. And there’s always something to do. The following seasonal home maintenance checklist will help you do everything at the right time. 

House maintenance in the spring

landscaping

After a long winter, you may want to have a day or more of spring cleaning. Now is the time to plan a successful garage sale to get rid of old ski and snowboard equipment that takes up space, and make room for a new bicycle or basketball hoop. If you neglected your body during the cold months, it’s time to take your body outdoors and get back in shape!

Prepare the garden for the new planting season. If you are concerned about the quality of the food you eat, its freshness, its nutritious value, then you should take up organic gardening without any hesitation. If you started composting in the autumn, your compost should be decomposed by now and ready to be incorporated into the substrate.

Run the sprinklers again and check for cracks or leaks. Add new plants and flowers to your patio and improve the curb appeal of your property especially if you intend to sell your property during the summer. Do whatever it takes to make it more appealing from the driveway.

Clean the gutters! Springs are most of the times rainy and if you have dead leaves blocking the drainage of the water from the roof, the water will spill over the gutters and may damage the exterior finishing of the house.

Pay attention to the woodwork. You may want to apply a new protective layer for insects, as well as a new layer of paint for fences or other pieces of furniture for the yard. Now is also the time to paint the tree bark white using water-based latex paint, especially if you have fruiting trees around the house or an orchard.

Check for concrete cracks on the driveway or even in your in-ground swimming pool. As you probably know, the concrete doesn’t always handle well the freeze-thaw cycle.

Get ready for summer by checking the cooling system. You should refill your HVAC unit with the cooling agent (freon gas) every two years, but if you didn’t use air conditioning for a long time, your installation may not have the optimum level of refrigerant gas and should be refilled.

Place weed cloth in your vegetable garden to spare yourself of weeding. Also, install mulch or decorative stone to keep the moisture in the ground and to prevent weeds from seeing the sunlight.

After all these spring home maintenance tips you may think that homeowners have no time to catch their breath. We don’t want to discourage you, so we have been more permissive for the summer.  

Home maintenance in the summer

cleaning the gutters

Get rid of all the standing water around the house because it could be a breeding pool for mosquitoes. If you’re using rainwater to water the vegetables you grow around the house, put some lids over the buckets or keep the water in sealed reservoirs.

Check the smoke and fire detectors, especially if you live in a region where wildfires are frequent. Educate yourself and your kids about the ways in which wildfires can be prevented and how to escape them safely.

Clean the grill and prepare for the barbecue season. Stock up on coals and look for new recipes to try out, especially if you want to surprise your guests on the fourth of July. 

Constantly check the water quality in your in-ground pool or above-ground pool. The ideal pH should be 7.4, so invest in a test kit. You may as well hire a professional pool cleaning service. The cost of owning a pool is between $3,000 and $5,000 a year, according to HomeAdvisor.

Wash the windows and invest in shading materials such as retractable shading and mist cooling systems. For maximum efficiency, you want to block the sun before it hits the windows, thus eliminating up to 95% of its heat.

Start home improvement projects, as the warm weather speeds up the drying of the paint and other building materials. You may want to build the ultimate home theater or a home gym – both are great additions that could increase the value of your property. 

Pump the septic tank, if you have one. Summer is the best season to do this because it allows plenty of time for the microorganisms that clean the water to grow back in the tank before the winter sets in. Depending on the size of the tank you may have to do this operation every three to five years. However, you may want to have the tank inspected every season to find the level of solids in the wastewater.

Vacuum more often and wipe off frequently to keep the dust and other allergens at bay. Summer is difficult for those with airborne allergies. 

House maintenance in the autumn

home maintenance in the autumn

Rake the leaves. Not all the states have the typical “four seasons”. Only those living in the middle stripe of the Northern Hemisphere (between 30 and 60 degrees latitude) can enjoy the changing colors of the leaves. But the autumnal show leaves behind a big mess. Fortunately, you can incorporate the leaves fallen on the ground in your compost.

Unclog gutters as well, to allow the melted snow to drain fast from the roof.

Install railings and make improvements to prevent falls during the winter season. You may even use roll roofing for a cheap non-slip surface.

Take care of the fireplace and chimney. Call a chimney sweep before you start the first fire. The National Fire Protection Association advises a yearly inspection.

Stock up on wood or other fuels that you need for heating during the winter season. 

House maintenance in the winter

home maintenance in the winter

Check your electrical wires and cables before you install any Christmas lights. If you’re not sure whether they can power your ambitious lighting project, ask an electrician to help or to make the required changes. About 170 fires start with a Christmas tree every year, so be extremely careful regarding its setup.

Unclog the dryer hose, too. Over 14,000 fires start from a malfunctioning drier every year.

Remove the snow off the driveway and throw sand and salt to keep the surface snow-free and adherent. If you have a larger surface to clean, a power snow shovel could be a worthwhile investment.

Protect against icicles by cleaning the snow on the roof. Icicles form during sunny and cold days and are dangerous if they fall on the homeowners or on pedestrians, even deadly, in some cases.

Winterize your in-ground swimming pool by lowering the level of the water and covering it with a pool cover.

Year-round home maintenance

plumber with tool box

Keep rodents, termites, and roaches under control with regular inspections, traps, and pesticides. Pest control is extremely important for your quality of life and for the health of your construction. Spiders are also an issue, as there are at least three types of venomous spiders. Their bites could be deadly. So, cleaning your gutters, moving the furniture around and washing the curtains will disturb them and will make them feel unwanted. Inspect your outdoor furniture as well as the mailbox, as spiders often hide in these places. Termites are restless all year round, especially in warm climates, with a slowdown between November and February in cool regions.

It goes without saying that wiping and dusting are a must every week. Fortunately, there are so many innovative cleaning products and tools on the market that wiping the floors has become quite a pleasurable activity. 

Mowing the lawn is also a task that should be performed every week. If you let the grass grow, it might be more difficult to get a nice looking lawn later. To save time, you can replace the natural grass with artificial grass, but you will lose the oxygen it provides. However, this idea might appeal to you especially if you wanted to receive a lower water bill.

Home maintenance is supposed to take time, so don’t leave too many household chores to your spouse or your kids. Share this burden and delegate the most difficult ones to the head of the house. If your kids whine a lot about cleaning their rooms, taking out the garbage or other chores, motivate them by awarding them screen time or other treats for each chore they take care of. And don’t forget that you don’t have to know everything. For the things that are over your head, hire a professional.

Our seasonal home maintenance checklist ends here. As you could see, the bigger the house the more maintenance it requires. Home maintenance is also about childproofing and keeping everyone in the house safe, from the baby in the cradle, to your cat and poodle, or whatever cool pets you might have. 

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