Home Maintenance Schedule
Clean rain gutters. Leaves and other debris will hamper drainage and may promote rusting and roof damage. Make sure that water flowing from downspouts is draining away from the foundation. Inspect crawl space after rain for water accumulation or excessive moisture, as well as indications of water damage on the subfloor and joists beneath bathrooms, kitchen and laundry. Look for signs of pest or dry rot damage. Do not block perimeter wall vents to a crawl space in winter.
Using binoculars, inspect roof from the ground (walking on a damp or wet roof can be very dangerous), looking for loose, missing or damaged roofing materials. Repair any damage. If you have access to the underside of the roof, check during a heavy rain for leaks. Trim branches around the roof line to keep squirrels and other pesky animals off the roof This will also keep moss from growing on the roof. Inspect all vents, repair as needed, and remove any debris blocking air flow.
Check operation of toilet, and the area between the tank and bowl, and around the base for leaks. Turn off the water supply to the house. Observe the water meter after 1-hour. If it has moved there is a leak somewhere in the plumbing system. Check valve where water enters the house, outdoor faucets, and any valves to toilet, bathroom or kitchen sink, bar, etc. for leaks. Turn each off and on several times to check for leaks. Inspect grout and caulk around sinks, tubs and showers. Repair or replace damaged areas. Inspect water heater for leaks and flush tank.
Inspect home from bottom to top, looking for damage that occurred over the winter. Prepare a ``to do'' list of needed repairs. . Replace batteries on smoke, heat and gas detectors. Do this when you set the clock back to Daylight Savings Time.
Check furnace filter. Clean or replace if necessary. Do furnace or central air-conditioning maintenance recommended by the unit's manufacturer. . Repair cracks in driveways, walkways and sidewalks. Inspect and service clothes dryer, cook top or stove, dishwasher, trash compactor, counter-top appliances, exhaust fans, etc., according to the manufacturers' recommendations. Check that vent screens to attic or crawl space are not damaged. Repair or replace as needed.
Caulk open joints, particularly around windows and doors. Clean and inspect rain gutters for rusted or damaged areas. Replace worn faucet washers. Clean decks, gazebos, fences and patio furniture. Refinish if needed.
Check exterior walls for cracks, peeling paint or other damage. Carefully climb on the roof (provided the roofing materials can be walked on) and inspect it or have a qualified roofer do it for you. Look for any apparent damage to shakes, shingles or tiles. Inspect anything that protrudes through the roof for rust, open seams or other damage. Warning: The roof surface may be quite hot! Check operation of attic fans and turbine vents. If attic space is accessible, make certain that attic insulation is not blocking air flow through vents. While in the attic check for worn electrical wiring, water damage, loose ducts, etc.
To minimize water hammer, a banging noise in pipes, shut off the incoming water to your home. Open the highest and lowest faucets, valves or outdoor faucet, and drain all water from pipes to restore air cushions in the plumbing system. If a furnace is part of your air-conditioning system, check filter. Clean or replace if necessary.
Check valve where water enters the house, outdoor faucets, or any valves to fixtures, such as to toilet, bathroom or kitchen sink, bar, etc. Turn each off and on several times to make certain they operate properly. Check for leaks Inspect grout around sinks, tubs and showers. Repair or replace damaged areas. Inspect water heater for leaks and flush tank.. Test temperature and pressure relief (TPR) valve according to the manufacturer's instructions.. . Refinish wood surfaces as needed.
Insulate outdoor pipes to avoid freeze damage. Use plastic to cover insulation that is exposed to water. Clean gutters. Leaves and other debris will hamper drainage and may promote rusting. Inspect and clean the fireplace and flue before lighting your first fire. If you have a wood-burning stove, remove the stovepipe between the stove and chimney and clean that section and the pipe exhausting outdoors. Hire a professional if needed. Stack firewood away from the house ... and off the ground. Firewood can contain termites and other pests. Replace batteries of smoke, heat and gas detectors. Do this when you set the clock back to Standard Time.
Check furnace filter. Clean or replace if necessary. Inspect crawl space after rain for water accumulation or excessive moisture. Do not block vents to a crawl space in winter.
Disconnect the garage door opener. Lubricate hardware. Springs on overhead doors should be adjusted by a qualified service technician.
Test and inspect smoke, heat and gas detectors. Check to be certain nothing flammable is near a source of flame, such as a water heater pilot light, gas range or furnace, etc. Practice family fire-escape plan and review earthquake preparedness. Check fire extinguishers. Replace or have serviced those that need it. Inspect electrical cords for damage. Repair or replace if needed. Check the operation of all electrical circuit breakers by turning each off and on. Do the same with ground fault circuit interrupters, usually found in bathroom, kitchen, garage and outdoor outlets. Replace those that don't work properly. Always be alert for other safety hazards, such as cracked walkways, hazardous materials that aren't properly stored, or unsecured heavy bookcases or other furniture that could topple during an earthquake.
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