Things Homeowners should do Once a Year

Taking care of a home is a lot of work. To prevent damage that is costly to repair or avoid having to completely replace an entire system it’s vital to maintain your home regularly. Sometimes it can be easier to keep on top of the home maintenance to-do list when things need to be done on a weekly or monthly basis – often we forget the things that need doing once a year. Keep track of annual maintenance chores by writing them on a calendar or a whiteboard and putting it somewhere it’s not out-of-sight-out-of-mind.

Annual Maintenance for Fall

Inspect and clean the roof: Before cleaning the gutters, clean the roof first. An annual inspection by the homeowner is a good habit to get into – look for moss growth, damaged shingles, and stains that have spread over a large area of roofing tiles.

 Clean the gutters: Technically the gutters should be cleaned twice or more each year, depending on where you live and the number of trees growing on the property. When cleaning the gutters annually, gutter cleaning in the late fall will help keep your home protected from the elements through the winter.

Clean, repair, and store seasonal items: It’s important to put away items such as the grill, patio furniture, and lawn care tools and equipment. During winter storms you don’t want things in your backyard being slammed against the siding or the backyard fence.

Caulk inside and outside: Walk around your home, both inside and outside, and take note of anyplace the caulking has become cracked or worn – trim around windows and doors, baseboards, anywhere there’s a gap (and there shouldn’t be).

Annual Maintenance for Winter

Check the attic: Insulation in an attic can become brittle with age. An insulated attic is also an inviting home for mice and other pests. Check the attic for leaks; places where moisture can get in and warm air can get out; and if additional or new insulation is required.

Clean out the dryer vent: While you might faithfully remove the lint from the lint screen, the dryer vent still needs to be cleaned annually to prevent buildup from doing serious damage to the dryer. Disconnect the dryer from the vent that leads to the outside and clean it thoroughly.

Flood-proof the basement: Organizing the basement and ensuring it’s clutter-free is a good place to start when flood proofing your basement. Take the opportunity once a year to inspect basement windows and doors for gaps, the foundation for cracks, and pipes for leaks.

Annual Maintenance for Spring

Inspect your home’s exterior: Walk around the house. How well did the exterior of your home hold up throughout winter? Examine the siding for signs of damage. With the help of a pair of binoculars look up at the soffit and fascia. Check the foundation for hairline cracks; standing water close to exterior walls; and landscaping that has been “washed” out. Don’t forget the windows and entry doors – no loose glass panes, split or cracked window frames and door trim, or broken panes and hardware (doors and windows).

Take a close look at the gutters and drains: Are the gutters still attached to the fascia? Check the gutter system for sagging, missing, or warped sections. Examine the drains and gutter outlets for clogs. There should no standing water inside the gutter channels or pooled water underneath the downpipes.

Prep the AC for summer: If you use window units to keep you cool in the summer, spring is the time to get them out of storage, wipe them off, and install them. For a central AC system, make sure you schedule a service call before the heat of summer arrives.

Annual Maintenance for Summer

Clean and repair the patio or deck: Power wash the surface of the patio or deck to remove stains, dirt, and grime. Re-stain or re-seal the deck – it can take a beating during winter. Check for any loose boards, bricks, etc. Also, examine the deck for any loose hardware.

Repair and maintain pathways, the driveway, stairs, and rails: Keeping pathways, stairs, and rails in good repair can help prevent tripping and falling accidents. In addition to safety issues, a driveway that is pitted, stained or cracked detracts from your curb appeal.

Clean out the garage:  Homeowners can accumulate a lot of stuff in a year. Cleaning out the garage allows you to donate items that are no longer useful to you and to make space for tools and equipment that need to be stored during the winter.0000