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Question DetailsAsked on 5/19/2011

jfo
First time homeowner maintenance checklist?

My husband and I have been in our first home for close to one year now. I am wondering about any good resources out there to inform us of the things we need to keep up on regarding basic maintenance of the home. For example, is it necessary to have someone check the heating and AC systems each year? What else should I be doing yearly, etc? BTW, I do need to know about the heating unit. Wondering also about plumbing...

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4 Answers

1
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Here's a little checklist that I have been working to modify but am a bit to busy to compile into an easy to use and coherent format...it's a good start though!

For heating systems:Most heating system maintenance should be done twice a year, once before the heating season and once before the cooling season.
    general furnace inspection: look for rust, scaling on heat exchanger, proper flame color, note odd sounds or smells and check condition of venting test for proper drafting at furnace and/or water heater diverter, examine flue for leaks, rust, damage examine pressure-temperature relief valve for leaking, and test, if desired arrange for appropriate regular servicing and cleaning of combustion appliances drain hot water system expansion tank check hot water system water level (pressure) bleed hot water system radiators

General Household Maintenace Schedule

Fall (and Spring) Chores

No matter where you live, seasonal changes in temperature and moisture levels require special maintenance tasks. Fall and Spring cleaning are necessary to maintain a house's appearance and keep it in good condition.

    close and drain hose bibs (fall), open hose bibs (spring) rake debris away from side of house and other structures clean out gutters and downspout elbows check gutters, downspouts, and roof penetrations for leaks treat wood gutters (fall) check and repair caulk (if needed) around exterior surfaces (fall) note any cracks in foundation, brick or stucco hose off house exterior (spring) scrub mildewed areas of house exterior and treat for mildew and fungus on decks (spring) apply new weatherproofing to decks (spring)clean gaps between deck boards above joists clean around air conditioner compressor trim any trees or shrubs that touch house inspect and replace (if needed) weatherstripping inspect and repair (if needed) screens inspect and clean (if needed) storm window weep holes clean out under decks and porches inspect and repair (if needed) glazing compound clean out basement window wells examine septic system drain field for flooding, odor; have tank pumped yearly

Monthly Interior Jobs

These are some monthly jobs that should be done to keep appliances and mechanicals working properly. Doing so will likely extend the life and performance of each item.

    inspect and clean faucet aerators and shower heads clean frost-free refrigerator drain pan inspect dishwasher for leaks clean kitchen exhaust fan filters grind ice cubes in disposer (also grind lemon wedges periodically to reduce odors)check and replace (if needed) heating system air filter drain 1-2 gallons of water from water heater maintain drains with baking soda or hot water, not with chemical drain openers pour water down unused drains inspect visible foundation areas, pipes, vents and ducts

Annual Interior Chores

At least once a year, these items need to be checked. It's important to properly check the fireplace and combustion appliances by fall, because the house is "sealed up" in the winter and not much fresh air enters in.

    clean and seal tile grout inspect plumbing shutoff valves inspect toilets for stability "exercise" circuit breakers Clean the coils behind or under the refrigeratorvacuum smoke alarms vacuum heating registers, vents, ducts, radiators inspect fireplace flues for "glassy" creosote buildup and have flues cleaned regularly inspect fireplace firebrick and mortar for cracks and deterioration, patch small cracks, but large ones require professional repair

Additional Items..... Great and Small (to be added in with the other list whenever I can get to it!)

    CHECK AIR FILTER IN A/C AND CLEAN OR REPLACE AS NECESSARY. VACUUM AIR SUPPLY AND AIR RETURN REGISTERS TO REMOVE DUST. CHECK FIRE EXTINGUISHERS TO ENSURE THEY ARE FULLY CHARGED. CLEAN DISPOSAL BLADES BY GRINDING UP ICE CUBES. FRESHEN WITH CITRUS FRUIT RINDS AND BAKING SODA. CHECK FOR CRACKS AND SEPARATIONS IN CAULKING AROUND THE FOLLOWING: SINKS, BATHTUBS, TOILETS, FAUCETS, COUNTERTOPS, BACK SPLASHES, CERAMIC TILE WALLS, CERAMIC FLOORS, WINDOW SILLS AND ANY OTHER AREAS. CLEAN OR REPLACE DIRTY FILTER IN RANGE HOOD FAN. ADJUST SPRINKLER HEADS FOR PROPER COVERAGE.

Monthly Checklist

    CHECK AIR FILTER IN A/C AND CLEAN OR REPLACE AS NECESSARY. VACUUM AIR SUPPLY AND AIR RETURN REGISTERS TO REMOVE DUST. CHECK FIRE EXTINGUISHERS TO ENSURE THEY ARE FULLY CHARGED. CLEAN DISPOSAL BLADES BY GRINDING UP ICE CUBES. FRESHEN WITH CITRUS FRUIT RINDS AND BAKING SODA. CHECK FOR CRACKS AND SEPARATIONS IN CAULKING AROUND THE FOLLOWING: SINKS, BATHTUBS, TOILETS, FAUCETS, COUNTERTOPS, BACK SPLASHES, CERAMIC TILE WALLS, CERAMIC FLOORS, WINDOW SILLS AND ANY OTHER AREAS. CLEAN OR REPLACE DIRTY FILTER IN RANGE HOOD FAN. ADJUST SPRINKLER HEADS FOR PROPER COVERAGE.

Monthly Checklist

    CHECK AIR FILTER IN A/C AND CLEAN OR REPLACE AS NECESSARY. VACUUM AIR SUPPLY AND AIR RETURN REGISTERS TO REMOVE DUST. CHECK FIRE EXTINGUISHERS TO ENSURE THEY ARE FULLY CHARGED. CLEAN DISPOSAL BLADES BY GRINDING UP ICE CUBES. FRESHEN WITH CITRUS FRUIT RINDS AND BAKING SODA. CHECK FOR CRACKS AND SEPARATIONS IN CAULKING AROUND THE FOLLOWING: SINKS, BATHTUBS, TOILETS, FAUCETS, COUNTERTOPS, BACK SPLASHES, CERAMIC TILE WALLS, CERAMIC FLOORS, WINDOW SILLS AND ANY OTHER AREAS. CLEAN OR REPLACE DIRTY FILTER IN RANGE HOOD FAN. ADJUST SPRINKLER HEADS FOR PROPER COVERAGE.

6-Month Checklist

· CHECK EXTERIOR WINDOWS AND DOORS CAULKING.

· INSPECT EXTERIOR PAINT SURFACES, TOUCH-UP AS NEEDED.

· CHECK SCREWS ON DOOR LOCK SETS AND HARDWARE, TIGHTEN UP.

· TEST AND CLEAN SMOKE DETECTORS AND CHANGE THE BATTERIES IF NEEDED.

· LUBRICATE BI-FOLD AND BY-PASS DOORS IF NECESSARY.

· CLEAN SLIDING DOOR TRACKS, APPLY SILICONE SPRAY. (NOT OIL)

· OIL MOVING PARTS OF GARAGE DOOR.

· CHECK FIRE EXTINGUISHERS TO ENSURE THEY ARE FULLY CHARGED.

· CHECK ELECTRICAL EXTENSION AND APPLIANCE CORDS.

· VISUALLY INSPECT ROOF FROM GROUND FOR BROKEN SHINGLES.

· CHECK AND CLEAN GUTTERS AND DOWNSPOUTS.

· HAVE CONTRACTOR PERFORM SEASONAL CHECK-UP ON YOUR A/C.

· CHECK WATER SUPPLY LINES AND VALVES FOR LEAKS.

· INSPECT WINDOWS AND SCREENS FOR CONDITION.

Annual Checklist

    REPEAT YOUR SIX- MONTH INSPECTION AND MAINTENANCE. CHECK ATTIC VENTS FOR INSULATION BLOCKAGE. INSPECT INSIDE ATTIC FOR SIGNS OF ROOF LEAKS. CHECK CABINET DRAWERS AND HINGES FOR PROPER ALIGNMENT. HAVE CHIMNEY PROFESSIONALLY CLEANED AS NECESSARY. REMOVE WATER HEATER RESIDUE. FOLLOW INSTRUCTIONS IN PLUMBING SECTION OF YOUR HOME MAINTENANCE MANUAL. PRESSURE CLEAN ROOF TILES, POOL DECK, DRIVEWAY AND WALKS.

    REPEAT YOUR SIX- MONTH INSPECTION AND MAINTENANCE. CHECK ATTIC VENTS FOR INSULATION BLOCKAGE. INSPECT INSIDE ATTIC FOR SIGNS OF ROOF LEAKS. CHECK CABINET DRAWERS AND HINGES FOR PROPER ALIGNMENT. HAVE CHIMNEY PROFESSIONALLY CLEANED AS NECESSARY. REMOVE WATER HEATER RESIDUE. FOLLOW INSTRUCTIONS IN PLUMBING SECTION OF YOUR HOME MAINTENANCE MANUAL. PRESSURE CLEAN ROOF TILES, POOL DECK, DRIVEWAY AND WALKS.
    REPEAT YOUR SIX- MONTH INSPECTION AND MAINTENANCE. CHECK ATTIC VENTS FOR INSULATION BLOCKAGE. INSPECT INSIDE ATTIC FOR SIGNS OF ROOF LEAKS. CHECK CABINET DRAWERS AND HINGES FOR PROPER ALIGNMENT. HAVE CHIMNEY PROFESSIONALLY CLEANED AS NECESSARY. REMOVE WATER HEATER RESIDUE. FOLLOW INSTRUCTIONS IN PLUMBING SECTION OF YOUR HOME MAINTENANCE MANUAL. PRESSURE CLEAN ROOF TILES, POOL DECK, DRIVEWAY AND WALKS.

Answered 7 years ago by Sherlock Homes

1
Vote

All of those things Sherlock listed are certainly good, but just be aware that much of it you can do yourself. Hiring someone to do these things for you can run into a lot of money. If you are unsure of how to do some of the things, most places like Lowes and Home Depot will be glad to explain them to you. Most of it is not rocket science. You just need to have someone show you the first time. Also, they often have how-to clinics on Saturday mornings where they teach you how to do some of the more complex home maintenance activities.

Answered 7 years ago by Purrrman

0
Votes

What are expenses that people look should look into when buying a house? What types of fees or maintenance should one have to look into while living in there house? And anything else that comes to mind to help prepare first time homeowners should take into account......

Answered 7 years ago by Antony

1
Vote

Good question, but it really depends on the age and current condition of the home. A home that has been neglected for decdes will need much more attention than one that has been well maintained.

Generally speaking, a good kit of tools to keep on hand should probably include: caulking gun, at least one tube of exterior caulk, one tube of bath caulk, a good ladder, a flathead and a phillips head screwdriver, a good set of channel lock pliers, WD40, a utility knife, flashlight, putty knife, and a hammer.

There are plenty of other toys and fun things you can use to help, but that should get you well on your way to basic home maintenance.

As pointed out previously (guess I forgot to mention it) most of the items I listed are very simply do-it-yourself tasks and can be accomplished for very little cost. Cleaning your gutters, and caulking around your windows - for example - are cheap (or free) and good things to do to maintain your home.

Annual maintenance shouldn't cost much more than a couple tubes of caulk and maybe a few cans of paint or other incidentals. Annual maintance of HVAC systems and chimneys are also a VERY good idea (about $100-150 per HVAC service around the Philly area, and $200-250 per chimney cleaning).

Answered 7 years ago by Sherlock Homes




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