Homeownership - click here March 13, 2024

The Ultimate Home Maintenance Checklist; Protect Your Investment!

Regular home maintenance is taking proactive and preventative measures to keep your home in good working order and not being neglectful or waiting for something to go awry. Overflowing gutters, a balky furnace, or a chimney that refuses to draw do not have to be a problem if you keep up with these parts of the house. Prevent costly service calls, keep everyone comfortable, and preserve your home value and pocketbook by following a regular home maintenance checklist

  • Winter: Focus on damage control, keep the roof intact, and prevent ice dams. Clean the garage and basement.
  • Spring: Watch for spring flooding, repair winter damage to home exterior and trees.
  • Summer: Take on ambitious projects like exterior painting, building drainage systems, or replacing doors or windows—tasks that rely on perfect weather.
  • Fall: Prepare for the winter, clean gutters, and install storm doors and windows.

    Monthly Home Maintenance

    Every month, check the safety devices, ensure the water and air systems are running smoothly, and check for the accumulation of dust or debris that can interfere with the regular operation of the home’s systems.

    • Change the HVAC filters, including the furnace filter.
    • Press your smoke and carbon monoxide detector buttons to ensure they work. Replace batteries as needed.
    • Check sink, shower, and tub drains for clogs and clear them, if necessary.
    • For low-use areas such as guest or basement bathrooms, flush the toilet, clean sediment rings from the bowl, and turn on both sink taps.
    • If you use a water softener system, check and replenish the salt levels, if necessary.
    • Test all of the GFCI outlets to ensure they are working correctly.
    • Inspect electrical cords for wear.
    • Check all heating and air vents for obstructions and remove dust. Make sure that the dryer vent is appropriately venting to the outside.
    • Clean the garbage disposal by grinding ice cubes and sanitizing with vinegar or lemon.

    Regular Quarterly Home Maintenance

    Every three months, perform these critical maintenance tasks:

    • Check the gauges on your fire extinguishers to ensure they are still correctly pressurized.
    • Check your water heater’s temperature and pressure (T&P) valveto ensure it will expel water. Place a bucket below the relief tube to avoid flooding.
    • Ensure your garage door’s safety reverse function works and the electric eyes are correctly positioned.
    • Remove showerheads and sink aerators and soak them in vinegar to clean out collected sediment.

    Winter Home Maintenance Checklist

    With cold temperatures and harsh elements pressing in, winter home maintenance focuses on damage control: taking control of damaged items and preventing further damage. Because of inclement weather, you may not have the time and leisure to take on extensive exterior repairs safely.

    • From a safely secured ladder, check gutters and the lower roof for ice dams and eliminate them as necessary. Be careful of ice when accessing the roof. Avoid going on the roof in the morning. Wait until the ice has melted, later in the afternoon.
    • Check that the covers are on the outside hose bibs (faucets) and have not iced up.
    • Make sure that the yard is not pooling up with water. While you probably won’t be able to create a full-scale yard drainage system in winter, you will want to ensure that none of that water is near the foundation. If so, grade the soil away from the house to prevent interior flooding.
    • Use this indoor-friendly season to clean the basement, garage, and other interior spaces that get neglected during warm, sunny months.
    • Keep an eye on your electrical service drop and the line that leads from your home to the power pole (only if you have above-ground electric service). If large branches have fallen or are hanging on the line, call the electric company for removal.


    Never take on the task of removing branches or other debris from overhead powerlines. Serious injury or death can occur. Call your utility company to remove anything stuck on power lines. This is one of the regular services provided by the utility company.

    Spring Home Maintenance Checklist

    Spring home maintenance is chiefly about cleaning up after the mess and damage of winter. Weather is still spotty, so this isn’t the best time to take on long-term outside projects like painting the house—this comes later on.

    • Clean the gutters and, using a water hose, ensure they drain.
    • Check the exterior siding for damage and repair as needed.
    • Check shingles, flashing, and vents for damage when the roof is dry and safe to walk on.
    • Clean and replace window screens.
    • Trim back trees that may deposit branches on your home. For branches near power lines, call your electric company for pruning.
    • In late spring, install window unit air conditioners.
    • Reverse ceiling fans so that the vanes rotate in a counter-clockwise direction. This will move air downward, cooling the room.
    • Thoroughly clean the windows with a squeegee.
    • Clean the house and donate unwanted items or sell them at a yard sale.
    • Service the A/C unit in preparation for the summer.

      Summer Home Maintenance Checklist

      With higher temperatures and low precipitation, summer affords comfortable working conditions to make intensive repairs that were impossible in prior seasons. In many areas, midsummer is the best time to take on projects that might be ruined by poor weather.

      • Make repairs to the home’s siding and paint the exterior as needed.
      • Clean and repair your outside deck.
      • Wash and apply a sealant to wood fences with a brush, roller, or paint sprayer.
      • Flush out your water heater to empty it of sediment.
      • Clean debris from window wells with a broom.
      • If you noted any drainage problems from previous seasons, now is the time to consider building a robust drainage system with catch basins in your yard.
      • Inspect the roof for loose shingles and flashing.
      • Replace windows and exterior doors as needed.
      • Have an HVAC company inspect the furnace and make necessary repairs.
      • Repair cracks in an asphalt driveway with crack sealer.
      • Resurface the asphalt driveway by sweeping on asphalt sealer with a broom.
    • Fall Home Maintenance Checklist

      Home maintenance during the fall season is focused on preparing the house for winter.

      • Test the sump pump by pouring water down the sump pit until the pump turns on.
      • Remove, clean, and store the window screens.
      • If your home has storm windows, install them.
      • Remove window unit air conditioners. If you have central air conditioning, winterize it.
      • Contact HVAC professionals for annual maintenance on the furnace.
      • Call in a chimney cleaning service or clean the chimney by yourself.
      • Winterize exterior hose bibs (faucets) by protecting them with foam covers.
      • Remove leaves and debris from garden ponds and water features.
      • Reverse ceiling fans so that the vanes rotate in a clockwise direction. This will help distribute the warm air that collects near the ceiling.

From The Spruce 11/2023