Keeping up with home maintenance tasks can be daunting, especially for new homeowners. It may be hard to accept the fact that sometimes you have to cancel a weekend brunch so you can clean out the gutters and mow the lawn.
While these responsibilities could be frustrating, it's what you have to do to protect your biggest investment. Staying on top of these tasks can save you from costly repairs later, and can keep your house running as good as new.
While there are many tasks that homeowners should complete each season, this list outlines the chores you should take care of once a year. If you're a homeowner who is or will be celebrating the anniversary of your home purchase, it’s a good idea to start off with this to-do list and give your home the TLC it deserves.
1. Check and update your smoke alarms, alert systems, and carbon monoxide detectors.
Alarm systems and smoke detectors are crucial to minimizing damage and saving lives in the event of a fire. Change the batteries of your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and ensure that the systems are in working condition.
Now is also a good time to check your fire extinguishers. Make sure you have at least one fire extinguisher and see if it is still within the expiration date.
2. Pressure wash.
One of the best ways to make your home's exterior look clean is through power washing. Doing so will also minimize the risk of mold growth and infestation, particularly if you do it once a year. Give your house a good scrub by using a garden hose, renting a power washer or hiring a professional cleaner to do the job. Don’t miss out on cleaning the siding, windows, and patio as well to get rid of any grit. For heavily soiled areas, spot-clean them using cleaning materials that won’t harm your plants.
3. See if your house needs a freshening up with paint.
To check if your house's exterior needs a fresh coat of color, look for signs of chipping paint. New paint will not only give your home a new look, but it will also protect it from water damage and rot. This job is best started in the spring.
4. Check your home's humidity levels.
The humidity level in your home should be kept at average levels: between 30% and 50% humidity. High humidity is dangerous because it can cause mildew and black mold, while low levels can cause damage such as chipping paint. Low humidity can also make you and your family uncomfortable, causing itchiness and even sore throats! Check your property's humidity using a hygrometer at least once a year.
5. Clean your air filters and air ducts.
You should clean your air conditioner parts at least once a year to ensure clean air is circulating in your home. You can clean the air filters and air ducts by yourself or hire a maintenance technician to do the job.
6. Check for termites and pests.
For many homeowners, just the thought of having termites in their home can make them cringe, but facing reality is another thing. You should include a termite inspection, which costs no more than $100, in your annual checklist to make sure these pests are not taking over your property.
Likewise, don't forget to book an appointment with a pest control service once a year. Unless you want your home to be infested with bugs and other critters, you have to include it on your cleaning schedule.
7. Clean your tile and grout.
Cleaning the tile and sealing the grout lines need to be done at least once a year. Not only will it make your home look clean but will help prevent mold growth. While there are many firms that offer professional tile and grout cleaning, you can also do it yourself. You just have to carefully choose the products or materials you'll use so you won’t damage your tile or prevent further damage.
8. Sort out your things and declutter.
After spending a year or more living in your home, it might surprise you to realizehow much “stuff” has piled up, taking over your storage space. It's a good thing to sort through your belongings and declutter unnecessary items after you’re finished doing the essential maintenance chores.