Home Maintenance Ideas for Sheltering in Place

Home Improvement

If you’re like most Americans at the moment you may have some extra time on your hands. If you’re looking for some things to catch up on here are some ideas for maintaining your home!
 
Remember, most of these items are simple to do but if you get stuck or need to learn a new skill just Google it or check out YouTube… likely there is a how-to video!
 
You can use this list to keep track of what you’ve done. We had one client (you know who you are!) that kept detailed records on her garage wall with dates & money spent. The new homeowner loved having all of that information in a permanent space… think of it as your home’s height & growth chart!
 
If you’d rather not do the work yourself, we have many contractor referrals, just send us a message or give us a call!
 
Monthly 
 
Clean kitchen sink disposal. Baking soda and vinegar - sprinkle about a half-cup of baking soda into the disposal, followed by a cup of white or apple cider vinegar. Let the mixture bubble up and sit for five to ten minutes, then turn on the disposal and run water to distribute the mixture throughout the unit.
 
Clean range hood filters. There are many different methods online, but one method is to soak the filter in a pan of water simmering directly on the stove. Keep an eye on it to make sure the water doesn't evaporate. Set a timer for 10 minutes and use a mixture of dish soap and baking soda. Carefully remove the filter and rinse it, scrubbing off any remaining grease. Repeat if necessary.

 
Quarterly

Inspect, and possibly change out HVAC filters.  
 
Test smoke/carbon dioxide detectors. 
 
Test garage door auto-reverse feature. 
 
Run water and flush toilets in unused spaces. 
 
Inspect your fire extinguisher(s) or get one!
 
Biannually 
 
Test your water heater’s pressure relief valve. https://www.dummies.com/home-garden/plumbing/water-heaters/testing-your-water-heater-temperature-and-pressure-relief-valve/


Give your house a deep clean. Baseboards, blinds, windowsills, the top of the fridge… you get the idea! 
 
Vacuum your refrigerator coils. See Bob for instructions: https://www.bobvila.com/articles/how-to-clean-refrigerator-coils/
 
Annually 
 
Check the exterior drainage. Make sure you don’t have puddles of water standing near your home. Make sure gutters are flowing properly.
 
Clean out gutters. It’s a good idea to have them cleaned out after all of the leaves and windstorms.
 
Inspect the exterior of your home. 
 
Clear plants/trees that are touching the home. This can introduce moisture or give a path for pests to enter the attic!
 
Check trees for interference with electric lines. Have professionally trimmed if necessary.
 
Inspect roofing for damage, leaks, etc. Repair as needed; you may need a professional or a drone to see it safely!
 
Check grout in bathrooms and kitchen and repair as needed. 
 
Inspect plumbing for leaks.
 
Clean and repair deck/patio as needed. 
 
Now is a great time to touch up exterior paint and/or caulking.
 
Check and clean dryer vent, other exhaust vents to exterior of home. Vacuum the lint from the hose at the dryer.
 
Clean garage!
 
Flush hot water heater and remove sediment. Only if you’ve done this on a regular basis or it’s a newer hot water tank. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TCFCwldQHAs 

Winterize A/C if you’ve got it! 
 
Get heating/furnace ready for winter. Check for any leaks in windows or doors. Make sure vents are open and not blocked. Get your furnace serviced at least every other year, even better annually. Fireplaces should be serviced as well.
 
Turn off and cover outdoor water faucets. Flush hoses and winterize sprinkler systems too!
 
Get chimney cleaned, if you have one. 
 
Test and inspect sump pump, if you have one. 
 
Check driveway/pavement for cracks. Re-seal before winter - water can freeze and expand in the cracks, causing more damage.
 
Buy winter gear. Stock up on supplies you might need. You never know when or if that first snow will come!
 
Check caulking around showers and bathtubs; repair as needed.
 
Replace batteries in smoke/carbon dioxide detectors. 
 
This is a just a partial list of important items… you can google a printable checklist for home maintenance and there are several to choose from. I now have a long honey-do list for Russell… LOL!