Your Yearly Home Maintenance Checklist

Owning a home is a goal in most everyone’s life. Once you purchase a house, you become the king or queen of your castle! Not only can you decorate and landscape it the way you choose, but you’re not subject to a landlord’s rules and regulations anymore.

True, owning a home means that you’ll take on the expenses of a mortgage payment, property taxes, and maintenance and upkeep. But in the long run, your home will be an investment that will increase in value. Instead of pouring your hard-earned money into leasing a house, you’ll instead be investing your money into your own home.

The most important thing that any homeowner can do to protect their investment, is to perform regular maintenance and upkeep on their house. Every year, certain
tasks need to be performed. These tasks will not only help protect your home, but they will also prolong the life of your home’s systems.

The following checklist covers most of the major tasks. They’re broken down season-by-season so you can easily see what needs to be done, and when.


1. Check the batteries in your smoke alarms. Check the batteries in carbon your monoxide alarms too. Replace worn out batteries and test the alarms to make sure they work properly.

2. Take your fire extinguishers to a certified inspector to make sure they are charged up properly and are ready for use.

3. Inspect the filters in your heating system and clean or replace them as needed.

4. Check the faucets in your kitchen, bathrooms, basement, et cetera, for leaks and other problems that need attention. Repair and/or replace faucets as needed.

5. Clean the lint out of your clothes dryer vent, if needed.

6. Check the gaskets around your refrigerator and freezer units to ensure they are airtight. A good test is to crack the refrigerator door and place a one dollar bill on the seal. Then, close the door. If you can slide the bill out, then the seal is not airtight. Try this test on your freezer doors too, and replace the seals, as needed.

7. Use a vacuum cleaner that has a brush attachment to clean the coils on the
back of your refrigerator, if applicable. Don’t forget the freezer too!


1. Remove the storm windows. Clean them before you store them away so they’ll be ready for use next fall.

2. Spring rains not only bring flowers, but they also bring leaky basements. Inspect your basement or crawl space for water and dampness, and repair as needed.

3. Put the screens in the exterior doors and in the windows of your house.

4. Check the door locks, latches, hinges, and other hardware on your interior and exterior doors and windows. Replace or repair as needed. Lubricate the hinges and moving parts to keep them operating smoothly.

5. Get ready for grass cutting season! Replace the spark plug in your lawn mower and/or garden tractor.

6. Replace the fuel filters, air filters, et cetera, in the same lawn equipment.

7. Don’t forget to change the oil and to lubricate all of the moving parts of your lawn equipment.

8. Check all the belts, fuel lines, et cetera, in your lawn equipment and replace
as needed.

9. Make sure the blades on your lawn mower and/or garden tractor are free from damage. Sharpen or replace as necessary.

10. Open the air vents in your attic to allow for air ventilation.


1. Prepare your air conditioning system for use this season. Clean or replace the filters.

2. Is your septic tank system (if applicable) in good working order? Check to see if it needs pumped out. Schedule an appointment with a professional, if necessary.

3. Inspect your concrete or blacktop driveway, sidewalks, patios, porches, et cetera. Repair any for holes, cracks, or other damage you find.

4. Check the eaves around your home’s roof, chimneys, caps, et cetera. Make sure
there are no hornet, wasp, or other flying insect nests. Also, repair any damaged eaves.

5. Is your TV reception fuzzy or snowy? Check your antenna or satellite dish and make sure they are in good repair. Also, carefully clean your satellite dish with a mild solution of household bleach and tap water. This will remove tree sap, moss, dirt, and other contaminants.

6. Inspect the decks, steps, open porches, and other wooden structures around your house. Make any repairs as necessary.

7. If it’s been 2 years since you last did it, clean and apply a quality weatherproofing product to your decks, steps, and other wooden structures. This will help to protect and preserve the wood.


1. Check the weather-stripping around your exterior doors and windows. If there are gaps or worn spots, replace the stripping as needed.

2. Inspect the caulking around the exterior windows and doors of your house. Fix as necessary to keep drafts, as well as insects, out of your home.

3. Check your exterior roof vents to make sure they’re clean and operating properly.

4. Carefully check the roof of your house. Check any chimney caps too, and make sure they’re in place. Trim back any tree branches that are touching your roof. Branches can damage shingles, as well as other roofing material.

5. Either clean out, or hire a professional chimney sweep to clean the inside of your chimney and your fireplace.

6. Do you have uninvited guests in your home? Inspect the attic and the basement for signs of birds, chipmunk, squirrels, bats, and the like. Find and seal any entrance holes.

7. Schedule an appointment to have your heating system inspected, cleaned, and lubricated so it will work efficiently.

8. Use a vacuum cleaner to clean out the forced air registers and ductwork in your house.

9. Use a pressure washer to clean off the outside of your house and garage. Periodically removing tree sap, accumulated dirt, and debris will make the siding on your house last longer.

10. Remove leaves, tree branches, and other debris from roofs, gutters, and downspouts. Make sure your gutters are in good shape; repair or replace as necessary.

11. Take the window and door screens out of their frames and clean them. Inspect the screens for tears and holes and repair them before you store them.

12. Drain the water from any outdoor faucets and garden hoses. Store the hoses inside if you live in a cold winter climate.

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