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26 Routine Home Maintenance Jobs Everyone Should Do ... But Most Everyone Forgets to Do

You've heard of spring cleaning? Well, fall is an ideal time to conduct the important home maintenance tasks you've been meaning to do all year. Just as your car requires regular oil changes and tune-ups to run its best, your home needs a few tweaks and replacements to keep it up to par. But, unlike your car, which you likely take to a mechanic, you can perform most of these top home maintenance jobs yourself.

test your fire alarms

You should test your fire alarms and carbon monoxide detectors, clean them and change the batteries regularly.

Taking these simple measures now could payoff big time in the future by helping you to avoid costly problems and protect one of your biggest investments: your home.

  1. Check the grout around all tiled wet areas, including your shower, tub and kitchen sink, and add caulk to the joints if you notice any areas of separation (or if it hasn't been done in awhile).

  2. Have your heating system inspected by a professional before the heating season begins (in the spring, you can do this with your air conditioner).

  3. Check your dryer vent exhaust system for blockage and to ensure the connection. Remove any lint buildup from the vents.

  4. Check the hoses of your washing machine for cracks and leaks.

  5. Check and replace the batteries in your carbon monoxide detectors and fire alarms. Test and clean the detectors as well.

  6. Remove hoses from outside spigots prior to cold weather to prevent freezing.

  7. Insulate all exterior wall water pipes (in kitchen, bathroom, laundry room, shower, etc.) to avoid frozen pipes bursting this winter (one of the top causes of home flooding and serious damage to valued belongings).

  8. Replace your furnace filter (and air conditioner filter). This should be done monthly.

  9. Check your drain traps for blockage, and clean them by removing any excess debris. (Do this twice a year.)

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  1. Test your GFI receptacles / breakers to make sure they're working properly.

  2. If you have a coil-back refrigerator, pull it away from the wall and vacuum the condenser coils to remove dust. (Do this twice a year if you have pets.)

  3. Drain and refill your hot water heater (yearly). Remove any sediment from the bottom of the tank.

  4. If you have a sump pump, make sure it's operating correctly. Clean the sump basket with a bleach solution to disinfect it.

  5. Check the filter on your range hood and clean it as needed.

  6. If you have a whirlpool tub, clean the system out by running a solution of dishwasher soap and bleach through it.

  7. Make sure the pressure relief valve on your water heater is working.

  8. Turn on the pilot light in your gas furnace.

  9. Make sure all of your exterior doors shut tightly. Replace the door's weather-stripping if necessary.

  10. Check your chimney for debris, such as birds' nests. Clean the ashes out of your fireplace.

household maintenance hoses

Before cold weather arrives, remove your hoses from their outside spigots or they could freeze, causing damage.

  1. Change the washers in any leaky faucets.

  2. Clean your gutters and drain pipes to ensure they're not blocked by debris. Make sure they drain away from the house. Also remove any limbs or bunched up leaves from your roof as they could create a dam, causing water or ice to back up into your roof shingles. This could result in a flooded ceiling and water damage come winter or spring.

  3. Check the seals on your refrigerator door. If they're airtight, you won't be able to easily remove a dollar bill that you've closed the door on. If the seals are not airtight, you may need to adjust the latch or replace them.

  4. Clean your dehumidifier.

  5. Take down screens from windows and put up storm windows.

  6. Check your home for drafts from doors or windows. Seal any drafty spots.

  7. Check the siding or paint on the outside of your home for cracks or holes. If necessary, replace the caulk.

Recommended Reading

Which Home Renovations are Your Best Investments?

The 6 Most Dangerous Home-Based Causes of Disease and Illness

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