Home Maintenance Checklist
Here are just a few suggestions for your home maintenance checklist:
- Check the oil on the lawnmower and sharpen the blades – well-sharpened mower blades drastically reduce mowing time
- Check and fill all gas cans for lawnmowers, etc.
- Check for squeaky doors and oil them as needed
- Check and clean range hood filters
- Check and replace furnace filters
- Check and replace other ventilation system filters
- Check and replace humidifier filters
- Remove grills on forced air system ducts and vacuum inside the ducts
- Examine the foundation for any cracks
- Examine exposed wood (attic, etc.) for insect damage and do any insect preventative maintenance that needs to happen
- Test all ground fault circuit interrupters
- Check all vents (inside and outside) and make sure there are no obstructions
- Remove screens (repair if necessary) , clean window wells, and dry them (https://youtu.be/c8QXD9x-6Mg).
- Examine all outdoor items and see whether any seasonal maintenance needs to be done
- Drain off a pan full of water from the clean-out valve at the bottom of your hot water tank (removes sediment and maintains efficiency). If you do not know how to do this, check out our video on our video resource page (https://youtu.be/TjsOR9ix0bI).
- Check and test your sump pump for any issues
- Test all fire/smoke/carbon monoxide detectors in the house
- Check all window and door locks to ensure they’re all in working order (https://youtu.be/D9_p8wFr-Rk ).
- Check your fire escape plan and make sure that furniture additions haven’t changed this
- Check all faucets for dripping water and change washers if needed
- Run all sinks, toilets, baths, and showers to ensure no problems (mostly just the ones not used frequently)
- Check the gauge on all fire extinguishers and replace if needed
- Use a pipe cleaner and baking soda to clean all drains
- Run your dishwasher through a cleaning cycle (https://youtu.be/IcgXX6J0XQk ).
- Check all gutters for blockage and clean as needed (bird’s nests, leaves, etc.)
- Check all visible pipes for leaks (don’t forget under sinks, etc.)
- Check and clean refrigerator and freezer coils (we did this about once every six months, if I remember right) https://youtu.be/c0r5x0AIXyc .
- Check all caulking and repair as needed
Monthly Cleaning Checklist
This is a recommended checklist which may help keep your home fresh and clean. Check on a regular basis:
- Clean all windows – remove the screens, clean the windowsills thoroughly as well as clean the windows thoroughly with a window cleaning solution (scub screens in Fall and again in the Spring)
- Vacuum underall furniture – and vacuum all furniture, removing the cushions, etc.
- Shampoo carpets as needed
- Scrub all non-carpeted floors – cleaning and brush on your hands and knees or use a SHARK cleaning machine to steam the floors
- Scour all sinks and tabletops
- Sweep the garage floor
- Grease the garage door hinges and any other parts recommended by your garage door company (at least twice a year)
- Put anything unused into storage (we had an annual “go through the storage” event, too)
- Inventory all food staples (pantry, freezer, etc.), throw out what’s old, make a master list, and go to the store to replace what’s needed
- Completely clean out refrigerator, thoroughly clean inside, then restock
Here are a few quick tricks to make home maintenance and organization easy. Among the tricks on this video, you will find an easy way to differentiate your keys, how to deal with stripped screws, how to catch drill hole dust without making a mess, and how to use a shoe organizer creatively.
If you haven’t seen our first Gold Key Fun Household Tricks video, go to our RESOURCE tab on our website and click on the VIDEOS selection of our drop down menu. Let us know what you think!
As the teeth of colder temperatures begin to sink in, any areas of your home that lack proper insulation will make themselves apparent. It may be a drafty area around doors, windows, or outlets. Sometimes walls in certain rooms will feel cold to the touch. Insulating a house properly and consistently can be a tricky proposition.
There are many “out of sight” areas that are difficult to insulate to keep cold air from infiltrating. The areas most commonly referred to when insulating are the exterior walls and above the ceiling (attics in most homes). Standards for insulating these areas vary somewhat according to location and building codes. In new construction, attics are insulated to an R-value of at least 50. Walls are typically at least R19. The R-value represents the insulating resistance to thermal transfer. As a general rule, the R value can be determined by multiplying inches of insulations by 3. For example, if you have 10 inches of insulation in the attic, the R-value is approximately 30. The actual R-value will depend on the type of insulation. Loose fill blown cellulose or fiberglass has slightly different values than fiberglass batts or rigid board insulation. It is more important to choose the right type of insulation for the application than to worry about which type has the highest R-value.
The insulating factor also depends on the amount of trapped air in the insulation. If you compress it by storing items on it, the insulating value is reduced. A type of insulation used, especially in exterior walls, is sprayed on foam. This is sprayed on exterior walls about 1 inch thick to effectively seal even the smallest gaps in the structure. It also provides additional strength to the framing of the house. Fiberglass batts are then installed over the foam to complete the insulating of the wall.
It is also important to have a correctly installed vapor barrier on in these areas. The vapor barrier allows air to pass though it, but resists water vapor. It is usually polyethylene film, aluminum foil, or Kraft paper. The purpose is to prevent moisture problems in exterior walls, ceilings, or floors that face unheated areas. This occurs when cold air mixes with warm air and condenses as it passes through the wall or ceiling cavity. This can lead to mold or ineffective insulation. It is important to remember that the vapor barrier should always face the heated side of the building.
Proper weather-stripping and caulking are an important finishing step in any insulation application as they seal the tiny cracks and crevices that larger materials cannot. You may also want to consider upgrading the houses’ windows, especially if they are single pane.
You will want to get a cost estimate from on the potential savings of any application from walls to windows to attics before spending the money to upgrade. The long term savings may not be enough in some applications to justify the higher initial cost.
A how-to video on how to replace and adjust your toilet flapper from your friends here at Gold Key Home Inspections, Inc.