Home Improvement Payoff
June 25, 2024 | Suzanne Powers

Annual Home Maintenance Tips: Essential Tasks You Might Overlook

As a real estate expert and home improvement guru, I've seen firsthand how regular maintenance can preserve the value of your home and prevent costly repairs. While many homeowners focus on the obvious tasks, like mowing the lawn or cleaning gutters, there are several less apparent yet equally important chores that should be part of your annual home maintenance routine. Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you keep your home in top shape all year round.
Annual Home Maintenance Tips: Essential Tasks You Might Overlook

Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you keep your home in top shape all year round.

As a real estate expert and home improvement guru, I've seen firsthand how regular maintenance can preserve the value of your home and prevent costly repairs. While many homeowners focus on the obvious tasks, like mowing the lawn or cleaning gutters, there are several less apparent yet equally important chores that should be part of your annual home maintenance routine. Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you keep your home in top shape all year round.

1. Inspect and Clean Your HVAC System

Your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system works tirelessly to keep your home comfortable. To ensure it runs efficiently and lasts longer:

Replace Air Filters: Do this every 1-3 months, depending on your system and usage.

Professional Inspection: Schedule a professional inspection and cleaning annually. This can improve efficiency and detect potential issues early.

2. Check and Clean Your Dryer Vents

Clogged dryer vents are a common cause of house fires. To keep your home safe:

Clean the Lint Trap: After every load.

Inspect the Vent: Check the external vent for blockages and clean it at least once a year.

3. Inspect Roof and Gutters

Your roof and gutters protect your home from water damage. To maintain them:

Roof Inspection: Look for damaged or missing shingles, and check for signs of leaks or wear.

Clean Gutters: Remove leaves and debris to prevent clogs and ensure proper drainage.

4. Check Your Water Heater

A well-maintained water heater is more efficient and lasts longer:

Flush the Tank: This removes sediment buildup and improves efficiency.

Check for Leaks: Inspect connections and the tank itself for any signs of leakage.

5. Test Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Your safety depends on these devices:

Test Monthly: Ensure they’re working properly.

Replace Batteries: At least once a year and replace the units themselves every 10 years.

6. Inspect Windows and Doors

This is probably one of the biggest overlooked items in home maintenance and absolutely should be done every 6 months. Be sure to open all of your windows on a regular basis especially if they are wood crank windows. Airing out the corners of the windows prevents wood rot. Replacing windows is one of the most expensive home inspection items. Make sure you regularly check to see that windows are:

Free From Moisture: Air out the windows every 6 months or more

Check Seals: Inspect for drafts and replace weatherstripping if necessary.

Clean Tracks: For sliding windows and doors, clean the tracks to ensure smooth operation.

7. Examine Your Foundation

This is probably one of the biggest overlooked items in home maintenance and absolutely should be done every 6 months. Be sure to open all of your windows on a regular basis especially if they are wood crank windows. Airing out the corners of the windows prevents wood rot. Replacing windows is one of the most expensive home inspection items. Make sure you regularly check to see that windows are:

Free From Moisture: Air out the windows every 6 months or more

Check Seals: Inspect for drafts and replace weather-stripping if necessary.

Clean Tracks: For sliding windows and doors, clean the tracks to ensure smooth operation.

8. Service Your Plumbing

This is probably one of the biggest overlooked items in home maintenance and absolutely should be done every 6 months. Be sure to open all of your windows on a regular basis especially if they are wood crank windows. Airing out the corners of the windows prevents wood rot. Replacing windows is one of the most expensive home inspection items. Make sure you regularly check to see that windows are:

Free From Moisture: Air out the windows every 6 months or more

Check Seals: Inspect for drafts and replace weather-stripping if necessary.

Clean Tracks: For sliding windows and doors, clean the tracks to ensure smooth operation.

9. Maintain Your Appliances

Keep your appliances running efficiently with regular upkeep:

Clean Refrigerator Coils: This helps it run more efficiently and last longer.

Check Seals: Ensure the seals on your refrigerator, dishwasher, and oven are tight and in good condition.

Replace refrigerator filters: This helps with clean water and ice.

10. Landscaping Maintenance

Your yard needs care beyond regular mowing:

Prune Trees and Shrubs: Prevent overgrowth and potential damage to your home.

Check for Pests: Look for signs of pests and address issues promptly.

Trees should not touch the perimeter of the house. If they do, consider removing them as they can create foundation issues.

11. Clean and Inspect the Chimney

If you have a fireplace:

Annual Cleaning: Prevent chimney fires and ensure proper ventilation.

Inspect for Damage: Check for cracks or other issues that could pose a safety risk.

12. Maintain Your Deck and Patio

Keep outdoor spaces safe and looking great:

Inspect for Damage: Check for loose boards, nails, or structural issues.

Clean and Seal: Power wash and apply a sealant to protect against the elements.

13. Inspect Electrical Systems

Avoid potential hazards by keeping your electrical system in check:

Check Outlets and Cords: Look for signs of wear or damage.

Professional Inspection: Consider having a licensed electrician perform an annual inspection.

Regular home maintenance is essential for preserving the value and safety of your home. By incorporating these often-overlooked tasks into your annual routine, you can prevent costly repairs, improve efficiency, and ensure a comfortable living environment. Remember, a well-maintained home is not only a joy to live in but also a wise investment for the future.

Stay tuned for more home maintenance tips and expert advice on our blog!

Suzanne Powers

Real Estate Expert & Home Improvement Guru

Experience a seamless home selling and buying process with Powers Realty, Milwaukee’s trusted local experts for over 2 decades. Our tailored approach ensures optimal results. Contact me today to discuss your home needs.

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