Our Home Maintenance Checklist While Cooped Up at Home
So what happens if you’re at home working in #quarantine and your electricity goes out, your water shuts off, your AC breaks or your internet stops working?
Calling up a home repairman for each issue that arises is not only a hassle but now during these times can be more difficult with shortened hours and a reduced workforce.
A quick and easy checklist will help ensure nothing gets left out, potentially causing more costly repairs down the line, and saving you to go out of your way in the future.
WHY IS HOME MAINTENANCE IMPORTANT?
In short, home maintenance saves you money. Maintaining your home on a regular basis helps to prevent big, expensive problems from occurring in your house. If a problem does occur, you are much more likely to catch it early – when it is likely cheaper to fix – if you are doing regular preventative maintenance.
Many homeowners have long lists of projects that they have been putting off – whether it’s due to not having enough time or just because you don’t really want to do them. Well, if you are cooped up at home, there is no excuse not to finally turn that honey-do list into a honey-done list.
OUR HOME MAINTENANCE CHECKLIST
Being stuck at home does not have to be a punishment. Make a to-do list of home maintenance tasks you can conquer and try to attack one per day. You’ll feel more productive, and your home will thank you with decreased repair costs down the line!
1. CHECK YOUR FILTERS AND BATTERIES
Having fresh filters helps your home’s systems to run at their most efficient rate and therefore often saves you money on your power bills. Check air filters, water filters, and even vacuum filters and swap them for a fresh filter wherever necessary. Don’t forget to clean out the lint from the vent to your dryer while you’re at it.
Also, check any device in your home that uses batteries. Smoke alarms, carbon monoxide alarms, even wall clocks can run dead without you noticing, or worse, start beeping in the middle of the night. It goes without saying that having a functioning smoke alarm can save you tons of money by notifying you of smoke before it becomes a complete house fire.
2. DEEP CLEAN APPLIANCES
Appliances can get grime and gunk build up over time. Your everyday wipe-down isn’t going to be enough. Most appliance manuals come with cleaning instructions, so don’t throw them away. Start there when cleaning each machine.
If your stove has removable grates or burner caps, remove them regularly and clean them in the sink – sometimes a good soaking really helps with stubborn build-up. Run your oven on “self-clean” and then wipe out any remaining residue to eliminate the burning smell during cooking.
Empty your fridge of all food and wipe down each shelf and drawer. Don’t put any expired food back in.
Place a bowl or mug of water in your microwave (add a half a lemon if you have it) and heat on high for 3 minutes. Let it sit and steam in the microwave for 3 more minutes and then wipe the inside down with a cloth.
Give your pipes and hot water tank a once-over. Check under each sink and anywhere you have exposed pipes. Put the water on and look for signs of drips or leaks. Also be sure to check toilets to see if any are leaking – often they just need a new flapper for a tight seal. Finding leaks early can save you a ton of money in the long run if something bursts or floods.
4. CHECK YOUR GUTTERS
If your home has gutters, this is a great time to inspect them. Clogged gutters can overflow and cause water damage and rot to your roof. If you aren’t comfortable on a ladder, this is one maintenance task that’s definitely worth hiring out. Even if you’re comfortable on a ladder, make sure to always have a spotter with you.
5. TEST YOUR SUMP PUMP
If your home has a sump pump, it has an important job – preventing your home from flooding. Flood damage can have extremely expensive consequences. It’s so much cheaper to inspect your sump pump annually!
To check, dump water directly into the basin. Everything should be pumped out clearly. If it’s not working, you’ll need to replace any damaged parts, such as the vertical float.
6. PRESSURE WASH YOUR HOME
Many homes get dirty and grimy over the winter season, with mildew build-up from less sun exposure. Give your home a bath for a fresh, clean look. Pick a warm, sunny day so your house dries quicker. Rent a pressure washer if you feel that the grime is really caked on – but often, a garden hose is enough to get off loose grime.
Be sure that all of your windows and doors are tightly closed. Remove screens for best results on windows. You can add a bottle of outdoor cleaner that screws onto your hose and soak and then rinse each surface of your exterior.
7. PURGE UN-NEEDED ITEMS
Purging unneeded items is a great way to spend downtime. The garage, shed, attic, basement, closet and junk drawers are all great places to start.
Examine the systems that you have in place – such as shelves in your garage – and the items that you decide to keep. Determine the best way to store them. Lots of small items – like cans of spray paint – might be best stored in a box or bin on a shelf, for example.
Keeping your home organized and things displayed neatly actually can save you money in the long run. When you can see what you have already, you’re less likely to accidentally purchase duplicates. Additionally, having an organized space often makes you less likely to bring home unnecessary extras that you know you don’t have a spot to store.
8. ESTABLISH AN EMERGENCY PLAN
This is a task that many people don’t want to think about, but if your whole family is spending a lot of time at home, it could be a great time to discuss it. Determine multiple escape routes from your home, and settle on a safe meeting place outside your house. Having a preset plan can make a terrible situation slightly more under your control.
Trilogy Contracting is a home renovation company in the Fraser Valley servicing client’s in the Tri-Cities, Surrey, Langley, Maple Ridge and everywhere in between. If you have a question, feel free to send us an email.
Thanks for reading!
– Trilogy Contracting