Owning your first home is fun and exciting as you start envisioning endless possibilities of improvements you could make. New homeowners however do need to be aware of routine maintenance that is required for the proper upkeep of their homes.
This new free checklist will get you started in learning what needs to be inspected around your home. It covers kitchens and bathrooms as well as whole house checks that are easy for a novice homeowner.
Kitchen Maintenance Checklist
The kitchen is a good place to start. It gets a lot of use, has many appliances and of course, is where you prepare food.
- Garbage Disposal – Check under the cabinet to make sure the garbage disposal is not leaking. Check and hand-tighten any PVC pipe fitting that may be loose.
- If the disposal has an odor, either add ice or lemon to it while running the disposal.
- Refrigerator Coils – The refrigerator will have coils either underneath or on the back. These coils collect dust over time and need to be cleaned for optimal cooling. Start by carefully using the vacuum hose extension to suck up the dust. If the coils are very dirty consider purchasing a coil brush that is used for wiping across the coils.
- Refrigerator Water Filter – Change a refrigerator water filter about every 6 months. There should be some indicators to help advise when it is time for a change.
- Dishwasher Trap – Check the bottom of the dishwasher for debris left behind and collected. You may have to remove the filter trap and empty it.
- Leaky Faucet – Leaking is probably due to worn-out stem valves. Most are easily changed and parts might be found at the local home improvement store. Check online for your brand’s manual, but generally, you unscrew the handles and remove them to access the valves. Then unscrew the stem valves and insert the new ones. Remember to first turn off the water supply under the cabinet.
- Also, take this time to clean out the aerator in the faucet. Unscrew the end of the faucet, the aerator over time collects debris and can be cleaned off.
- Check Fire Extinguishers – Inspect your fire extinguisher in the kitchen. If you don’t have a fire extinguisher, go out and purchase one.
- Check Smoke Detector – Test and check the smoke detectors in the whole house. Go ahead and insert fresh new batteries into all of them.
Bathroom Maintenance Checklist
- Running Toilet – Check the water connections around the toilet and the working condition of the parts inside the toilet. You just want to make sure nothing is leaking and it is not continuously running. Make any adjustments needed at this time.
- Leaky Faucet – Just like in the kitchen, replace any leaking valve stems.
- Caulk Tub Surround – Check the caulking around the tub or shower. Apply new caulk if it is old and worn out or peeling away.
Additional Maintenance Checklist
- Check and change the air conditioning filter. The filter should be found by an access panel in the air handler.
- Check the dryer vent for lent and clean it out. Also, inspect the exhaust tube from the dryer and clean out any lint from it.
- Clean Gutters – About once a year clean out the gutters of leaves and debris.
- Service Air Conditioner – Annually have the A/C serviced by a licensed technician to ensure its longevity.
- Inspect The Roof – Check the roof’s condition carefully. Make sure the shingles or other covering are in good condition.
- Seal Window Leaks – Check all windows and doors for air leaks. Apply new caulking or weather stripping as needed.
- Check Insulation In Attic – Make sure there is ample insulation in the attic. This will reduce energy bills and provide a more comfortable environment.
- Check out even more helpful ideas over at Zillow.com. They have compiled a nice list to complement the one here.
Know The Location Of
- Water Shutoffs – The main house water supply shutoff as well as shutoffs for the water heater and faucets.
- Electrical Panel(s) – Know where the panel is and how to reset breakers. Ideally, know what each breaker controls and create a map of such information. Also read: Outlet Not Working, Breaker Not Tripped | Advice
- Gas Meter And Shutoff – If you have a gas meter know its location.
- Attic Access – Know where the access panels are to the attic.
- Hot Water Heaters – Know where the hot water heaters are and check their condition. Also, check their temperature setting and make adjustments as needed.
This list is of course not comprehensive as every house is different. It does cover most of the more common points of concern and are basic skills that most homeowners can tackle themselves.