Back to School at
Home > Mom's Life > Managing Your Home > Home Improvements > Home Maintenance Checklist

Home Maintenance Checklist

Water, Water Everywhere



  • Inspect for signs of water and wind damage, including curled, damaged, loose, or missing shingles.

  • Examine edges for damage to roof sheathing.

  • Check flashing around chimney, vent stack, skylights, roof edges, dormers, etc.

  • Inspect vents and louvers to make sure they're clear and operating correctly.

  • Inspect and clean screens on vents and louvers.

  • Examine chimney cap and clean if necessary.


Plumbing and Drainage


  • Check grading around your house to assure proper water drainage.

  • Check hard and soft surfaces (soil and asphalt or concrete) for depressions and settling.

  • Inspect gutters and downspouts for damage and clogs.


  • Check main water supply handle to make sure it's working properly.

  • Check pipes for signs of leaks/cracks.

  • Check faucets, hoses, toilets, etc., for leaks. Also inspect shutoff valves for sinks, toilets, laundry, and main water shutoff valve.

  • Check basement and foundation walls for dampness or water marks.

  • Examine caulking around sinks, bathtubs, and showers.

  • Examine tubs, showers, and sinks (in and around) to make sure they're draining properly.

House on Fire!


  • Inspect chimney for signs of damage.

  • Check chimney cap to make sure it's clear of debris, nests, etc.


  • Check all smoke alarms to make sure they're in working order.

  • Have furnace inspected to make sure it's in proper working order.

Rock Solid? Maybe Not!


  • Check foundation walls for cracks and termite tubes, as well as other indications of termite and/or wood borer problems.

  • Check masonry, siding, etc., for holes and cracks.

  • Inspect wood surfaces-decks, porches, etc.-for signs of wood damage/rot.


  • Inspect foundation walls for cracks and termite tubes, as well as other indications of termite and/or wood borer problems.

  • Check all wood beams, joists, etc., for signs of rotten wood.

Uninvited Guests


  • Check all materials and structures — siding, roof, foundation, vents, louvers, etc. — for damage and signs of entry, including cracks and holes.

  • Look for bird and insect nests under eaves, along ledges, and so on.


  • Check attic for signs of entry by pests and/or nests.


Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Common Household Disasters © 2005 by Paul Hayman and Sonia Weiss. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

To order this book visit Amazon's web site or call 1-800-253-6476.

September 1, 2014

Don't forget to hydrate! Forego sugary juices and sodas and pack a bottle of water in your child's lunch. If your child likes a little more flavor, spice it up with lemon, lime, cucumbers, or fresh fruit.

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Twitter icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks

get ready for school!

We’ve got your
shopping list,
lunch menu,
and more.



Join BIC on our mission to save handwriting and Fight For Your Write! Writing helps kids become better readers, boosts their confidence and sparks their creativity. Visit to sign our petition to save handwriting!

14 Back-to-School Fashion Trends for 2014
Send your kids back to school looking sharp! Check out 2014's hottest back-to-school fashion trends, from clothes to shoes and accessories.

Put a Stop to Bedtime Struggles
Steer clear of tears at bedtime with these helpful bedtime tips and this printable bedtime routine checklist for kids.

Kindergarten Readiness App Wins Gold
Our Kindergarten Readiness app won the Gold Award of Excellence in the educational category at the 2014 Communicator Awards. This valuable checklist comes with games and activities to help your child practice the essential skills she needs for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!