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Home Maintenance Schedule

Use the Home Maintenance Checklist to make sure your home is in good repair and for more information on why each of the following steps is important. This schedule will help you decide what time of year is best for each safety precaution. Also see the Top 10 Home Maintenance Projects for Spring.



  • Clear leaves and other debris from around outside air conditioner. Remove cover if used.

  • Clear debris out of window wells, storm drains, gutters, downspouts, and down-spout extenders.

  • Inspect gutters for signs of sagging or damage. Fix as necessary. Check down-spout extenders to make sure they're firmly attached.

  • Trim back overhanging limbs on trees. Trim back shrubs if overgrown around house.

  • Check weather stripping on windows and doors for fit and condition. Repair as necessary.

  • Clean screens on roof vents and louvers.

  • Clean chimney cap if necessary.

  • Seek and destroy early signs of bird and stinging insect nests in key spots -- eaves, ledges, etc.

  • Repair any weather damage/holes/cracks on the following: roof, siding, trim, and windows.

  • Have chimney cleaned and checked (if you don't do it in the fall).

  • Remove insulation from outdoor faucets, pipes in unheated garages, pipes in crawl spaces, etc.

  • Turn on water to outdoor faucets. Turn on sprinkler system; check sprinkler heads. Make repairs as necessary.

  • Clean and inspect all window and door screens. Make repairs/replacements as necessary.

  • Have air conditioner checked and serviced if necessary.

  • Check bricks or blocks for cracked mortar or loose joints.

  • Check painted surfaces for paint failure, water damage, or mildew.

  • Examine all trim for fit, damage, and condition.

  • Check caulking where two different materials meet, where wood siding joins the foundation wall, at inside corners, and where the window and door trim meets the siding.

  • Check for broken or cracked glass and damaged screens or storm windows.


  • Test smoke alarms (at onset of daylight saving time). Replace weak batteries.

  • Clean out sump tank and clear screen on sump pump.

  • Remove hair from drains in sinks, tubs, and showers. Use a drain cleaner approved for the materials in your plumbing system if necessary.

  • Check for loose putty around glass panes.

  • Test all ground-fault circuit interrupters, especially after electrical storms.



  • Check sludge and scum level in septic tank (if you have a septic system). Have system serviced if necessary.

  • Have lateral sewer line inspected and cleared, or apply a root killer.


  • Test all ground-fault circuit interrupters, if you don't do it monthly (on outside circuits, too).

  • Inspect all electrical cords for wear.

  • Inspect washer hoses and dryer vent system (both indoors and out).

  • Remove hair from drains in sinks, tubs, and showers. Use a drain cleaner approved for the materials in your plumbing system if necessary.

  • Check pressure levels on fire extinguishers. Service if necessary.


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.


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