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Preventative Home Maintenance List – Summer

This comprehensive list is intended to inform DIY homeowners as well as Handyman Solutions / The Aging In Place Store clients about general home maintenance. The list is by no means a complete list of items that need maintenance in a home. The list is only a compilation of maintenance suggestions based on Handyman Solutions / The Aging In Place Store’s experience in homebuilding, remodeling and repair.

If you need help with any of the summer maintenance list above or have questions, please feel free to call Handyman Solutions / The Aging In Place Store at 573-635-2708. Also, remember to be safe when performing your home maintenance tasks.

Please note there is a lot of work to be done from a ladder in the maintenance list. If you need help with this or any other home maintenance, please call Handyman Solutions / The Aging In Place Store.

  • Replace furnace filter(s): Changing furnace filters will improve air quality and enhance the efficiency and life of your home heating & cooling systems. Furnace filters should be replaced regularly (at a minimum four times a year and more preferably 6 – 12 times a year). Homes with pets should consider changing filters at least monthly. Make sure you use the proper type of filter for your furnace. Make a note of the type being replaced and purchase the same or as similar as possible. The wrong type of filter can limit air flow and possibly even freeze your air conditioning system. A clogged filter - or even the wrong type of filter - can limit air flow and possibly freeze your air conditioning system in Summer or crack the ceramic firebox in Winter allowing carbon monoxide poisoning or house fire. I have personal experience and had to replace the entire furnace due to cracked ceramic firebox. Regular filter changes would have prevented this unnecessary risk and expense.
    • Vacuum refrigeration coils/condensers: Refrigerators, freezers, wine chillers all have coils & condensing units (usually behind a panel at the bottom of the unit – consult your models owners’ manual). Keeping these clean will reduce energy costs and prolong the life of the unit.
    • Inspect for evidence of uninvited guests: Again, not your in-laws! We’re talking about mice, birds, squirrels, insects, etc. Check attic areas and crawl spaces. Look for droppings and possible damage done to wiring, insulation, siding, roofing, etc.
    • Inspect stairs and railings for safety: Give railings a good tug to make sure they’re not loose.
    • Inspect fire extinguishers: We think every home should have at least two (2) good, properly rated fire extinguishers. They should be checked that they are charged, readily accessible, and in good shape. Fire extinguishers that have been discharged should immediately be recharged or replaced. Fire extinguishers come with a warranty (typically 10 years). They should be replaced once the warranty expires.
    • Clean dishwasher filters: Follow your model’s owners manual.
    • Clean gutters and downspouts: Gutters and downspouts perform a simple but vital purpose and they are often overlooked because cleaning them is not enjoyable. Gutters must be cleaned to protect your home. Water must be diverted away from your home’s structure. There is no simple way to clean them. Just bite the bullet, get a good pair of gloves, some trash bags, and a hose and go for it. Be very careful on the ladder, watch for overhead electric lines and wear gloves – there are lots of sharp edges in a gutter.
    • Clear the roof of debris: While you have the ladder out doing the gutters, take the time to clear your roof of any debris and make sure all roof vents are clear also. This is a good time to inspect the roof, flashing and valleys for damage as well. Again exercise caution.
    • Inspect chimneys for uninvited guests, cracks or potential leaks: It’s just one more thing to do while you have the ladder out.
    • Clean the range hood or downdraft filters: Follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Many filters are dishwasher safe, which makes cleaning them very easy.
    • Clean shower head and sink faucet aerators: These can usually be removed from the faucet with a pair of channel locks. Caution: use a rag or rubber gripper (similar to on used to open jar lids) to prevent scratching the finish. The aerators are then soaked in a cleaning solution (CLR or homemade white vinegar and water), rinsed and replaced.
    • Test and maintain, as necessary, all egress windows and doors: Think of egress as a means of escaping a fire. There should be a minimum of two (a door and probably a window) from every sleeping quarter.
    • Exercise electrical circuit breakers: This is the simple process of flipping each one to the off position then back on. (Note: If your computer does not have a UPS, turn it off before doing this task. If it does have UPS, it’s a good time to verify it’s working properly). On rare occasion some breakers become fixed in their ON position and in the event they’re truly needed, they do not operate (shutdown) properly. Should you find one that is difficult to turn to the OFF position or one that when turned back ON, won’t stay ON, contact a licensed electrician. Going beyond the panel cover is not a homeowner project. The worst part of this is having to reset all your alarm clocks, microwave, etc.
    • Vacuum heat/return air registers and exhaust fan grills: They collect lots of dust and keeping them clean will result in efficiency.
    • Inspect door weather stripping and replace as necessary: If you see daylight or ripped/torn material – it’s not good!
    • Lubricate, tighten all bolts and test for safety all overhead garage doors: Follow the garage door opener’s instructions for testing and adjusting.
    • Inspect all exterior caulking:Check around doors, windows, and where two unlike materials meet (siding to brick or siding to trim as examples). Caulking keeps water and wind out.
    • Update your An Ounce of Prevention Book: If there was just one thing we could recommend to enhance the value of your home at resale, it would be to keep a chronological record of all the maintenance, repairs and enhancements made to your home.

A note to An Ounce of Prevention Gold and Platinum Subscribers: the maintenance list above is all included in your subscription. If we haven’t already scheduled your Summer Maintenance Visit, we’ll be contacting you shortly.

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If you need Preventative Home Maintenance services for the summer, call Handyman Solutions today at 573-635-2708 or complete our online form.