How basic is home maintenance?

The Annual Home Maintenance Checklist; Spring · The Exterior of Your Home. If your property has trees, have them inspected by a certified arborist, who can check for signs of disease or dead branches and detect problems before they worsen and kill a tree. The untrained eye could overlook signs of damage, and a dead or dying tree represents a hazard to your safety, your home and neighboring properties. Learn more about the best garden hoses from Wirecutter.

Even if you don't use the chimney regularly, the chimney still needs a regular check. A chimney carries hazardous gases from the fireplace, wood stove, or oven out of your home, helping to keep the indoor air breathable. Your chimney should be inspected annually and cleaned periodically, depending on how often you use it, according to the United States Chimney Safety Institute. For the summer, you and your lawnmower should be close friends.

Place the mower in the highest position so as not to cut the grass too short and expose it to drought and weeds. Dig up the weed (this should be a weekly matter). Water dead plants and flowers that have no longer blossomed. These steps will keep your garden tidy and your neighbors happy.

If you hire a professional landscaper, check local ordinances, as some communities restrict the use of some equipment during the summer. Do everything you can to keep it clean. Remove the surface frequently to keep leaves and debris out of the water. Rub the sides once or twice a month to keep algae growth under control.

Check the filter basket and chemical levels weekly. And keep an eye on the water level. If you are planning to paint your facade or repair your porch, summer is a great time to do so. You may get tired of gardening in early fall, but it's a good season to plant perennials, such as peonies, aguillanas, or hydrangeas.

Fall is also a good time to plant trees and shrubs and replant grass. Be sure to give new plants plenty of water before they go dormant, and in spring, they may bloom for the first time, depending on the variety. Plant bulbs such as tulips, daffodils and hyacinths anytime before the ground freezes. Those hours spent digging small holes and burying bulbs will be well worth it when they bloom in all their glory in early spring.

Once the leaves fall, call the gutter company to clean and inspect them. Any repairs that need to be made to gutters or downspouts must be done before winter sets in. Your workers should also inspect the roof for loose or broken tiles. Schedule work before heavy snow, as it could leave leaves and debris frozen in gutters, faucets and hoses.

Before the first freeze, drain and turn off the outdoor faucets so that they do not freeze. Roll up the hoses and store them for the winter. Once the sweaters come out of the closet, it's time to accept the fact that pool season is over. Clean, close and cover your pool during the winter, or call the pool maintenance company to do the work for you.

Have your oven and ducts repaired. A clean system will be more energy efficient, and an inspection will alert you to any problems. Check and replace air filters, as needed. Test the thermostat to make sure it is working properly.

Make sure that the heating grilles are open and that nothing blocks them. If you didn't clean and inspect your chimney in spring, call a chimney sweep now and do so before you start using the fireplace or oven. Clothes dryers cause 2,900 fires a year, and many of them occur in the fall and winter, according to the U.S. Fire Administration.

Lint is a major culprit, so have an HVAC specialist who specializes in dryer vents or vents inspect and clean your dryer vents annually. Homes require internal and external maintenance with regular cleaning and inspections to ensure that everything is safe and functional. Seasonal maintenance tends to meet climatic and usage needs, such as raking leaves and closing the pool. Appliances and utilities must be inspected and repaired throughout the life of your home.

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Judy Laubach
Judy Laubach

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