Owning a home is a big responsibility. Not only is home ownership a huge financial responsibility, it also requires a lot of time and effort for maintenance. New homeowners have a lot of questions about how to take care of a home, and seasoned homeowners are always learning new things.
For homeowners in North Shore Massachusetts, home maintenance revolves around the changing seasons of the Northeastern states. From warm summers to cold, snowy winters, there’s always something that needs to be done around the house.
Do you know what you should do this month, this quarter, and this season to best protect your home? We’ve put together a checklist to help you stay on top of home maintenance in North Shore Massachusetts.
Monthly Home Maintenance
Do these tasks once a month:
Range Hood - The hood filters above your stovetop can get really, really dirty. Clean out the grease with a mixture of a simple degreaser (from an auto parts store) and hot water. You’ll probably need to let the filter sit for a few minutes.
Fire Extinguishers - Check that your fire extinguishers are fully charged. They should be easy to access in your home, and not showing any signs of damage or lost pressure.
Drain Debris - At least once a month, take a look at the drains in your sinks and tubs and make sure they are draining properly. Clean away any debris or use a clog-removing product to help.
Kitchen Sink Disposal - Speaking of drains, don’t forget about your kitchen sink disposal. Keep it clean and unclogged by flushing it out with hot water and baking soda.
HVAC Filters - For households with pets and allergies, you should be changing the filters of your forced-air heating system about once a month. For other households, it’s okay to change the filters every two to three months. Just take a peek at the filter and change it if it’s dirty.
Quarterly Home Maintenance
Cross these items off your to-do list every three months:
Smoke & Carbon Dioxide Detectors - Test the batteries of your smoke and carbon dioxide detectors at least quarterly and replace as necessary. Just push the “test” button and make sure the alarm sounds. If the alarm still doesn’t sound with fresh batteries, you’ll probably need a replacement detector.
Run Water - Do you have any water sources that aren’t regularly used? This could include guest bathroom toilets or laundry room sinks. To prevent grime from building up, give the toilets a flush and run water through infrequently used faucets.
Water Softener - It only takes a few seconds to check your water softener. Add salt as needed.
Faucets - Check the water pressure of your faucets. If it’s low, there could be sediment buildup in the aerator that needs to be cleaned out.
Seasonal Home Maintenance
While all seasons have their own maintenance needs, we’re going to focus on the big two: spring and fall. The transitional seasons are typically heavier on maintenance duties because you’re recovering from one season and preparing for another. Follow these tips to be ready for whatever the season brings:
Roof - Winter weather in the Northeast can do a number on your roof. Rain, wind, snow, and ice can cause leaks and all kinds of damage. Look for loose, cracked, or missing shingles as well as any signs of water damage. You may need a professional to do a proper inspection and make repairs as needed.
Gutters & Downspouts - Your gutters and downspouts are likely clogged with leaves and other debris from the wet and snowy winter season. Clear ‘em out! Leaving them blocked will only lead to more headaches down the road.
Paint & Siding - Take a good look at the state of the paint and siding around your house. Consider adding a coat of fresh paint or touch up a few spots as needed. Paint and siding do more than just add curb appeal; they help protect your home from mold and rot.
Windows & Doors - Your windows and doors may be vulnerable to leaking air and water. Use caulk to fill in any cracks and reinforce the edges. If there is excessive damage, you may need to replace the sills. As for window screens, make sure they are in good working condition and repair or replace as needed.
Exterior Inspection - Overall, the best home maintenance task you can do in the spring is to thoroughly inspect the exterior of your house. Keep an eye out for any drainage issues including puddles that stand close to your home for more than a day. Also, take a good look at your foundation and fill in any small cracks with caulk. Larger cracks may need the attention of a professional.
Flush Flush Flush - There are several water systems in your home that will need to be flushed out before winter. Start with flushing your hot water heater to remove sediment. Also, turn off and flush your outdoor water faucets and hoses.
Clean The Chimney - You’re going to want to enjoy nice winter evenings by your cozy fireplace. Get your chimney professionally cleaned and inspected. It doesn’t really matter if you do this in the fall or spring, as long as you do once per year.
Heating - The number one thing a New England homeowner should have in order before the winter months is their heating system. It’s a good idea to get your furnace inspected every year, or every other year at a minimum. Remember, small leaks through windows and doors can add big bucks to heating bills. Check them out and caulk them up!
Driveway & Pavement - Do you have any cracks in your driveway or other paved areas? During the winter, water can freeze and expand in these cracks, causing additional damage. Do yourself a favor and reseal your driveway before winter hits.
Sump Pump - Your sump pump is your best friend during the wet winter months. Be sure to get it tested and make sure it’s working properly. Better now than when it’s too late.
Being a homeowner in Massachusetts requires a little extra effort, but it’s all worth it. Proper home maintenance keeps your house and family safe. If you can keep up your home on a monthly, quarterly, and seasonal basis, you’ll be able to enjoy it every day of the year.
Need A Little More Than Maintenance?
Does your home need a little bit more than routine maintenance? Consider remodeling to breathe new life into your home. Maintenance keeps your house in good shape, remodeling takes it to the next level.
At Godfrey Design-Build, we work with homeowners like you in the North Shore Massachusetts area to help you create the space you’ve always imaged. We remodel kitchens, bathrooms, decks, master suites, and even whole homes. Best of all, we guide you all the way from start to finish, from initial designs to final touches.
A little home maintenance can only take you so far. If you’d like to talk with us about your remodeling options, contact us today. We’re here to help you create the home of your dreams.