Your Home Maintenance Partner

Home Improvements

Home Maintenance Checklist

This site is built as a project of non-profit organizations to be able to help parents, home-owners to have some guides on how they keep their homes. From door repair experts, to HVAC techs, to plumbers, to roofing and flooring pros, we will be giving you a home maintenance checklist to guide you on a day-to-day or annual basis. 


We believe that home is everywhere we start our day, and that nobody can deny the fact that when you wake up to some mess in your home, you cant proceed your day without calling a service call, for example, while taking shower going to work, your water heater tank starts to leak. How can you go on without calling someone to repair this?  


This is why our site is crafted upon. We are a group of moms from Chicago, IL and TX who experience so much as home makers and we wanted to help you as well. In addition to this, we will be also sharing with you some parenting tips that would add up to the total home making process. 


So for the first Home Maintenance Checklist, we are sharing with you HouseSmarts TV. 


Let’s begin. 


Home sweet home – Your humble abode. You  know, day in and day out, we go about our lives often not thinking about the fact  that, while owning a home requires a certain amount of diligence,when it comes to upkeep.


Now maybe it will help if we explain just how the home works. It’s something I like to call the 60 minute inspection. Now don’t worry we’re  not gonna take 60 minutes to explain it  because, really, the show is only a half an hour. But you don’t need to be a home inspector to follow along come with me.  


Let’s start with your exterior, from the top to the bottom ,your roof probably gets the most wear and tear outside. All the more reason to inspect it regularly for shingle integrity and signs of a leak. Check the flashing and any other seams that meet the house, and don’t forget those gutters drawing water away from the roof.The structure is key to stain dry.  Lastly every year thousands  of people fall off ladders and wind up in the emergency room, so if you’re not comfortable, you should hire a licensed roofing contractor.


Look at your home’s foundation for any signs of poor drainage or structural issues. Here’s a template for your slicker, and take a walk around the perimeter during a rainstorm to see how the water behaves. Now you can’t just look at the foundation from the outside you need to come on the inside as well to see what’s going on below great. 


This home has a basement, so you get a clear view of the  walls, take a look at that small hairline crack now that’s not a real structural  issue, but you gotta keep an eye on it to make sure that water doesn’t come in . Chances are if you have a basement, you have some pumps or ejector pumps like  this one here. These pumps should be checked out and the pits should be cleaned on an annual basis, and remember  that all pumps fail, so every seven years, those pumps and switches should be changed out. 


The dryer vent needs to be cleaned annually. At the hardware store you can buy a kit with a flexible brush  that’ll make this job a little easier.  You have to take the hose apart from the back of the dryer, clean that whole area  up through the pipe using a vacuum  cleaner and then the vent on the outside, oh, and your washing machine those hot  and cold water hoses, those should be replaced every three to five years or they could potentially burst.


You gotto change that filter on your forced air unit on a regular basis, sometimes monthly depending on the type that you use because it’s going to grab all that particulate in the air. I’m a fan of the pleated filters, now furnaces themselves or boilers should be inspected and cleaned by a licensed HVAC contractor on an annual basis. Include your hot water tanks on this category too because this is something that you use daily and may get into further trouble and may need a water heater repair service if not checked regularly. It is costly to call an emergency plumbing service, so before that happens, make sure tanks are properly maintained. That way you can ensure that it’s running at peak efficiency and safely. 


Let’s talk about your fireplace. This is something you definitely have to pay attention to now. This is a gas fireplace. It’s really easy to use. You turn the gas on, light it and you go but. It still needs to be cleaned and inspected by a professional now. If this is something you use all the time, it should be done every two to three years but if it’s a wood-burning fireplace and you’re burning more than six to eight fires annually that’s something you should do once a year. It needs to be cleaned and inspected to make sure that it’s operating safe and efficiently.


In the kitchen, clean the coils under your  refrigerator at least once a year take the topkick cover off with a couple of screws then take a duster like this and work underneath there to clean those coils, so that you boost the efficiency and you see all that debris you take out  of there.  It’s gonna make this system run so much better. 


Now your dishwasher should clean that twice a year. Put it on  the highest setting and let it run halfway through the cycle, open it up and then pour in a calcium and lime and rust cleaner to complete the cycle, so that your dishwasher works more efficiently.


Underneath the sink, you’re probably banging into this pipe all the time. Tighten those connections, so they’re not leaking and causing a larger problem. Speaking of tightening use a screwdriver and tighten up those handles on the face of all the cabinets. That way everything works so much better. Chances are you have a programmable thermostat that runs off of a couple of double- A batteries. It’s a good idea to swap these out on an annual basis to make sure that it operates correctly, and hopefully you have carbon monoxide and smoke detectors in your home. Now we all know that you should be changing these batteries twice a year, but did you know that these devices have a life cycle-  every five to seven years they should be replaced.


Now we use our bathrooms a lot. and this is a breeding ground for mildew and mold, and if you have a tile shower like this, you want to pay attention to the caulking and the grout . When you’re in there taking a shower, take a good close look if you see cracking and separation in the grout that can mean that water is getting back behind there and it should be touched up with new grout .Remember that on the vertical seams and where the tile meets the floor, that should all be cocked not grouted because there’s movement there and you want to make sure you have a nice tight seal.


In addition to above’s point, another thing that you should really pay attention is your door and windows. As season change in Chicagoland, the exterior doors and windows might not cope with the total and extreme change in weather. This causes problem as cold air may enter through those leaks. This problem usually needs a professional door repairman, as this gets expensive when the problem of doors progress.


A whirlwind tour I know, but that’s just like real life right now, seriously if you need some help, just see our blog posts. Now you can prioritize which areas to address first and which might need the aid of a professional all about maintaining your home. 

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