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Home maintenance checklist: An essential seasonal guide

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While the thought of cleaning out your gutters might not exactly bring a smile to your face, regular home maintenance helps keep your home in tiptop shape. Plus, a Saturday spent working around the house can save you big money in the long run.

Since most home insurance policies don’t cover the cost of maintenance, experts recommend budgeting one to three percent of your home’s value each year for repairs. Some tasks require bringing in a professional, but you can check off most by yourself.

How to use this guide: Our interactive home maintenance checklist makes completing these tasks easier and more organized than ever. You can mark items off as you complete them, edit or remove maintenance items and then print the customized checklist for your home management binder.

Monthly home maintenance tasks

You’ll never forget to change your air filters again with our handy monthly maintenance guide. Completing many of these tasks ensures that your appliances continue to work safely and efficiently. Plus, remembering to clean out the garbage disposal every few weeks will rid your home of those mysterious kitchen odors.

Monthly home maintenance checklist

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These home maintenance tasks should be performed monthly to keep your home and appliances in safe, working order.

Ensure your smoke detector is in working order by testing the batteries every month, as recommended by the U.S. Fire Administration.

Remove household dust and debris from your HVAC filters by checking and changing them monthly. In smaller households, this task can wait up to three months.

Rid your kitchen of garbage disposal smells by placing orange and lemon peels in the disposal and grinding them up.

Check that your fire extinguisher is fully charged and in its rightful place, with no visible signs of damage, and no obstruction blocking the equipment.

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Prevent a fire hazard by cleaning out the lint buildup in your dryer. Disconnect the dryer and vacuum out the vent before reconnecting.

Spring home maintenance

When spring rolls around, you’re likely itching to spend some time outdoors. This list will get your house ready for warm weather and spring cleaning. Some of this season’s maintenance tasks are also kid-friendly, so you can save yourself some trouble by adding easy and safe tasks to your child’s chore chart.

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Spring home maintenance

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As the world comes alive in springtime, it’s the perfect opportunity to get your house and outdoor landscapes ready for warm weather and sunshine.

Roof repairs may be needed once winter storms have passed. You can inspect your roof from the ground using binoculars. If you spy damage (like missing shingles), call in a professional.

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Consider a professional

Save your spring blooms by inspecting your irrigation system at the start of the season. Walk the property to ensure sprinkler heads haven’t been moved or damaged.

Examine the base or footing of your home to see if there are any cracks in the foundation. You’ll also want to look for wall gaps, leaks, damp crawl spaces, or standing water.

Prevent pests from entering your home by inspecting window screens and replacing any torn or damaged ones. Look for signs of termites around woodwork as you complete this task.

Check for rot on your outdoor wood finishings such as decks, railing, and window seals. Staining and resealing decks, fences, and pergolas makes them last longer.

It’s spring cleaning season! Breathe new life into your home by giving it a bath from top to bottom. Let your kids handle wiping down the baseboards and dusting.

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Check your driveway and pavement for any cracks that may have occurred during winter weather. Reseal small nicks yourself with a driveway crack filler.

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Get your unit looked at in spring to make sure your air conditioning is running smoothly and avoid the long summer waitlist.

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Summer home maintenance

Summertime and the living’s, well, hot. Get your house ready for barbecue season while also keeping yourself and your home safe from the scorching sun with this list of summer maintenance tasks. We recommend tackling outdoor tasks early in the morning and getting your pest control tasks accomplished sooner rather than later to avoid creepy crawlers.

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Summer home maintenance

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The grill is hot and so is the weather. Get your home ready for sunshine and prevent summer pests with our summer maintenance checklist.

Stock up on pest repellent and inspect your indoor and outdoor areas for signs of spiders, ants, and more. It’s also a good time of year to schedule a professional pest control appointment.

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Consider a professional

Get ready for grilling season by cleaning your cookout station at the beginning of summer. Deep clean the grill using a grill brush or paint scraper to get debris off.

Improve your curb appeal in time for summer guests by pressure washing your home exterior and driveway. Consider calling a professional if your home is two stories.

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Home burglaries peak during summertime, so you’ll want to test your home security system before you head out of town for a family vacation.

Run your ceiling fan counter clockwise during hot summer months to pull air straight down. You’ll want to run it on its highest setting to get the biggest cool down.

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Keep out hot, dry air by draft-proofing your home. You can re-caulk windows and doors or use weatherstripping or sash weights to reseal your home.

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Fall home maintenance

As the leaves change, so should your home and lawn upkeep. While these tasks might not be the most exciting way to spend a Sunday during football season, you’ll thank yourself later for tackling these tasks in the crisp fall air. Prepping your home for winter is essential during this time to prevent major home repairs in the new year.

A man cleaning out a gutter

Fall home maintenance

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Get outside and enjoy the crisp air and jewel tones of fall this autumn. Make it a family affair by letting your kids help out with simple tasks around the yard.

Don’t like cold showers? Drain and flush your water heater to prevent material buildup that decreases efficiency. You can knock this DIY task out in 30 minutes or less.

This seemingly small task can pay off big when winter hits. Filling cracks in your driveway prevents cracks from growing bigger during freezes.

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Early fall is the best time of year to reseed your lawn, as seed germination works best in warm soil temperatures and cool air helps grass grow.

Before cold weather rolls in schedule an inspection for your HVAC unit. You’ll want to ensure it's in working order to prevent fire risks and energy waste.

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Fall foliage doesn’t just fill the trees with beautiful warm tones – leaves can clog your gutters and downspouts if they aren’t attended to. Prevent clogs by cleaning or replacing these.

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Winter home maintenance

Santa’s not the only one with a list to check this winter. This holiday season, prevent those pesky pipe bursts and other winter wear and tear with these seasonal maintenance tasks. You’ll also want to winterize your home to reduce energy usage and save money on your heating bill.

As soon as the holiday decorations go up, it’s also a great time to pet-proof your home as many winter plants — such as poinsettias and Christmas trees — can be deadly for furry companions.

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Winter home maintenance

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Tis the season for holiday decorations and house guests. It's also time to get your home and appliances ready for harsh winter weather conditions.

Get ready for cozy nights by using a chimney sweep to rid your fireplace and chimney of debris that could present a fire hazard.

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Consider a professional

Your ceiling fans should run clockwise during winter to pull cool air up toward the ceiling. Keep the fan on its lowest setting.

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Drain and disconnect your hoses from the outdoor water valve at the beginning of winter to prevent freezing pipes.

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Draft-proof your home by re-caulking any windows and doors in need. You can also use weatherstripping or sash weights to reseal your home.

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Repeats biannually

Frozen pipes are one of the most common and costly causes of property damage. Prevent this expensive headache by adding insulation to the basement, attic, and crawl spaces.

Plastic furniture can crack and wrought iron can rust when left outside in the winter elements. Consider storing your lawn chairs in the garage or a storage unit.

Annual reminders

Some home maintenance tasks only require your attention just once a year, such as the dreaded oven clean. These tasks are relatively painless (updating your home insurance policy takes just minutes!) but save you money in the long term. Plus, reviewing your family emergency plan can help keep you and your family safe in the event of an unprecedented disaster.

Schedule this annual maintenance at the start of the new year so you never forget to check these tasks off.

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Annual home maintenance

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Some maintenance tasks only need to be revisited once a year. These annual items help keep your house in tiptop shape.

Improve the quality of the food you cook by removing food and residue buildup through a deep oven clean and scrub. If you’re an avid baker, consider doing this task quarterly.

Review what to do in case of a home emergency: Everyone should know their escape route, whom to call when they escape, and where the home emergency kit is located.

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Revisit your home insurance policy to make sure there are no gaps in coverage. You can conduct a home inventory to catalog new belongings and home upgrades.

Get rid of stains and extend the life of your carpet by getting it professionally cleaned once a year. Clean carpets can improve your health by eliminating allergens from your home.

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Flip any double-sided mattresses in your home at least once a year to get the most out of your sleep.

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Printable home maintenance checklist

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If you prefer to check items off with a pencil or pen, you can use our free printable home maintenance checklist. You can add these sheets to your home management binder with a printer and a hole puncher.

Before you became a homeowner, you probably never knew how much pride a trimmed hedge could bring. While maintaining a home isn’t always fun, seeing the fruits of your labor is plenty rewarding.

Protect your home and the belongings inside of it with a home insurance policy that covers you (and all of your hard work) in the event of a disaster.

Sources: Home Depot

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Taylor Covington
Taylor Covington LinkedIn

An in-house quantitative researcher for The Zebra, Taylor collects, organizes, and analyzes opinions and data to solve problems, explore issues, and predict trends. In her hometown of Austin, Texas, she can be found reading at Half Price Books or eating the world's greatest pizza at Via 313.