Stay-at-home moms have one of the hardest jobs in the world. There are no set hours and plenty of overtime to be done. Managing the kids’ activities, school schedules, homework, illnesses, and sleepovers is really just the beginning. There’s laundry, grocery shopping, cooking, and cleaning, too.
With an already very full plate, it can be challenging to handle routine home maintenance on top of it all. However, neglecting it can mean more unwelcome and expensive surprises when the water heater blows or you need to call for black mold removal due to leaking gutters.
In an attempt to make life just a little easier for you, we have compiled a handy checklist of routine home maintenance. With it you can set yourself reminders for addressing items at the ideal interval for getting the longest possible life out of all your home’s systems.
The work can definitely be a hassle to complete at any time, but at least you have greater control over it when you address potential issues before they happen. And if you really are too busy – we get it! – the list can help you remind “Honey” when it’s time for that work to get done.
The following items should be addressed yearly. If you can remember the approximate date of installation for each of these home elements, that info can help you decide when to perform maintenance each year. If not, just try to spread the maintenance out over the course of the year so that you don’t have more than one thing to worry about each month.
· Flush the water heater
· Have a professional roof inspection
· Inspect and repair caulk around bathroom fixtures and windows
· Lubricate locks and door hinges/springs
· Clean the gutters (this may need doing twice per year if you have a lot of trees)
Every six months or so, see to the following home maintenance tasks.
· Clean out the dryer vent
· Check smoke and carbon monoxide detectors; replace batteries
· Clean refrigerator coils and replace water dispenser filter
Certain tasks are best done to prepare for the coming season. We’ve placed these tasks in terms of the season that they’ll prepare you for, so Winter tasks are really best done at the end of Fall.
· Turn off automatic sprinklers and blow out water lines
· Check for drafts by slowly walking around the home with lit incense. The smoke will drift toward drafty areas which you can then seal with caulk.
· Cover outdoor air conditioning/HVAC units
Repair the home heating system timely to ensure better heating oil usage. This improves the heating oil levels effectively. You can Learn more about it here and find out how heating oil works to keep your home warm in the winter season.
· Look for signs of pests, including spiders, wasps, and ants
· HVAC service
· Check driveways and sidewalks for cracks that occurred over the winter
· Inspect decks for damage and plan to restain if necessary
· Trim weeds away from HVAC system to help it run efficiently
· Inspect sprinklers and get them turned on
· Empty gas from the lawn mower and store it inside
· Have fireplaces cleaned and inspected
· Check for holes near the foundation; fill them if necessary to prevent water from getting into the house
This is not an exhaustive list, and your needs may vary based on the way your home is built. But, it’s a good jumping off point for prioritizing those things that often fall by the wayside during busy times (like always).
While it can be challenging to make time for this stuff, it is less challenging to have your hot water heater serviced each year than it is to deal with the aftermath of the flood that happens when it fails unexpectedly. Too much lint build-up in the dryer vent can cause a fire, and clogged gutters can force water inside the walls of your home.
Overseeing home maintenance is definitely challenging at times, but you are your family’s hero and you’ve totally got this!