The Homeowner's Guide to Home Maintenance

October 01, 2021


As a homeowner, maintaining your home is an important responsibility. Timely maintenance, repairs and improvements help protect your home, provide your family with greater comfort and even enhance your home's value. Maintaining your home can also help you avoid costly problems later on.

Caulking windows

Once you move in, it's a good idea to set aside part of your monthly budget toward savings that could go to your home maintenance needs or expenses. Many home maintenance tasks you can accomplish yourself. However, you may need to consider hiring professional help if you run into any large issues.

The following monthly and seasonal checklists can help you organize the process.

Monthly Home Maintenance Checklist

  • Clean your furnace filter to remove dust buildup.
  • Check the water softener and replenish salt if needed.
  • Clean faucet aerators and showerheads to remove mineral deposits.
  • Inspect and unclog your tub and sink drains.
  • Test smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors, fire extinguishers and all ground-fault circuit interrupters.
  • Inspect all of your electrical cords for any wear and tear.
  • Vacuum all heat registers and heat vents.
  • Make sure indoor and outdoor air vents are not blocked.
  • Flush out hot water from the water heater to remove accumulated sediment.
  • Clean your garbage disposal.

Spring and Summer Home Maintenance Checklist

  • Change the batteries in smoke, fire and carbon monoxide detectors.
  • Service your home's heating and cooling systems and replace filters.
  • Clean your gutters and downspouts. Seal any leaks in the gutter seams.
  • Check for any plumbing leaks. Replace leaky faucet seals and washers if needed.
  • Inspect your roof to look for issues such as buckling, damaged or missing shingles, or piles of leaves.
  • Check the foundation, driveway, sidewalks and walkways for cracks and make repairs as necessary.
  • Inspect your exterior for peeling paint or dry-rotted caulk. Repaint and caulk if needed.
  • Clean your window and door screens; replace any that are damaged.
  • Check and replace dry-rotted weather stripping for all doors and windows.
  • Remove and clean your storm windows.
  • Inspect your attic, roof and eaves for water damage and proper ventilation.
  • Open your attic vents.
  • Clean your stove hood, grease traps, dryer vents, room fans and stove burners.
  • Replace any faulty seals on your refrigerator and clean the coils.
  • Inspect your basement for dampness and seal appropriately.

Fall and Winter Home Maintenance Checklist

  • Change the batteries in smoke, fire and carbon monoxide detectors.
  • Service your home's heating and cooling systems and replace filters.
  • Clean the gutters and downspouts. Seal any leaks in the gutter seams.
  • Check for any plumbing leaks. Replace leaky faucet seals and washers if needed.
  • Clean your fireplace.
  • Hire a professional to clean your chimney and flue.
  • Clean your humidifier.
  • Check insulation and replace it if necessary.
  • Remove any window air conditioners.
  • Remove window and door screens, and clean them before putting them in storage.
  • Install storm windows. Be sure to clean and repair them before they're installed.
  • Remove wasp nests, and inspect for termites and wood rot, especially on windows and exterior door frames.
  • Inspect your sump pump. Keep an eye out for any debris, rust or erosion.
  • Drain and turn off outside faucets if you live in a region with very cold winters.
  • Oil your door locks, especially if you live in a region with very cold winters.

Although this may feel like a lot of work, a little can go a long way in maintaining the condition of your home.

To learn more about owning and maintaining your home, visit My Home by Freddie Mac®.