Friday, October 25, 2013

Home maintenance cheat sheet

Just as your car requires maintenance, so does your house. Old or new, proper upkeep will mean preventing damage or repairing it. 

Get your air conditioning inspected and serviced on a yearly basis.

Settling in your home might not quite be the life of leisure you thought of but it needn’t be one of drudgery if you follow a maintenance schedule. 

Not all replacements, repairs and management need to be done in one fell swoop. Often, you can actually do a more effective job of it when the tasks are executed in specific timeframes and intervals. Keeping a close eye on your house’s maintenance will help limit nasty and unwelcome problems from popping up at the most inopportune moments. 

You can do the more complicated jobs yourself or call in the professionals. However, if you don't decide to handle it, make sure they get done: 

Every month

  • Sink, shower, tub drains and stoppers: Check build-up of dirt, clean it out and replace rubber seals if needed.
  • Range hood: Clean the grease filter.
  • Toilets and faucets: For bathrooms that aren’t used regularly, flush toilets and turn on the tap for a few seconds to let water run though the sinks.
  • Aircon filters: Depending on the type of filter, if it is reusable, clean it. If not, replace.

Every 3 months

  • Outdoor drains: Check and make sure there are no blockages that can cause standing water.
  • Garage door and gates: Lube all hinges with lithium grease.
  • Window weep holes: These holes on the bottom edge of window frames drain water and prevent sills from rotting; make sure they’re clear of leaves or bugs.

Every 6 months

  • Smoke detector: Check and replace batteries.
  • Washer and dryer: Inspect hoses and water inlet filters. Clean out lint from ducts.
  • Door sills and window sills: Check for cracks and gaps. Caulk and repaint.
  • Faucets: Clean aerators and look for leaks.

Before the rainy season

  • Gutters and downspouts: Clean these and make sure that water can flow freely to the downspout. Check if downspouts are secure and that splash deflectors are turned away from the house.
  • Garden: Trim off branches and shrubbery so they are not in contact with the house. Note if there are branches near power lines and report to the power company. 
  • Outdoor lights: Replace dead bulbs; check for exposed wiring.
  • Roof: Sweep off debris like sticks and leaves. Look for weak spots and damage. Seal holes and replace damaged tiles or shingles.
  • Windows and doors: Seals should be intact in preparation for wet weather.


  • Septic tank: Call for a septic tank inspection and service.
  • Water heater: Drain heater tank to remove sediment build-up.
  • Termite check: because termite infestation is common here, it’s good to have a yearly inspection. Even if your house does not have this problem, you can take preventive steps and protect it from the wood-hungry pests.
  • Home fire extinguishers: Have them inspected and refilled.
  • Air conditioning: Get it inspected and serviced. 

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