So you own a house, but you’re not sure how to maintain it. In fact, what does “home maintenance” even mean? There’s no class or prep course on “how to be a homeowner.” Enter the Seasonal Home Maintenance Checklist.
There are exhaustive checklists out there that cover everything down to oiling your garage door opener and vacuuming your refrigerator coil.
This is not one of them.
Because who can realistically get everything done on those lists? If you’re like us, you’re lucky if you clean your gutters twice a year.
Instead of creating a comprehensive, impossible-to-complete checklist, We’ve created an achievable seasonal maintenance checklist.
And, if you like to check off tasks as you complete them, head to the bottom of the post for a free downloadable checklist.
Seasonal Home Maintenance Projects
Obviously, no one wants to do exterior home maintenance in the winter. We understand that. Of course, if something is wrong with your roof or gutters, you can always call someone to fix it. They can brave the cold since you’re paying them. 🙂
But when it comes to do-it-yourself home maintenance projects, winter is a great time to do some deep cleaning…inside the house. We aren’t talking shampooing the carpets and scrubbing the grout (though more power to you if you add that to your plans).
The focus in winter is to clean things that will ensure your home continues to function properly.
Focus: Interior cleaning
- Unclog kitchen & bathroom drains
- Descale faucets & showerheads
- Check your fire extinguishers, smoke alarms, & carbon monoxide detectors
- Clean dust from vents & fans
- Clean window interiors
While you are stuck inside and not getting fresh air, it’s a great time to make sure the air your breathing is actually clean. This is where cleaning windows, checking smoke & CO detectors, and dusting vents and fans comes into play.
And why the window cleaning? When the air in your home is warmer than the outside air, your windows can develop condensation. This is especially true in areas with high humidity like North Carolina. If you leave the condensation unchecked, the windows can grow mold. Consider placing a dehumidifier near your windows to reduce the amount of condensation. If the condensation is really bad, place a towel on the window sill to catch water.
With spring comes, you’ve guessed it, yard work. The ground thaws, flowers bloom, trees shed blossoms, and pollen abounds.
Most people either love or hate yard work. If you love it, then this season will be no problem. If you hate it, consider hiring someone to do the work. If that’s not financially possible, you could instead hire someone for your least favorite project while handling the rest yourself.
- Prune trees and shrubs
- Weed mulch beds and grass
- Fertilize, reseed, and mulch
- Clean gutters & roof
- Change air filters
As the ground thaws and temperatures rise, the grass is ready to start growing again. That makes it the perfect time to reseed and fertilize the lawn in the sparse patches. After a year of rain, snow, and wind, your mulch has probably deteriorated and worn down. Before the heat damages your garden beds and dries out the soil, take some time to re-mulch the garden beds.
While gutter cleaning is usually only considered a fall activity, we recommend cleaning your gutters in the springtime, too. When trees bud and blossom, plenty of pollen, buds, and petals can fall onto your roof and gutters. There are the catkins from Oak trees, helicopter seeds from Maples, and flowers from Flowering Pear and Crepe Myrtle trees (to name a few).
North Carolina springs and summers are wet, hot, and humid. That being the case, debris left on your roof and in your gutters can quickly deteriorate and grow mildew, mold, or moss. Keeping these areas clean will ultimately extend the life of your home’s exterior.
You likely have a home improvement budget and a list of home improvement projects you hope to tackle. Consider tackling one of your projects during the summer–whether it be painting, new appliances, or new gutters–whatever is most pressing and important to you.
However, if the summer is an incredibly busy season for you, pick a different season for your big project. There’s no hard and fast rule here. Summer is simply a common time to tackle home improvement projects due to the warm weather.
Focus: Exterior cleaning & big projects
- Finish spring yard work
- Have your HVAC unit serviced if necessary
- Repair any exterior chipped paint or rotted siding
- Powerwash & clean siding, patios, porches, & decks
- Clean windows & window screens (as needed & after pollen season)
- Tackle any large projects
- Check your roof, attic, & gutters after major storms
First off, finish whatever you didn’t finish in the spring. With so many spring landscaping tasks, it’s understandable if you can’t finish them all in the Spring.
Powerwashing and cleaning your home’s exterior (including windows) is best to do when it’s warm outside so everything will dry quickly and there will be no issues with freezing water. We recommend doing it during the summer rather than spring so you can wait for all the North Carolina pollen to settle.
Lastly, with summer comes North Carolina’s hurricane season. If your roof is over 10 years old, consider having a professional inspect your roof before the storms hit. This way, you can have any minor repairs done to prevent roof leaks during the heavy rains. Later on, if a large storm hits your area, walk around your house and take a look at your roof, attic, and gutters to see if anything is amiss. If something looks off, contact a roofing or gutter contractor to inspect the area for you.
During the autumn months, your focus will be cleaning up after the leaves, taking care of your yard before winter hits, and prepping your home for the winter temperatures.
Focus: Winter preparations & final lawn maintenance
- Gutter Cleaning (after leaves fall, 2x if lots of leaves)
- Rake leaves (as needed)
- Aerate soil (as needed)
- Fireplace inspection & cleaning (as needed)
- Make sure your windows are sealed properly
- Seal any driveway cracks
- Clean out dryer lint vent
- Change air filters
There you have it! A simple seasonal home maintenance guide. Questions about any of the maintenance items? Let us know in the comments!
Finally, here are a few closing tips to help you navigate and complete these projects.
A Few Final Tips
- Print out this list and use it as a true checklist.
- Cross out any items that are not applicable to your home.
- Personalize the checklist with our own seasonal projects.
- Prioritize what matters most.
- Schedule your maintenance work.
- DIY what you can. Give some work to your kids. Hire out the rest.
Want to print the full checklist? Click here for a free downloadable version.