Home maintenance tools on wall

Keep Your Home In Shape: Your Annual Home Maintenance Planner

The home maintenance schedule every home owner should follow

Owning a property is a huge financial responsibility with a host of recurrent costs that come along with ownership. But you can minimise unnecessary costs and stresses with regular maintenance and a bit of DIY.

Of course, maintaining a home takes time and effort. That’s why we’ve put together this schedule – to make it as easy as possible. Keeping things clean and functional is a far cheaper option than having to replace them, or worse, having them become a safety risk.

To start with, let’s take a look at the jobs that need to be done regularly.

Monthly

  • Clean the filters, condenser, and evaporator coils in your heating and air conditioning units, and change the filters if necessary.
  • Clean and freshen sinks, drains, and appliances.
  • Clean the rangehood filters by soaking them in a strong degreasing agent mixed with hot water, then rinsing.
  • Check the gauges on your fire extinguishers to make sure they have adequate pressure.
  • Test the garage door auto-reverse feature by closing the door onto a large piece of wood.
  • Test smoke alarms by pushing the ‘test’ button. If the alarm doesn’t sound, clean it, replace the batteries, and try again. If it still doesn’t sound, have it checked (and probably replaced).

Three-monthly

  • Vacuum refrigerator coils.
  • Double-check the temperatures of your fridge and freezer.
  • Clean laundry exhaust vents.
  • Rinse the lint from the clothes-dryer screen.
  • Run water and flush toilets in areas you haven’t recently used to prevent grime building up.

When it comes to the annual jobs, we find it handy to use a checklist for each season.

Spring

If there’s one activity inextricably linked with spring, it’s the spring clean!

  • Clean every nook and cranny! Include doors, skirting boards, walls, and curtains.
  • Clean the garage and shed.

As the weather starts to get warmer, it’s time to get ready for summer! Make sure your cooling systems are ready to go, and take steps to make sure insects don’t take advantage of the warmth.

  • Have your air conditioning system serviced.
  • Repair/replace damaged window screens to make sure insects can’t get in.
  • Schedule a professional insect inspection and undertake any necessary treatment. Termites in particular can cause a lot of damage before it becomes visible.

Now’s also the time to make sure you’re prepared for all the fun stuff that comes with summer! Repaint the stumps on the fence in the backyard, restring the tennis racquets, and clean the barbie.

Summer

While the weather’s good, take care of all the little jobs that need to be done in the yard and on the exterior of your home.

  • Inspect the exterior of your home, including the paint, foundations, and driveway, and repair as needed.
  • Flush outdoor water taps and hoses.
  • Trim trees or shrubs, clear away any dead plants, and check that decorative vines are not becoming invasive.
  • Check trees for interference with electric lines and have them trimmed if necessary.
  • Clean, repair, and reseal the deck/patio as needed.

At the height of the Australian summer is the Australian Christmas. Don’t forget to show all your friends how much you love them with Christmas cards.

Autumn

DFES promotes April Fool’s Day as the time to replace your smoke alarm batteries.

  • Replace the batteries in your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors using high-quality, long-life batteries. Even better, upgrade to mains-powered smoke alarms (these need to be installed by a qualified electrician).
  • Double-check that all smoke alarms are securely fitted, appropriately located, clean, and clear of obstructions.

But don’t stop there –step up the safety and security right through your home.

  • Check that your RCDs operate and your power outlets work, and replace any frayed electrical cords.
  • Check all locks and deadbolts on your doors and windows, and replace if necessary.
  • Check and make sure everything in the house is strong and stable. Tighten any hinges, handles, knobs, racks, shelves, and so on.

Now’s also the time to make sure your heating system is ready for winter.

  • Get your heating system ready for winter.
    • Central heating: Check for leaks in windows and doors, and make sure vents are open and unobstructed.
    • Wood burning heater: have it serviced.
    • Fireplaces /chimneys: have them cleaned.
  • Flush your hot water heater to remove any sediment, and open and close the heater’s pressure relief valve to prevent leaks in the long term.

It won’t be long before the cold weather sets in, so stock up for those days you just don’t want to leave the house! Get some crafting or cooking supplies to get creative with the kids, or take a day to find a haul of books and DVDs to get you through those rainy nights.

Winter

Autumn is such a beautiful time in Australia – but there’s no denying that all those autumn leaves can start to seem like a real pain come winter! Time to clean out the debris and make sure you don’t encounter any problems with water leakage or damage to your home in winter.

  • Remove leaves and debris from gutters and down-pipes, inspect for cracks and drainage, and repair as needed.
  • Make sure water is properly draining, not collecting around the foundations of your home.
  • Inspect roofing and eaves for damage or leaks, and repair as needed.
  • Check under the house or in the basement for moisture damage and repair as needed.

And as long as you’re stuck in the house on those rainy days, take the opportunity to give the kitchen, bathroom, and laundry a proper once-over.

  • Clean the grout between the tiles in the kitchen and bathroom, and repair as needed.
  • Inspect taps for leaks, and remove and clean the aerators.
  • Check caulking around showers and bathtubs, and repair as needed.
  • Remove shower-heads and clean any sediment.
  • Check laundry exhaust vents for blockages while they’re running.
  • Clean inlet filters on washing machine, and check hoses and replace as needed.

If there’s one thing Australians love to do, it’s travel! What better way to beat the winter blues than to start planning your next holiday.