Any homeowner will tell you that maintaining a house is a full-time job. Although chances are, home maintenance isn't at the top of your list of priorities as we begin 2023. However, if you plan, you can keep your house in tip-top shape without giving yourself a headache—and you may even be able to avoid costly repairs.
Therefore, in the spirit of the New Year, let's make a homeowner's resolution with a twist. Instead of one main resolution for the year, let's make 12 resolutions (one for each month) to help improve you and your home this year. Simple to implement, you'll be able to handle the critical maintenance your home requires throughout the year.
Here's an example list to get you started:
January: Do a safety check.
Start the year off on the right foot by ensuring you and your family will be safe in an unlikely emergency. Replace the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors as needed. You should also make sure that your kitchen has a fire extinguisher and that it works.
February: Check for leaks.
The cold winter months are the perfect time to tackle indoor home maintenance. Water leaks can often go undetected, so take some time to inspect the areas around your shower, tub, and toilet for leaks and recaulk them as needed. You should also check for dripping or leaking faucets, which can add to your water bill.
March: Make sure windows and doors are properly sealed.
Cracks around your windows and doors can cause heat and air to escape your house, leading to higher utility bills. Check for gaps around your windows and doors; if you find any, add weather stripping.
April: Power-wash the exterior.
Time for a bit of spring cleaning! After you've decluttered and organized your home, pay attention to the exterior. Wash the siding and the windows, and your house will look as good as new. To get the most bang for your buck, time cleaning after most spring pollen has hit but well before the leaves and debris of fall arrive.
May: service your A/C unit.
Summer is coming, so before those scorching temperatures arrive, ensure your home's A/C unit is up to the challenge. Contact a professional HVAC company to care for your unit and ensure it can cool your home well. You might also want to consider scheduling an additional appointment for the fall to check your heater before the winter.
June: Spruce up your deck.
Summertime is perfect for outdoor parties. Make sure your deck is ready by pressure washing it to remove debris and re-sealing it to avoid water damage if needed.
July: Check for insect activity.
The summer months are when many insects are at their most active. Keep an eye out for specific pests, such as termites and carpenter ants that may threaten your home. For example, consider a pest control plan and regular inspections to keep these unwelcome guests at bay.
August: Give your roof a once-over.
Check the areas around the eaves and gutters for leaks and water damage. A roof leak can often lead to more significant issues, including mold, elsewhere in your home. You should also check for any loose or missing shingles and replace them as necessary.
September: Get your fireplace ready.
When fall approaches, cool weather is right around the corner. If your home has a fireplace, late summer or early fall is the perfect time to inspect it thoroughly. Other fireplace maintenance tips include removing ashes, ensuring the flue damper opens and closes quickly, and eliminating unsightly smoke and soot stains.
October: inspect siding and paint.
Take advantage of the mild fall temperatures and touch up any damage on the exterior of your home. Look for chipped or peeling paint and cracks in your siding. If needed, add some new caulk to repair the damage. This is also an excellent time to look for signs of foundation damage, such as cracks in the foundation or gaps between bricks.
November: Rake leaves and clean gutters.
Those quintessential falling leaves are beautiful, but they can be a real nuisance for homeowners. Regularly rake your yard to keep your grass from dying, and take time to collect debris or trim bushes away from your house, as these can act as a pathway for insects or small animals looking for warmth. After most of the leaves have dropped from the trees, clean out your gutters. It's essential to do this before the winter, as excess debris can trap water and lead to ice dams around your roof during colder weather.
December: Get cold-weather ready.
It's wise to get ready before the winter temperatures of January and February. If you have screens on your windows, remove them so snow doesn't get trapped and damage your window frames. It would be best if you also prepped your pipes. Consider adding insulation to keep them from freezing. If you can't add insulation, keep an eye on the weather and let your faucets drip slowly when temperatures drop particularly low.
Beyond Your Resolutions.
While using the above guidelines and performing regular home maintenance throughout the year will help you avoid expensive repairs and sleepless nights, being a homeowner comes with some uncertainty. But, despite your best efforts, wear and tear are inevitable, and things happen.
To be truly prepared for anything, consider a home warranty from American Home Shield this year. A home warranty is an annual service contract that repairs or replaces essential appliances and system components that break down over time. With plans starting as low as $34.99 per month, you'll get protection regardless of the age or appearance of your covered items, and no maintenance records or inspection is required.
So, if you think a home warranty is something you need this year, head to American Home Shield today and check out their flexible plans to find the one that fits your home and budget!