Using A Home Maintenance Checklist

Using A Home Maintenance Checklist bb3 Feb 23, 2011

By Staff writer State Farm™ Employee

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Your house is more than just an investment: It’s your home. So naturally, you’ll want to take good care of it.

To add value and years of enjoyment to your home, make regular maintenance checks a part of your routine. This may include having a professional home inspector or building contractor visit your home. Below is a list of some items that you and/or a qualified professional should inspect.

Roof, Attic, And Gutters

  • Check your roof for loose, missing, worn, or damaged shingles. Make sure flashing is secure around vents and chimneys.
  • Gutters should be clean, properly aligned, and securely attached. Downspouts should direct water away from the house.

Outside Walls And Framing

  • Check soffits, siding, brick walls, trim, and flashing for damage, looseness, warping, and decay.
  • Look for termite damage and signs of other insects or rodents.

Foundations And Basements

  • Check foundations for signs of settling, such as bulging or shifting. Have a professional inspect cracks more than 0.3 cm wide.
  • Look in basement and crawl spaces for dampness and leakage. Standing water could be a sign of improper drainage, which can weaken the foundation.
  • Test your sump pump before every wet season. Consider installing battery-operated backup sump pumps to protect against a power failure or mechanical failure of the primary pump.

Smoke And Carbon Monoxide Detectors

  • Check that detectors are functioning; change batteries at least once a year or as needed.
  • Replace units every eight to 10 years.

Doors And Windows

  • Add deadbolt locks to all exterior doors, including the door between the garage and your home. Use a heavy metal strike plate with three-inch screws and Grade 1 deadbolts for the highest level of protection.
  • Check all windows for proper operation. Consider adding supplemental window locks.
  • Replace caulk and weather-stripping that has lost contact with surfaces.


  • Look around and under appliances and fixtures for leaks or wear. Check shutoff valves at all fixtures and the main water line annually.
  • Insulate or relocate exposed water pipes to protect them from freezing and bursting. Think about replacing outdoor faucets with frost-proof models.
  • Replace washing machine water hoses every three to five years.
  • Check your water heater. Most water heaters last eight to 12 years. Wet spots on the floor or a rusted tank may signal a problem. Water heaters should be installed on the lowest level of the home and always be located next to a floor drain.

Electrical And Mechanical Systems

  • Have professionals check your air conditioning and furnace. Consider having your air ducts cleaned.
  • Have an electrician inspect your electrical system.
  • Plug sensitive electronic equipment and appliances into ULC-listed surge protector power strips.
  • Clean the clothes dryer exhaust duct and damper, and the space under the dryer. (Lint buildup may cause a fire.)

Landscaping, Walks, And Porches

  • Check for loose handrails, banisters, and stair coverings.
  • Repair buckled or cracked walkways.
  • Trees should be healthy and placed at a safe distance from the home. Trim shrubbery branches away from siding to help prevent insect and moisture damage. Mulch and earth should be kept 20 centimeters below siding.