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Month-by-Month Home Maintenance Check List

Keep up with home maintenance and you’ll reduce the risk of emergency repairs and frantic calls to high-priced professionals.
Preparation is the secret. In summer, prepare for winter. In winter, prepare for spring. Use months with the worst weather to do indoor chores. And pick great-weather months to work outside.

Here’s a month-by-month home maintenance check list that will help you stay on top of home-keeping chores.

January

Inspect your home for damage from winter storms. Check for broken windows, missing roof shingles, broken tree limbs.
Clean and store holiday ornaments.
Clean and declutter a closet.
Ask your utility company to perform an energy audit. Or buy an energy meter or monitor to keep track of energy use.
Order seeds and bulbs for spring garden.

February

Start flower and vegetable seedlings indoors.
Prepare for major spring projects, such as painting. If you’re using professionals, call for estimates. If you’re doing it yourself, list all materials and plan a budget.
Clean and repair grout in kitchen tiles.
Organize pantry.

March

Begin spring yard cleanup. Rake leaves and branches, clear weeds from gardens.
Prune roses.
Seed lawns.
Transplant cold weather vegetable seedlings to garden.
Check foundation for cracks.

April

Wash windows.
Power-wash fences, pathways, and driveways.
Clean carpets and rugs.
Change air filters.
Clean ceiling fan blades.
Clean light fixtures.

May

Clean and repair gutters and downspouts.
Clean fireplace.
Install window screens.
Plant annual flowers and vegetables.
Call HVAC professional for air conditioner maintenance.
Touch-up exterior paint.
Clean and repair deck.

June

Plant heat-loving herbs, such as basil.
Weed landscaping beds.
Remove spring buds from gutters.
Scrape rust from iron railings, then paint.
Pick strawberries and make jam.

July

Weed landscaping beds.
Raise lawnmower blades and let lawn grow taller to promote strong roots.
Redo ragged caulking around toilets, sinks and tubs.
Repair asphalt driveways.

August

Remove dead and dying plants and shrubs.
Aerate lawn.
At the end of the month, plant cool-weather crops in vegetable garden.
Weed landscaping beds.
Clean basement.

September

Seed bare spots in lawn.
Check attic insulation and add where needed.
Make sure window locks are secure: Repair and replace where needed.
Clean and lubricate window tracks and hinges.
Plant fall annuals.
Divide and transplant perennials.

October

Apply last fertilizer of the season to lawn.
Pull up summer bulbs and store in a paper bag in a cool place for next season.
Repair and store garden hoses.
Prepare garden for winter. Prune perennials, spread lime, mulch. Place debris in compost pile.
Call chimney sweep to clean chimney.
Call HVAC professional and schedule furnace maintenance.
Mulch and fertilize landscaping beds.
Rake leaves.
Clean, remove and store screen windows.
Install storm windows.

November

Turn off and drain outdoor faucets.
Remove autumn debris from gutters.
Store or cover patio furniture.
Seal air leaks around windows and doors. Replace peeling weatherstripping.
Replace smoke detector batteries.
Cut and stack fireplace wood.

December

Prepare guest room for holiday visitors.
Decorate for the holidays.
Dust and clean heat vents and registers.
Dream about spring.

Organizational tip: Smartphones have home maintenance apps that will help you organize and budget your monthly repairs.

By Katie Bernard



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