17 Home Maintenance Tasks Most Homeowners Aren’t Doing But Should

With work, friends, and family to deal with, most of us just pay attention to basic chores like vacuuming the floor and cleaning kitchen surfaces. Nonetheless, adding these 17 maintenance tasks to your list will help you prevent costly repairs in the future.

Checking Up on the Sump Pump

Photo Credit: Alliance Images/Shutterstock.

Spending nine months out of the wet season can make you forget that there’s a sump pump somewhere. To prevent your home from flooding when the rain starts pouring in, ensure the sump pump system works fine by cleaning the pump, checking for damaged parts, and confirming that discharge routes aren’t blocked.

Inspecting the Roof

Photo Credit: Greg McGill/Shutterstock.

Heavy snow on the roof, hail storms, trees, and even clogged gutters can cause damage to your roof. Don’t wait until the rainy season—when water starts seeping into your home—before you decide that the roof needs some attention. Clean the gutters, remove debris and mold, inspect for leaks, and make appropriate repairs.

Repairing Door Weatherstrips

Photo Credit: Pegasene/Shutterstock.

Checking that door seal strips are in good condition is another task that prepares you for the rainy season. Clean your strips and use a protectant to prevent the strips from cracking up and losing their functionality. This ensures rainwater doesn’t get into your home from beneath your doors.

Cleaning Sinks

Photo Credit: New Africa/Shutterstock.

The sinks where you wash away dirt also need some cleaning themselves. This is because neglecting them could lead to clogged and corroded pipes as well as loose connections, which result in leaks. Clean sinks, protect your bathroom vanity from water damage, and save yourself between $300 and $3,800, as Forbes shares.

Inspecting Window Screens

Photo Credit: Aleksey Kurguzov/Shutterstock.

Screens let you keep the windows open for fresh air without allowing insects to get in. Now, when you leave them unchecked, you miss repairing tears that may have been caused by debris or even animals. But that’s not all. Without washing them intermittently, window screens also accumulate dirt, which defeats their purpose of providing clean ventilation.

Replacing HVAC Filters

Photo Credit: InFocus.ee/Shutterstock.

HVAC filters collect micro-particles like dust, pollen, and animal fur, preventing them from polluting the air. When you don’t replace your filters regularly, these particles accumulate and eventually clog them up. Your quality of air reduces, and your energy bills rise as the HVAC system works harder.

Cleaning Mattresses

Photo Credit: New Africa/Shutterstock.

Many people only wash their bedding without expecting the mattress to be dirty. You should understand that neglecting your mattress means you risk harboring germs, dust mites, and even bed bugs. As CBS advises, vacuum your bed, clean up spills with shampoo and damp clothes, and sun-dry the bed in extreme cases.

Inspecting Home Appliances

Photo Credit: karamysh/Shutterstock.

The washing machine, dishwasher, and microwave are three of the most used home appliances. They are also some of the most neglected since they seem to work fine every day. Without inspecting their wires and cleaning them up regularly, a day will come when they’ll stop working at the worst time possible.

Protecting Outdoor Faucets

Photo Credit: Thanit Weerawan/Shutterstock.

It’s easy to ignore outdoor faucets since you probably don’t have a carpet or expensive appliance close to them. However, when you leave the faucet and its pipes unprotected, there are risks of damage from freezing temperatures and debris. Unchecked leaks can cause water to build up in wooden or concrete structures, which weakens them.

Cleaning Refrigerator Coils

Photo Credit: Andrey_Popov/Shutterstock.

As seen in The Spruce, “when the condenser coils on the back of the refrigerator are dirty or covered in spiderwebs, the unit cannot properly cool.” It works harder than usual. Ensuring your refrigerator’s coils are always clean can help extend its lifespan and save on energy bills.

Replacing Smoke Detector Batteries

Photo Credit: und werbung/Shutterstock.

Most smoke detectors have a system that chirps or beeps to alert you of a low battery or tell you it needs maintenance. The problem here is that if the battery in the detector is completely dead, this system doesn’t work. Don’t wait till there’s a fire or smoke hazard before you realize the battery is dead. Always inspect the detector for faults.

Maintaining Drains

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

Drains may not seem like anything to worry about until late spring and summer when the rain starts pouring in. Then you realize they are blocked by leaves and soil or damaged by tree roots. Water backups in your home can cause real damage, the repair of which Forbes says costs between $500 and $4,300 (and even more).

Preserving Lawn Maintenance Tools

Photo Credit: Tretyakov Viktor/Shutterstock.

Keeping the lawn looking healthy is a mainstream task everyone probably engages in. What’s typically neglected, however, is the health of the tools that do the work. After that morning session of mowing the lawn or pruning leaves, always ensure that you clean your tools to prevent corrosion. Sharpen blades, change spark plugs, and inspect fuel filters to keep the mower in good condition.

Trimming Trees

Photo Credit: Serhii Bobyk/Shutterstock.

Preventing trees from wildly flourishing may seem like too much of a chore. Nonetheless, it saves you from a lot of problems. For one, you don’t make your house a safe, comfortable harbor for rodents and other pests. You also reduce branch and leaf shedding that damage roofs and clog up drains.

Cleaning Bathroom Fans

Photo Credit: ucchie79/Shutterstock.

Just like with HVAC systems, your bathroom fans play an important role in trapping microparticles and preserving your air quality. Looking at where they’re commonly positioned, it isn’t hard to see why they are neglected. You should open the fans up, vacuum dirt off them, and use a damp cloth to wipe them clean.

Washing Trash Cans

Photo Credit: New Africa/Shutterstock.

The Washington Post shares expert opinion on kitchen contamination and identifies trash can lids as some of the most neglected, germ-ridden surfaces in the home. You may throw out your garbage bags every day to keep your home clean. This, sadly, isn’t enough if you don’t also wash the containers you store them in.

Maintaining the Chimney

Photo Credit: stefanphotozemun/Shutterstock.

Without proper maintenance, creosote can build up in your chimney and restrict the outflow of smoke. To prevent this, most people just rely on chimney cleaning services instead of doing basic maintenance themselves. Take the initiative by burning only seasoned wood and leaving the inlet door slightly open until the wood is almost charcoal.

More From Planning to Organize

Photo Credit: hedgehog94/Shutterstock.

18 Things That Have Become Too Expensive And Are No Longer Worth It

18 Things To Stop Buying At the Grocery Store If You Want to Save Money