Your body, your home, your car, your pets, your fishing gear, everything you own really – these all need and deserve regular checkups and routine maintenance. After your body, your home is the most important thing on this list because it is the most expensive and the place where you live. Neglect the maintenance, and you’ll pay for it in the long run. And with your home (like your body), that’ll be an expensive bill when it comes due. But sometimes new homeowners just don’t know what to do or when. To help you out, here’s our home maintenance checklist for new homeowners in Los Angeles.
Monthly Home Maintenance Checklist
There are some home maintenance tasks you need to perform every month to avoid costly repairs later on. The good news is that most of them are, according to home maintenance experts, “DIY-friendly” and “should only require common household tools and cost very little to perform.”
- HVAC System – First check the filters in your HVAC system. Clean the reusable ones, and replace the disposable ones if they are dirty – and they probably are.
- Plumbing Fixtures – Carefully examine all fixtures like toilets, tubs, sinks, and faucets. Make sure that everything is draining well and that they are not leaking anywhere.
- Grout and Caulking – Inspect tile grout and all caulking, especially around windows, looking for creaks and leaks.
- Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors – Test these monthly for battery life and proper functioning. Your life may depend on it.
- Vent Hood Filter – Check the kitchen vent hood filter every month to ensure it isn’t clogged with grease dust to reduce kitchen fire hazard.
Seasonal Home Maintenance Checklist
Any home maintenance checklist for new homeowners in Los Angeles must also include the important seasonal maintenance tasks, such as:
- HVAC System – Early in the spring before you begin heavy air conditioner use, you should have the system checked out and tuned up by a professional.
- Roof – Winter is hard on roofs, so spring is the time to inspect them.
- Guttering – Similarly, winter’s ice and snow can take a toll on guttering and downspouts. So before the spring rains hit, check out your guttering to make sure it isn’t sagging and that it is flowing and draining properly.
- Door and Window Seals – After keeping your house shut up tight all winter, spring allows you to open doors and windows to inspect the seals and caulking. If these need attention, take care of it before hot weather hits – unless you want a huge electric bill.
- Air Conditioner – Be sure to pull weeds around and trim around the AC unit to allow optimal functioning.
- Siding – Summer is the time to carefully inspect and pressure wash the siding. After cleaning, you can determine whether it needs any repairs or repainting.
- Deck and Porches – After the spring rains are over, inspect your deck and porches to see if any repairs are in order. This is also the time to treat them with stain and/or sealant.
- Foundation – The dry weather and heat of summer will allow you to see foundation cracks if there are any. It’ also a good time to check out the crawl space, especially after a rain to see if there’s any water where it shouldn’t be.
- HVAC System – Again, you should have this professionally serviced before winter weather hits.
- Fireplace – In the fall before you really need it is the time to have your fireplace and chimney inspected and then cleaned if needed. According to the Chimney Safety Institute of America, an average of 22,300 chimney fires occur every year mostly due to lack of cleaning.
- Gutters – Clean gutters before winter’s ice and snow make it impossible.
- Windows and Doors – Inspect caulking around windows and weather stripping around doors to ensure that cold air won’t be able to get inside your home.
- Roof – Inspect your roof again during the winter to make sure there are no bad spots that can create ice dams.
- Basement – Make sure the sump pump in the basement is in good operating order so that it will handle any water problems that crop up during the spring thaw.
- AC Unit – Cover your outside AC unit to protect it from ice and harsh winter weather.
- Foundation Vents – Make sure to close all the foundation vents to prevent freezing of water lines.
Annual Home Maintenance Checklist
And now we come to the annual chores on our home maintenance checklist for new homeowners in Los Angeles. These include:
- Servicing the garage door opener and lubricating the door springs
- Cleaning the clothes dryer exhaust, which if left uncleaned can present a significant fire hazard
- Draining the water heater to rid it of sediment build-up
- Checking for termite damage
- Pumping out the septic tank (if you have one)
Keep in mind, though, that this home maintenance checklist for new homeowners in Los Angeles covers only the basics. There are even some 2 to 5 year and 5 to 10-year maintenance tasks that have to be seen to. Your local real estate professional can help you if you’re not sure what to do.