Owning your own home is the dream—but sometimes the maintenance can be a nightmare! That’s because, if you ignore regular home maintenance, you can end up with big, expensive-to-fix problems.
Fortunately, you can protect your biggest investment with a bit of elbow grease every month. To make home upkeep easier, space out your home maintenance tasks throughout the year.
That’s where our comprehensive home maintenance checklist comes in! This month-by-month checklist includes key tasks to do inside and outside your home—as well as tasks for pest control. (Important fact: pest control is part of home maintenance!)
You can read part 1 of the checklist here. Today, we’re going over part 2. Keep reading for everything you need to know!
Rain, sleet, snow, and ice still happen in February in our area, so don’t turn on your outdoor faucets or put away your sidewalk salt just yet.
- Check your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Replace batteries as needed.
- Check your plumbing. Look at the pipes under your sinks for signs of leaks, and check your ceilings for water stains (a clear sign of leaks in the walls). Also check your faucets for drips and make sure the flapper in your toilet tank is in good shape.
- After the last thaw, rake up any leaves that survived the winter.
- Check and clean your snowblower’s motor and parts. Drain the fuel, then store it for the spring and summer.
- Basement creepy crawlies: Check your basement for silverfish, centipedes, and earwigs. These bugs like to hide out in drains, sinks, and dark corners of the basement, scavenging during the night. You can help control these pests by cleaning and sweeping up your basement to eliminate their food sources.
March is in like a lion, out like a lamb. Spring is just around the corner, so you can start spring cleaning indoors and thinking about yard work soon.
- Spring cleaning can start indoors! Now is a great time to start decluttering and dusting.
- Get your biannual HVAC checkup and repair. This should include a checkup of the ductwork, plus cleaning and servicing the furnace, A/C compressor, and bathroom vents.
- If you have steam heat, drain your boiler to remove sediment.
- The rainy season is here, so make sure to check that your sump pump is draining properly.
- Have your septic tank inspected and, if necessary, pumped.
- If your yard has trees, have them checked out by a professional arborist. (An arborist will check for dead branches and other problems that can kill your trees and cause safety hazards.)
- If you plan on hiring a lawn care service, now’s a good time to hire a new company or renew your existing contract.
- Lay down a layer of mulch around your shrubs and flowers.
- Toward the end of the month, it’s usually safe to turn on your outside faucets. Be sure to check them for damage.
- Stored product pests: As you start spring cleaning, it’s a good idea to check your pantry for any “stored product pests.” These include pests like sawtooth and merchant grain beetles, Indian meal moths, and flour beetles. Check your flour and cereal products, throwing away any that have signs of bug activity.
Spring has sprung! For homeowners, this can mean more time outside in the garden…plus more pests to contend with. That makes spring and summer important seasons for pest control.
- Keep going on your spring cleaning! Clean your windows and doors.
- Swap out your storm doors with screen doors for extra ventilation. Check screens for holes.
- If you have a fireplace, check your chimney. Also, now is a good time to get it cleaned, now that you’re no longer using it.
- Repair or completely replace any damaged caulking and weatherstripping around your home’s windows and doors.
- Reseed your lawn and fill in any grassy areas that have gone bald. If necessary, fertilize your lawn as well.
- Start mowing your lawn. (Keep the blades at the highest setting.)
- Starting in April, it’s a great time to start planting your perennials. Give them lots of water (whenever it’s not raining).
- Check your gutters and downspouts. Make sure they’re not clogged and are in good working order, repairing them as necessary.
- Inspect the outside of your home. How’s everything holding up? Look at your foundation and driveway for cracks, look for loose or broken shingles in your roof, and check the facade for signs of damage. Anything damaged should be repaired.
- Termites: We’ve talked about termites already in part 1 of our checklist (see November). However, termites deserve special mention because they are so destructive to your home, and spring is their mating season. Spring is the most likely time of year you’ll see obvious evidence of an infestation, which includes seeing winged termite swarmers inside your home, discarded wings near windows and doors, and mud tubes along your basement walls. If you see signs of termites, call professional pest control ASAP!
- Carpenter ants: Carpenter ants are another destructive home invader. They’re often confused with termites during termite swarming season. Be on the lookout for these “flying ants” in your home, along with other signs of an infestation: piles of sawdust below wooden areas like windowsills, door jams, and baseboards, and rustling noises coming from inside your walls. (Like termites, this pest is one for the pros to handle.)
- Reverse your ceiling fans to spin counterclockwise. (This pushes the air down and creates a nice breeze.)
- Clean your air conditioning filter.
- Open your pool for summer. Before swimming in it, you’ll need to treat the water, check the filters and valves (changing them as needed), and inspect all equipment.
- Get your deck summer-ready. Sweep off all the leaves and debris, then clean it thoroughly. We recommend spraying it down with water and a cleaning solution, then scrubbing it down. If your deck is wooden, treat it with borate for algae to avoid wood rot. Finally, after the deck has dried out for a few days, you can stain and seal it.
- Clean the exterior of your house. We don’t recommend a power washer (it can damage the exterior). Instead, use a garden hose and cleaning kit, spot cleaning where it’s dirtiest. Try not to use too much cleaning solution, though, as that can harm your plants.
- Ants: Come spring and summer, ants might come marching into your home. Before you find them all over your kitchen, do some pest-proofing (seal up cracks and crevices) and secure your food in glass containers. Be sure to clean regularly: wipe up spills, sweep up crumbs, and don’t leave out food. For serious ant problems, consider hiring a pro to create an ant barrier around your home.
- Clean your air conditioning filter.
- If you plan on updating or painting a room in your home, this is a good time to do it! (Summer and fall allow you to throw open your windows and doors and air out your house—important if you’re exposed to fumes when painting or refinishing furniture.)
- Mow your lawn and dig up weeds weekly.
- Water your plants. Once spring showers end, you’ll need to water your plants regularly—preferably early in the day. (Watering at midday when the sun is hottest can scorch your plants.)
- If you have one, turn on your sprinkler system to do the lawn watering for you.
- Ticks & Fleas: As you head outdoors, be sure to protect your health and your furry friends. To do this, keep your grass from getting too high. When you’re outside, we recommend wearing long pants tucked into socks and doing a tick check when you come indoors. For your pets, be sure to consult your veterinarian for effective flea and tick protection. To avoid an indoor flea problem, protecting your pets is key, and it’s also a good idea to vacuum regularly.
- Clean your air conditioning filter.
- Clean your refrigerator and freezer coils. Also clean out the drip trays.
- Clean the kitchen’s exhaust fan filter.
- If you plan to paint the exterior of your house, summer is a good time to get it done.
- Clean your pool regularly. This includes skimming the surface to keep out leaves and debris and scrubbing the sides to control algae. Check the filter basket and chemical levels every week.
- Prune trees and shrubs and deadhead flowers as necessary.
- Flies: These grimy, disease-carrying insects tend to come indoors during the summer months. To control them, first avoid leaving windows and doors wide open. Make sure your screens don’t have holes where flies can enter. In addition, keep your home (especially the kitchen) clean and take out the trash regularly. This helps avoid both an ant and a fly problem!
Need Help with Pest Control?
Most home maintenance can be done by the average homeowner. But what do you do when you’re out of your depth? It’s worth it to hire a professional!
If you have a pest infestation—from termites, to ants, to fleas, and more—we’re here for you.
Contact Scherzinger Pest Control, a trusted pest control company in the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky areas, including Dayton, OH, and now Columbus, OH. We’ve been pioneers, engineering new standards for ways of eliminating and controlling bugs and pests. Contact us by phone at 1-877-748-9888 or through our website, Facebook, or Twitter.