Home Maintenance Tips | Home Maintenance Checklist

Cori Dunphy
Published on May 3, 2021

Home Maintenance Tips | Home Maintenance Checklist

In this week’s post, I’m sharing 10 home maintenance tips for new homeowners.  I wish I had this list when I bought my first house. So hopefully, you can learn from my mistakes and oversights. Oh How I wish someone gave me a Home Maintenance Checklist.

Home Maintenance Checklist

First off, before we jump into the home maintenance list, I just want to take a second to congratulate you on buying a house.  That’s huge.  You should be extremely proud of yourself because no matter who you are or where you are, this process I’m sure was very stressful at times.

When we bought our first house I was so nervous and excited!  We had so much to learn about owning a house.  Growing up My mom and dad took care of all things house-related.  So what did I know?  If things broke, I just assumed they magically got fixed.  We knew nothing about home maintenance.

So fast forward a ton of years, I quickly realized there was no magic.  Let’s Just say thank GOD for YouTube. (Where do you think I learned most of my Home Maintenance?

Home Maintenance Tips for New Homeowners

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 These are preventative home maintenance items that don’t take a lot of work but can save you a ton of money down the road.

I’ll also share a bonus home maintenance item at the end of this post that I literally JUST learned about myself, while doing the research for this very video!

Home Maintenance item #1: Check your Roof

fixing roof

Here in NJ, for the most part, we have shingled roofs.  We’re typically looking to see if there are any, missing shingles.  If you spot any of these you’re going to want to have a roofer or handyman out to the property to make repairs.  This will help protect from leaks. Please this is one Home Maintenance Tip you don’t want to neglect. It will save you a fortune in the long run!

Home Maintenance item #2: Clean the Gutters

clean gutters

This Home Maintenance Tip is so important.  For me, our gutters were kind of ‘out of sight, out of mind’.

Ideally, I think you would check and clean your gutters twice a year.  Your gutters play a really important role in diverting water away from your home.  If they’re not properly cared for and cleaned, you could experience flooding. Here in NJ, they get full of leaves and those itchy ball things?  Do they have a real name I wonder?

If you have any trees close to the gutters or that drop debris in them, you may want to consider getting rid of them or at least trimming them back. That is a little extra Maintenance Tip info for you!

Home Maintenance item #3: Drain your Hot Water Heater

Draining hot water heater

By taking the time to properly care for your hot water heater you can greatly extend its life.  Sediment can build up in the tank and draining it helps to flush that sediment out.  You can read the owner’s manual for your particular model but typically doing this once per year is sufficient. Hows that for a Home Maintenance Tip?

Home Maintenance item #4: HVAC Servicing

fixing the HVAC system

Having your heating, ventilation, and cooling systems serviced is VERY important.   Hire a local company that comes out, takes a look, and makes any repairs or adjustments that are needed. I”m sharing with you this Home Maintenance Tip, but I do believe this may be one you should hire out!

I really should have our units serviced once a year.  Yeah, I’ll get on that right after I finish this video.

 Home Maintenance item #5: Change your Filters

changing ac filters

If you’re like me you may not have realized that your house came with so many filters!  You need to change the filters on your HVAC system. I wish I knew about this one sooner. Home Maintenance 101 for me.

For the HVAC system, I was told that it’s better to use a cheaper filter and change it once a month, rather than to opt for the more expensive filters that require less changing.

Don’t forget about the filters in the fridge and the dishwasher.  

Home Maintenance item #6: Clean your Dryer Vent

cleaning dryer vent

This is one Home Maintenance item I definitely knew about before we bought a house. Depending on how your home is laid out and where the dryer vent is, you may be able to clean it out on your own.  If you can’t reach the outlet or you don’t have the right equipment to get all the way through, I strongly recommend that you hire a professional.

Home Maintenance item #7: Service your Smoke Alarms

smoke alarm

Speaking of things that are a safety risk you need to test your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors.  The U.S. Fire Administration recommends that you test your smoke alarms once per month by pressing the test button.

I definitely haven’t been great about doing this every month so you can guess what I’m going to go do as soon as I’m done typing.  Calling the HVAC company and testing all my alarms.  Smoke alarms should be replaced every 10 years.   Also, this is such an easy Home Maintenance item, I’d take care of this one the day you close on your home!

Home Maintenance item #8: Service your Garage Door

opening garage door

 If you don’t maintain your garage door it will break at some point. Don’t ignore any weird noises.  In the meantime, you can grease your springs and often. I just saved you a ton of money. You are welcome, for this easy Home Maintenance tip!

Home Maintenance item #9:  Test your Water Pressure

shower head

Did you know that water pressure that’s too high can damage your fixtures?  Having to replace all of your plumbing fixtures would get really expensive really quickly.  You can get a water pressure gauge for less than $20.  You want your water pressure to be between 40 and 60 PSI.  If your water pressure is too high or too low you’ll likely want to consult with a plumber. Again, a quick and easy Home Maintenance item that will save you a fortune!

Home Maintenance item #10: Prevent Pests

mouse trap

Home Maintenance alert, Home Maintenance alert! PAY ATTENTION TO THIS ONE.

Some pests are just a nuisance like ants.  OMG I can’t stand ants.  In fact, I’m going to have a video coming out in a few weeks about dealing with those pesky little critters.  However, termites can cause serious damage to your home.  Termites are definitely something we need to watch out for here in New Jersey.  Personally, I think EVERYONE who owns a home in  Marlboro or anywhere in NJ should have a yearly contract with an exterminator.  If you need help locating a good pest control company, just ask. But unless you love living with bugs and rodents, this is one home maintenance you don’t want to skip!

Bonus Home Maintenance Tip

Alright, I promised you one bonus home maintenance tip, right?  Well, when I was doing my research for this post I came across an article that recommended that you clean your refrigerator coils. What? That’s right, dust can accumulate around the coils and shorten the lifespan of your fridge.   Where the coils are located will depend on your fridge model.  So… guess what I’m doing this weekend?!

So, there you have it!  If you’re looking for more home maintenance ideas or things that you should look out for, I strongly recommend that you read through your home inspection reports in detail.  These reports contain so much valuable information way beyond just the things that need immediate attention in your home.  What project do you think you’ll tackle first? 

I’ll see YOU next Monday!

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