Home maintenance checklist

Homeownership is often seen as an ultimate life goal. Having your own patch of turf, being king of the castle, lord of the manor, and living in your own home is a great achievement. With this accomplishment comes the responsibility of caring for your home. This can be an intimidating task to begin with but with planning and organisation, you can easily keep on top of your home maintenance.

What and when

By logically scheduling jobs throughout the year you can prevent maintenance from disrupting your home and reduce the chance of larger issues occurring. For example, cleaning the air conditioner filters in the January heat will interrupt the cooling of your home, plus running a dirty, clogged air conditioner for 2 months will cause the system to work harder than it needs to, resulting in potential breakdowns.

Winter home upkeep

  • Clean out the gutters and downpipes. Typically, winter in south-east Queensland is the dryer time of year, the plant growth slows down making it a good time to get on top of the leaf litter situation. Can’t access the gutters?
  • Attend to peeling paint, cracked bricks or lose weather-boards around the outside of the house
  • Carry out professional air conditioner cleaning and maintenance. This will stop the overgrowth of mould and bacteria in the internal parts of the air con (the bits you can’t easily get to) and ensure smooth running through the summer.
  • Prune trees and shrubs. Keeping your garden trim not only looks great, but it also benefits the security of your home. A house that is clearly visible to the neighbours and the street is less inviting to potential thieves.
  • Check for root growth. Large trees and bushes can grow very extensive root systems which may interfere with underground pipes around the house causing blocked drains from root intrusion.
  • Repair damaged fly screens. A quick trip to the hardware store will keep the mosquitoes and flies out of your home in summer.
  • Clean windows. Can’t reach? Hire a professional window cleaner.
  • Clean solar panels. Your solar power system will work more effectively if the dust and debris are removed from the panels.
  • Test the smoke alarm and vacuum away the dust.
  • Test the safety switch.

Home care through summer

  • Attend to deck maintenance. Keeping your decking oiled or varnished will extend the life of the boards and prevent warping or cracking. Carry out deck repairs on any boards, balustrades or stairs which are spongy, wobbly or insect-damaged.
  • Flush your storage hot water system, if needed, following the manufacturer’s instruction manual to remove built-up sediment.
  • Clean solar panels. Your solar power system will work more effectively if the dust and debris are cleaned off.
  • Repair any damage to the fencing or gates to keep your property secure.
  • Clean the chimney and empty the fireplace.
  • Fix roof leaks before the storms.
  • Trim large overhanging tree branches to prevent roof damage during a storm.
  • Service the pool at the beginning of summer so it’s ready when you need it.
  • Clear debris away from the water tank inlet and inspect the screens to ensure mosquito larvae or other vermin can’t get in.
  • If your air conditioner is mounted on the roof ensure that it is well secured so it safely withstands the high winds which accompany Brisbane’s summer storms.
  • Test the smoke alarm and safety switch.

By spreading these jobs across the year, home maintenance can be a very manageable task, even for the non-handy among us. Don’t be afraid to call in the professionals if you are unsure of how to safely carry out a project and for those specialist jobs like clearing a blocked drain or air conditioner cleaning.

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