Homeowner’s Maintenance Checklist

This checklist is part of the Starter Pack series for OnOtto – a recurring task management app. Use the links in this article to add tasks directly to your OnOtto account

Treat Roof for Moss

If you live in a damp climate then the shadier parts of your roof will be a likely habitat for moss and lichen. When moss grows, it can lift up shingles and retain moisture longer, eventually leading to breaks in the protective layers. Copper or zinc strips, or specially-treated shingles are more permanent solutions to prevent moss growth, but without these, a chemical like MossOut sprinkled across the area can kill existing moss and prevent more from growing for a season.

Clean Rain Gutters

Pine needles and deciduous leaves (as well as the occasional bird’s nest) can clog up your drain and cause overflows. This can damage your foundation and landscaping if the runoff water is not properly routed away from the house. Schedule this one for late fall – right after the leaves have fallen on nearby trees. You can use a leaf blower, vacuum, old golf club, or one of several specialized tools to remove the debris.

Change HVAC Filter

An HVAC filter’s primary job is to keep dust and debris out of your HVAC system – not purify the air you breath. A clogged filter can make your system work harder than it needs to and cause a shorter system lifespan, which is not a cheap replacement. 1-inch-thick filters should generally be changed monthly, and larger media sizes (4-5-inch) should be replaced every 3-6 months. Unless you’re running a hospital with an operating room, opt for a MERV-8 rated filter to help your HVAC run most efficiently.

Change Fridge Water Filter

If your refrigerator offers an automatic ice maker or a chilled water dispenser, it likely has a charcoal-based filter to remove chlorine and contaminants as well as improve the taste. Most manufacturers recommend changing the filter every 6 months.

Clean Clothes Dryer Vent Duct

Lint from your dryer builds up over time inside the vent duct work between the back of your dryer and where the pipe ends outside your house. This build-up makes your dryer less efficient and may cause it to overheat. Trapped lint is also a fire hazard and can cause a house fire. If you’re fortunate, your vent pipe may be only a few feet long if your dryer is along an exterior wall. For longer runs up to 40 feet, there are DIY brush kits that work with a hand-held drill to scour off the lint. FEMA recommends an annual cleaning.

Rodent and Pest Inspection

Ants, roaches, termites, mice, spiders, wasps, and even lady bugs are just some of the creatures that can infest a home and cause damage and/or health hazards. A regular inspection of your attic, crawlspace, and foundation can uncover problems before they get expensive. A bi-monthly “defense” spray around the foundation, doors, and windows can deter the critters and keep the bugs outside where they belong.

Winterize Outside Faucets

If temperatures drop much below freezing for more than a few hours, water trapped in your outside faucets could freeze, causing a burst pipe and thousands of dollars in damage. To prevent this, shut off the water line that feeds your outside faucets, disconnect and store any hoses, and open the spigot to let the remaining water drain. Then close the spigot.

Un-Winterize Outside Faucets

After the last frost of the winter, turn the water supply back on to your outside faucets, so you can start using them again.

What else is on your homeowner’s maintenance checklist? Let us know in the comments below!

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