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Home Maintenance Calendar

January

• TOP JOB: Clean rain gutters. Leaves and other debris will hamper drainage and might promote rusting and roof damage. Make sure that water flowing from downspouts is draining away from the foundation. Compost the leaves.

• Inspect crawl space after rain for accumulation of water, as well as for indications of water damage on the subfloor and joists beneath bathrooms, kitchen and laundry. Look for signs of pest or dry-rot damage. Do not block perimeter wall vents to a crawl space in winter.

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February

• TOP JOB: -- Using binoculars, inspect roof from the ground (walking on a damp or wet roof can be dangerous), looking for loose, missing or damaged roofing materials. Repair any damage. If you have access to the underside of the roof, check during a heavy rain for leaks.

• Clean condenser coils or fins beneath or behind the refrigerator according to the manufacturer's instructions. Make certain air flow around the appliance is adequate.

• Trim branches around the roof line to keep squirrels and other pesky animals off the roof.

• Inspect all vents, repair as needed and remove any debris blocking air flow.

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March

•  TOP JOB: Turn off the water supply to the house. After an hour, check the water meter. If it has moved, there is a leak somewhere in the plumbing system.

• Check operation of toilet. Check for leaks in the area between the tank and bowl and around the base.

• Remove ``pop-up'' drain plugs from sink or tub and clean.

• Check for leaks at valve where water enters the house, at outdoor faucets and at any valves to toilet, bathroom or kitchen sink, bar, etc. Turn each off and on several times to check for leaks.

• Inspect grout and caulk around sinks, tubs and showers. Repair or replace damaged areas.

• Inspect water heater for leaks and flush tank.

• Clean underside of range hood and clean or replace filters.

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April

• TOP JOB: Replace batteries on smoke, heat and gas detectors. Do this when you set the clock ahead to daylight-saving time.

• Inspect home from bottom to top, looking for damage that occurred over the winter. Prepare a ``to do'' list of needed repairs.

• Do spring cleanup. Wash walls and windows; clean carpeting, upholstery and window coverings.

• Check doors and windows for proper operation. Lubricate hinges and tighten loose hinge screws. Apply clear wood floor wax to door edges that rub.

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May

• TOP JOB: Check furnace filter. Clean or replace if necessary. Do furnace or central air-conditioning maintenance recommended by the unit's manufacturer.

• Clean and prepare swimming pool, pond or fountain.

• Repair cracks in driveways, walkways and sidewalks.

• Inspect and service clothes dryer, cooktop or stove, dishwasher, refrigerator water filter, trash compactor, countertop appliances, exhaust fans, etc., according to manufacturers' recommendations.

• Check that vent screens to attic or crawl space are not damaged. Repair or replace as needed.

• Remove accumulated mineral deposits from shower heads and aerators by soaking them in or scrubbing with white vinegar. (Wear eye protection.)

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June

• TOP JOB: Clean lint from clothes dryer vent, from the dryer drum to where the air is vented outdoors.

• Repair or replace damaged window screens and weatherstripping.

• Caulk open joints, particularly around windows and doors.

• Repair or replace gates, fence posts, landscape borders, etc.

• Replace worn faucet washers.

• Clean decks, gazebos, fences and patio furniture. Refinish if needed.

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July

• TOP JOB: Carefully climb on the roof (provided the roofing materials can be walked on) and inspect it or have a qualified roofer do it for you. Look for damage to shakes, shingles or tiles. Inspect anything that protrudes through the roof for rust, open seams or other damage. Be careful.

• Check exterior walls for cracks, peeling paint or other damage.

• Check operation of attic fans and turbine vents. If attic space is accessible, make certain that attic insulation is not blocking air flow through vents. While in the attic check for worn electrical wiring, water damage, loose ducts, etc.

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August

• TOP JOB: Clean underside of range hood and clean or replace filters.

• To possibly eliminate water hammer, a banging noise in pipes, shut off the incoming water to your house. Open the highest and lowest faucets, valves or outdoor faucet, and drain all water from pipes to restore air cushions in the plumbing system.

• Clean condenser coils or fins beneath or behind refrigerator, according to the manufacturer's instructions. Check to be certain there is adequate air flow around the appliance. Is it time to replace your refrigerator's water filter?

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September

• TOP JOB: Inspect water heater for leaks and flush tank. Test temperature and pressure relief (TPR) valve according to the manufacturer's instructions.

• Paint the inside of your house if needed.

• Remove ``pop-up'' drain plugs and clean.

• Check for leaks at valve where water enters the house, at outdoor faucets and any valves to fixtures, such as to toilet, bathroom or kitchen sink, bar, etc. Turn each off and on several times to make certain they operate properly. Check for leaks.

• Inspect grout around sinks, tubs and showers. Repair or replace damaged areas.

• Clean patio furniture and prepare for winter storage. Protect metal surfaces with auto polish. Refinish wood surfaces as needed.

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October

• TOP JOB: Replace batteries of smoke, heat and gas detectors. Do this when you set the clock back to standard time.

• Insulate outdoor pipes to avoid freeze damage. Use plastic to cover insulation that is exposed to water.

• Clean gutters. Leaves and other debris will hamper drainage and may promote rusting. Compost the leaves.

• Inspect and clean the fireplace and flue before lighting your first fire. If you have a wood-burning stove, remove the stovepipe between the stove and chimney and clean that section and the pipe exhausting outdoors. Hire a professional if needed.

• Stack firewood away from the house and off the ground. Firewood can contain termites and other pests.

• Check furnace filter. Clean or replace if necessary.

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November

• TOP JOB: Inspect crawl space after rain for water accumulation or excessive moisture. Do not block vents to the crawl space in winter.

• Shut off water to washing machine and remove water supply hoses. Check washers. Replace hoses that are damaged, including where fittings are badly corroded. Check the owner's manual for any other maintenance recommendations.

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December

• TOP JOB: Clean lint from clothes dryer vent, from the dryer drum to where the air is vented outdoors.

• Service clothes dryer, cooktop or stove, dishwasher, trash compactor, countertop appliances, exhaust fans, etc., according to the manufacturers' recommendations.

• Clean underside of range hood and clean or replace filters.

• Disconnect the garage door opener to lubricate hardware. Springs on overhead doors should be adjusted by a qualified service technician.

 

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EACH MONTH

• Test and inspect smoke, heat and gas detectors.

• Check fire extinguishers. Replace or have serviced those that need it.

• Check to be certain nothing flammable is near a source of flame, such as a water heater pilot light, gas range, furnace, etc.

• Practice family fire-escape plan and review earthquake preparedness.

• Inspect electrical cords for damage. Repair or replace if needed.

• Check the operation of all electrical circuit breakers by turning each off and on. Do the same with ground fault circuit interrupters, usually found in bathroom, kitchen, garage and outdoor outlets. Replace those not working properly.

• Always be alert for other safety hazards, such as cracked walkways, hazardous materials that aren't properly stored or unsecured heavy bookcases or other furniture that could topple during an earthquake.

• Check water softener. Add salt if needed.

• Clean garbage disposal by grinding up two trays of ice cubes made from a mixture of 1 cup white vinegar to 1 gallon of water. (Be certain to use the disposer cap when grinding.) For a pleasant odor follow the cleaning by grinding a lemon.

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