Maintaining your home is not a sprint. In fact, it’s a marathon – one that doesn’t end after 26 miles or 26 years. It’s continuous, and while it’s great to get into a routine of knowing what to do and when to do it around the home, this maintenance plan can be disrupted with tasks that pop up every two, five, or even 10 years.
That’s why we put together this quick, long-term home maintenance checklist. Think of it as a road map to help you win your house marathon.
Looking for a weekly, monthly, seasonal, and even annual home maintenance checklist? We’ve got that for you right here – The Home Maintenance Tasks You Need to Do Again (and Again and Again).
Maintenance tasks to complete every 2 to 5 years
Seal or sealcoat your driveway
Sunlight, ice, rock salt, and chemicals (like oil and antifreeze) can destroy your driveway, so you’ll need to sealcoat again (and again). The best time of year to sealcoat is generally between May and October as sunny days decrease the time for curing and the possibility of precipitation.
Call a termite professional
A termite infestation can destroy your home, and no, we’re not being dramatic. In fact, 2020 was a record-breaking year for first-time customer termite treatments, according to Orkin Pest Control. Learn how to get rid of termites and how to treat a termite infestation in Taking a Bite Out of Homes.
Cleaning and re-sealing heating ducts
Dirty or improperly sealed ducts can add hundreds of dollars to your annual heating bill. It can also lead to health concerns with your indoor air quality. By having a HVAC professional inspect and clean your ducts regularly, you may be able to make your home more energy efficient and prolong the life of your HVAC system.
Seal or refresh bathroom grout
Water damage is one of the more costly homeowners insurance claims and one of the most frequent. While you should inspect your shower and bathtub annually, you should re-grout to keep water from getting behind the walls every few years. If water hits your walls, mold and mildew can form (in as little as 24 hours!), and a mold professional will need to treat it before you can fix anything else.
Caulk your windows
Windows are notorious for losing heat and cool air, especially if they were installed years – or even decades – ago. They can raise your utility bills, cause water damage, and welcome in unwanted pests.
The Department of Energy has common caulking compounds to help you decide which compound is best for your windows, but caulking is fairly cheap to buy at your local hardware store and easy to apply. Just remember to caulk when there’s low humidity and the outdoor temperature is between 45 and 72 degrees.
If you have any concerns, hire a handyman or window professional to help you with this task on your home maintenance checklist!
Maintenance tasks to complete every 5 to 10 years
If you perform regular maintenance for your home, you’ll up your chances of making these updates every 10 years (rather than five) and save yourself a whole lot of moolah.
Rip up the carpets!
New carpeting can help prevent bugs, allergens, and even skin irritation! If you notice matted down threads in high-traffic areas, numerous stains, worn-out padding, and even a terrible smell – it’s time to get new threads under your feet.
Give your exterior a brand-new coat
Painting your home’s exterior helps to prevent mold, mildew, and water stains, and can even prevent water damage from rotting the wood. Plus, exterior painting can also upgrade your curb appeal, which can add value to your home.
Consider hiring a professional for this home improvement project if your house has more than one story or you’re DIY challenged.
Ship out your old sump pump
Your sump pump usually needs to be replaced on the higher end of this spectrum, between seven and 10 years. We should note – some experts say you can repair your sump pump during this time, but the cost to repair and replace are similar. So it might be better to replace your sump pump now as you’ll get more out of a newer one than an older one.
Think about the kitchen sink
As you’re probably beginning to realize, water damage is one of the most frequent problems that occurs in a home, and your kitchen is not immune.
After five years, the seal around your kitchen sink can begin to give way. You can replace it, generally with polyurethane or silicone caulk, which is easy to install. However, you’ll eventually need to replace the sink – once it clogs frequently or no longer retains water.
Fix up your wooden deck
While you should inspect your deck every spring – before you begin your summer entertaining – you’ll probably need to replace a majority of the boards every ten years.
If you’re uncertain how to manage your deck maintenance, it’s probably best to hire a professional who can help you power wash your wooden deck yearly, seal it when necessary, and replace the boards.
Replace smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
Carbon monoxide and smoke detectors have expiration dates! They should be replaced about 10 years after they were manufactured, and the vipHomeLink app will send you a reminder to do this!
You should check your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors monthly and change the batteries when needed. Also, some smoke alarms detect carbon monoxide, so make sure you have the correct alarms and detectors to keep your home safe!
Not sure which home appliances and home areas you need to replace beyond 10 years? Check out our guide to replacing household appliances.
Stay on top of home maintenance
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Get it today!