Your Annual Home Maintenance Schedule
Every year, each system in your home needs care to prevent unnecessary damage and keep everything running smoothly. Here’s what to put on your Georgia home maintenance schedule.
Maintaining Your Outdoor Space
When spring comes, with it comes several chores to make the outside of your home look lovely. There is also a handful that can prevent future damage to your home. To cover these, inspect the roof for damaged or missing shingles, clear the gutters, and trim dead branches and overgrown bushes to keep your yard tidy and minimize damage to your home.
Plumbing Maintenance to Keep the Water Flowing
The best way to prevent severe leaks, clogs, or other plumbing mishaps is to inspect your system at least once yearly. Whether you hire a professional or conduct the inspection yourself will depend on your situation and knowledge.
- Keep drains and P-traps clear. Pour baking soda and vinegar into the drain and allow to set while the frothy reaction breaks down minerals and food particles. Wash everything with boiling water. Use a plumbing snake to clear debris from the P-traps under the sink and in the tub.
- Check for leaks and signs of water damage. Inspect all the pipes and faucets for leaks. If you notice water damage on the ceilings or walls, it could also be a sign of a leak in the wall.
- Inspect toilet tank and flapper for wear. Check for damage to the flapper that can make the toilet water run longer. Also watch out for corrosion in the toilet tank.
- Test water pressure. You can either test the pressure with a gauge or place a gallon bucket under the faucet. Time how many seconds it takes for the bucket to fill. Divide the seconds by 60 to find the faucet’s flow rate.
- Schedule an inspection for the septic system and sewer line. The technician will check for damage, see if the system needs to be pumped, and offer solutions to prevent tree roots from digging through your sewer line.
Kitchen Plumbing Maintenance
While cleaning faucets and drain maintenance also play a role in caring for the kitchen plumbing, it’s also important to clean these three appliances to increase their effectiveness and extend their lifespans.
- Clean the garbage disposal with ice. Add ice and a cup of salt to the disposal twice per month. Allow the blades to run, and the friction will clear any old food that was cemented on the blades. After, let the vinegar and baking soda sit in the disposal, killing bacteria and eliminating odors.
- Sanitize the dishwasher with vinegar. Once per month, remove and clean the filter from the washer floor. Wash the sprayer arms, clearing mineral buildup from the spouts. Clean the buildup around the door seal. Finish by adding white vinegar to the machine and running it on high heat to eliminate bacteria and odors.
- Flush the refrigerator water line. Every 6 to 12 months, clear your refrigerator’s water line to remove mineral buildup and ensure your water and ice are still clean. After closing the water supply to the fridge, disconnect the copper pipe attached to the water tank and fill it with vinegar. Lift the line above the dispenser to flush the liquid through. Rinse thoroughly before replacing.
How to Care for Your Sump Pump
The sump pump needs to be tested regularly—particularly close to spring when the melting snow or additional rain can bring floods. Dump a bucket of water into the sump to test if the pump is working properly. If the motor starts up when the water level reaches a certain point, the system is working. If it doesn’t, call for professional assistance.
Maintaining Your Water Heater
With water heaters, there are three main pieces that need yearly care. The temperature release valve, which releases excess pressure from the system before it bursts your pipes, the anode rod that draws minerals in the water to it, and—for tanked heaters—flushing the tank to clear out sediment buildup.
Related Content: All of Your Home Heating Options: Explained
Servicing Your Electrical System
Ensuring your home has regular electrical maintenance keeps your family safe from electrical fire hazards and electric shock.
- Smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detectors. Every year, change the batteries and test that both detectors are working properly. This prevents your family from being vulnerable to fire or CO2 poisoning.
- Outlets. Check that each of your outlets still works with an outlet tester kit and inspect for discoloration or burn marks. Scorched cover plates can indicate dangerous issues behind the walls.
Schedule an inspection once every 3 to 5 years. It’s helpful to have a professional inspect your electrical system to identify hazards and offer insight on optimizing your energy usage and saving money on your bill.
Keep Your HVAC System Running Smoothly
Keep your home cozy with a regular heating, ventilation, and cooling (HVAC) maintenance schedule. Biannual HVAC inspections—once in the spring and once in the fall—let you know if the system has damage that needs to be repaired or replaced before you are in the thick of winter or the heat of summer. These are essential elements of HVAC maintenance.
- Change all filters.
- Examine the ductwork for excessive dust, mold, or dirt buildup.
- Check that the heating element works properly. Damaged or defective heating elements can lead to a buildup of carbon monoxide.
- Inspect and clean the evaporator coils and condenser.
- Clear the drain pans of standing water.
- Ensure the blower, blades, and fan motor are not damaged.
- Detect refrigerant leaks.
- Check the compressor for damage.
- Clean leaves, twigs, and debris away from the outdoor unit.
Expert HVAC Maintenance in Atlanta
Even after you’ve formed your home maintenance schedule, you may find small things you want to add. Plant fresh flowers in the spring, or paint the siding. Whatever you choose to include on your annual schedule, make sure all of your main home systems are on it. Keeping your plumbing, electrical, and HVAC systems running smoothly affects the whole atmosphere of your Georgia home.