Social Question

KNOWITALL's avatar

Home ownership- do you do your maintenance?

Asked by KNOWITALL (25497points) February 13th, 2014

I am a dumb homeowner apparently, and found this checklist AFTER I replaced my hot water heater this weekend. I took approximately 3lbs of calcium out of my old hot water tank due to our areas levels.

Do you do all these and do you have anything to add?

1. Roof: Check the roof and around vents, skylights, and chimneys for leaks. Repair as necessary.

2. Attic: If there is no ridge vent, keep gable vents open year-round to ensure proper ventilation.

3. Gutters: Clean the gutters and drain pipes so leaves won’t clog them and be sure they drain away from the house. (Fall: In cold-climate areas) Drain outside faucets.

4. Fireplace: Clean the fireplace of ashes. (Fall) Check the chimney for loose or missing mortar. Have the chimney professionally cleaned. Make sure the damper closes tightly. (Spring) Leave the damper open for improved ventilation if the home is not air-conditioned.

5. Filters: Remember to clean or replace filters once a month, or as needed. Check and clean the dryer vent, air conditioner, stove hood, and room fans. Keep heating and cooling vents clean and free from furniture and draperies.

6. Safety Equipment: Ensure that all smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, and fire extinguishers are in good working order. Replace batteries in appropriate devices as needed, or at least twice each year.

7. Air Conditioner: (Fall: In cold-climate areas) Remove window air-conditioners, or put weatherproof covers on them.

8. Refrigerator: Make sure your refrigerator door seals are airtight. Test them by closing the door over a dollar bill. If you can pull the bill out easily, the latch may need to be adjusted or the seal may need to be replaced. In addition, if you have a coil-back refrigerator, vacuum the coils at least twice each year. Your refrigerator will run more efficiently with clean coils. Also, stock up! A full refrigerator uses less energy than an empty one.

9. Faucets: Check for leaky faucets in the kitchen and bathroom(s). Replace washers as necessary.

10. Windows and Doors: Seal drafty doors and windows. If you added up all of the small cracks where heating and cooling escapes from a home, it would be the same as having a window open. Replace seals as needed.

11. Storm Windows and Screens: (Fall) Take down screens (if removable type) and replace with storm windows. (Spring) Remove, clean, and store storm windows (if removable). Check and patch all door and window screens. Put screens up (if removable type).

12. Siding and Paint: Look for cracks and holes in house siding or paint. Replace caulk if necessary. A carpet knife can work well for cutting away old caulking from house siding. Slice down alongside it from both directions with the hook-like blade, then use the knife to lift out the old caulk bead intact.

13. Basement: Check the basement walls and floor for dampness. Be sure to clean the dehumidifier regularly, if you have one.

14. Heating System: (Fall) Have the heating system serviced. Change filters.

15. Hot Water Heater: (Fall) Drain the hot water heater. Remove sediment from the bottom of the tank.

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

19 Answers

rojo's avatar

Most of my maintenance is of a “repair” it after the problem has developed type.

Pachy's avatar

I do the most basic house maintenance like change air filters and light bulbs, spackle and spot-paint, tighten and lube squeaky hinges, and clean/refill my outdoor spa a couple of times a year. Beyond that, I religiously observe my lifelong mantra which is: If it’s worth fixing, it’s worth paying an expert to fix it.

Strauss's avatar

I do most of my own home maintenance. I usually get up on the roof and check in the attic at least once a year, in early summer before it gets to hot. We have a fireplace, which I can usually maintain myself, having had some experience cleaning chimneys professionally.

We try to hang clothes outside during good weather. In December, we were using the dryer, and found it wasn’t drying. I checked the dryer outlet, and the exhaust hose, and both were clear. When I checked the outside of the vent I found an abandoned bird nest!

KNOWITALL's avatar

I thought one of my air co vents was leaking in the guest room a few weeks ago and come to find out it was a lazy dog chewing a bone on the duvet…lol

Cruiser's avatar

For #13 I would add to check the age and functioning of your sump pump and if you have a battery back-up you should check the age and reliability of the battery(s) and charging system as well. Not having a properly set or stuck float system is the number one mistake I saw with sump pump systems that failed to do the job. Debris in the pump filter is an easy fix.

Disconnecting water hoses from exterior faucets/spigots is a must before winter hits. I found out the hard way water in the hose still connected to the faucet will expand, back up into the faucet and freeze which will burst even a frost free spigot and you discover this the hard way in the spring when you go to use the hose in the spring and water is squirting everywhere including into your basement.

Same thing with waterlines near or along outside walls, under sinks or in crawlspaces will freeze up if not sufficiently insulated. Most home owners find this out the hard way when there is no water when they go to shower in the morning. My first house we had to leave the faucet dripping to prevent freeze up of the pipes that even insulation didn’t keep them from freezing up.

filmfann's avatar

Yes, I do most of it. When a problem develops, I have to fix it as well, budget permitting.
I am getting ready to move to my retirement place, which means fixing up the old house to sell. We have spent a month and a half working on it, and I worry we are only half way done. It is a nightmare.

LuckyGuy's avatar

In the spring I spray a ring of ant/termite barrier around the outside of the house. .

#15 I never drain my hot water heater. I’m in the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” camp. Mine is 30+ years old and works fine.

#14 Heating system. I mostly heat with wood but I check the fuel economy of my oil system a couple of times a year to make sure nothing is changing. My home gets 8.2 Heating degree days per gallon of oil. I get that number by recording the daily HDD for a few days and reading the hour meter I installed on the oil pump. If the fuel economy starts to go down, I will clean it. Otherwise I leave it alone. I don’t use much oil so yearly cleaning is a waste of time and money.

By the way EVERY home owner should know the fuel economy of their home. I predict home fuel economy stickers will be placed on new homes so potential buys can compare energy consumption.and insulation effectiveness.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@LuckyGuy Did you know that if you don’t clean it out, your electric bill goes up exponentially due to the concentration of deposits in the bottom? I totally get your point though.

LuckyGuy's avatar

@KNOWITALL Remember where I live. Every watt my electric hot water heater makes either goes into heating water or heating my cold basement. Even in summer we can use the heat. Not a single watt is wasted.

That said, I do monitor my electrical consumption and if I saw a serious change I’d be on it fast. That has not happened.

Jonesn4burgers's avatar

I’m a renter, but the home I live in is pretty well looked after. They put on those rain gutters that don’t have to be cleaned. They work perfectly, and it’s a huge time saver. Every time a breeze blows the branches and twigs coat the roof and yard. In over two years they’ve stayed clear of debris, nests, and squirrel stores. They sure do catch the rain when it comes. I didn’t know about emptying the water heater. I will talk to my landlady about that. THANX!

Judi's avatar

I’m married to a McGyver. He can do anything.

tedibear's avatar

@Judi – me too! Although a couple of the things on there we have a professional do because it’s easier. And it gives me an excuse for a day off work.

JLeslie's avatar

We change our filters for the air/heat regularly.

Clean the dryer vent every 3–6 months.

Cleaned gutters once a year living in TN. In FL I don’t think we ever cleaned them. We lived in our FL houses between 2–4 years depending on the house.

We recaulked our windows in FL after two years. In TN we went for years with no problems. Finally when I painted the exterior the windows were sealed again as well. I was lucky with that house. I waited 6 years to paint, the house was about 8 years old. No wood rot and no problems with the windows.

I have never serviced my water heaters in any way, but I have been warned I need to do it here. I am getting a water softner to try to help the situation.

stanleybmanly's avatar

It really is depressing how very much of our lives is about maintenance, from brushing your teeth to changing the oil. If you want to have some fun, just look back on the past 24 hours of doing the dishes, tying your shoes, washing your hands, taking out the garbage, paying the bills, changing the lightbulb, taking your pills, feeding the dog…...

LuckyGuy's avatar

@stanleybmanly Don’t forget solid and liquid waste removal. That’s a good 15–20 minutes of my day!

JLeslie's avatar

@stanleybmanly It’s true. A tremendous amount of time just mantaning things. Unless you pay someone to do a lot of it, which I think is a good idea, but a lot of people don’t do it, even if they can afford it.

LuckyGuy's avatar

@JLeslie I can’t pay someone for that service. Some things we just need to do ourselves.:)

JLeslie's avatar

@LuckyGuy Of course silly, but I think a lot of people should get a maid, someone to clean the gutters, rake the leaves, etc. if it is a couple and both people work full time, spending hours on the weekends doing house chores sucks. Some of the chores sure, but it can become overwhelming, exhausting, and cause for discord in a marriage.

Plus, I have this idealism that some of those jobs should be held in higher esteem. There could me more job opportunities for people. I find it ironic that some people look down on those who clean houses, but then are fine letting their wife do all the cleaning. What exactly does that say?

Response moderated (Spam)

Answer this question




to answer.
Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther