New Year Home Maintenance Checklist

It’s another new year, and for most homeowners, that means another year of home maintenance. If you’re having trouble figuring out where to start, don’t worry! This short New Year home maintenance checklist can help get you started:

1. Make Sure Windows and Doors Are in Good Shape

Temperature transfer occurs most frequently at doors and windows. So by making sure your doors and windows are in good shape, you’ll safeguard your heating and cooling efforts. Check entry doors for proper sealing, and make sure there are no gaps around the edges.

Windows can degrade over time and after enough exposure, so checking them regularly is key. A more obvious sign that your windows are losing their oomph is the pane cracking – if your windows are cracked, they’ll need to be replaced.

Even hairline cracks can cause major temperature transference. Minor signs of wear include improper seals or cracking seals, which can leave windows less efficient and could be reasons to replace your windows.

Check out the time-lapse video below to see the Zephyr Thomas team installing new windows on this home!

2. Check Over Appliances and Fixtures

The end of the previous year is packed with holidays, which can mean a lot of people and activity for many homeowners. As you settle down from the holidays and ease into the New Year, check over all of your appliances and fixtures.

Take a look at all connections, clean anything that needs to be cleaned, and make sure everything is still in good shape. This is also a good time to check in on furnace filters, air vents, dryer vents, and more to make sure they are clean and clear. If you need to replace filters, the New Year is a good time to do it.

Do your appliances need to be updated? Or, are there components that need to be cleaned or replaced? This is a good time to do minor maintenance like vacuuming the dust that has built up behind your refrigerator or near the coils, cleaning your kitchen garbage disposal if you have one, cleaning your oven range hood filters/screens, and more.

How are your faucets and fixtures? Is anything damaged or degraded? Check over anything that has water flowing through it, especially your pipes. Do you see any evidence of leaks? This type of regular review and maintenance can help protect your home from water damage.

3. Test Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Regularly testing your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors is key to fire safety for your home. If any batteries are low, replace them. If you have detectors that require replacing the whole unit, take note of when they need to be replaced and set a reminder for yourself to take care of that when it’s time.

Additionally, take stock of your fire extinguishers. Make sure they are charged and not expired. If you don’t have any, it’s a good idea to pick up some. Just make sure you get the right kind for the room it’s in.

4. Look Over Decks and Railings

Wooden decks look classic when they’re polished and new, but over time, they can show tremendous wear. For the areas of your home that have exposed wood, check for peeling finishes, rotting wood, or other loose materials. These are all signs that your deck might be due for a refinishing. Depending on the severity of the issues and how tired you are of maintenance, these could also all be signs it’s time to replace your deck.

Railings suffer a great deal from withstanding constant weight – especially on their bracing points. Having loose fittings on a railing can cause that irritating wobble whenever pressure is applied. The longer it takes to have them tightened or replaced, the more dangerous the railing becomes. Having an unstable railing isn’t something to ignore and is a top sign it’s time to replace porch railings.

If it’s time to refinish your wooden deck and railings, consider replacing them with a vinyl deck and vinyl railings instead. With a vinyl deck, you don’t have to worry about refinishing because they are durable and virtually maintenance-free. On top of that, they’re impervious to most weather and you won’t need to worry about rot or damage from pests either.

These are just a few benefits of vinyl railings and decks. Check out the video below to see the Zephyr Thomas team building a new home addition with a deck for this homeowner!

5. Examine and Clean Gutters and Drainage

You might need to get up on a ladder for this one, but making sure your gutters are in tip-top shape can save you time and money this new year. Check for holes, debris, and instability in your drainage system. Do what you can for clearing out debris, but leave the rest to professionals if you find issues or other signs you need to replace your gutters.

After all, having a malfunctioning gutter can cause improper drainage and improper drainage leads to water damage. If your gutters are loose or damaged, they may need to be replaced. You can also consider adding gutter guards to help protect your gutters and prevent the buildup of debris that can cause blockages.

6. Check Your Siding

Look for gaps or warping in your siding and make note of anything you see. It’s important to maintain a solid barrier between your home and the elements, and proper siding goes a long way. The last thing you want is an ugly water stain and unwelcome mold, or worse! Looking over your siding and your roof are some summer home maintenance tips as well.

Take a look at the time-lapse video below to see the Zephyr Thomas team installing new siding on this home!

7. Inspect and Clean Your Roof

Inspecting your roof is one of the regular roof maintenance tips that can help protect your home and extend the lifespan of your roof. You want to make sure you are not missing any shingles and that nothing is damaged or cracked.

It’s also a good time to check for things like ice dams or other signs of poor roof ventilation. If there is any debris on your roof from winter storms, you’ll want to clear it off and also check to make sure none of it caused any damage upon contact.

Check out the video below to see the Zephyr Thomas team completing a roof replacement for this homeowner!

8. Trim Back Trees and Shrubs

If you don’t have much vegetation around your home, then you may not need to do this. However, if you do have trees and shrubs that are close to your home, especially branches that hang over your roof, you’ll want to take some time to look over everything. Evaluating the trees in your yard is one of the winter home maintenance tips that can make a big difference in the long run.

You can trim back overhanging branches and shrubs that are growing too close to your home or foundation to help prevent damage. If you have large, older trees near your home, it’s not a bad idea to have them inspected to make sure they are healthy, strong, and are not in danger of uprooting or falling on your home.

Found a Problem?

If you’ve found issues in any of these areas while going through your own New Year home maintenance checklist, give us a call at 717-399-4708 today! Our professional and friendly team will answer any questions, and whether you need handyman services or bigger projects, our expert contractors will repair your home as good as new.