The items on this checklist are things you can do yourself. Deferred maintenance is very expensive in the long run because the damages and repairs required might not be something you are equipped to do yourself.
For example, if a slow leak develops in the drain under the kitchen sink or your dishwasher door gasket is leaking, if the leak is not detected, the damage could be very labor intensive (translated: expensive).
It makes more sense to be ever diligent. Watch for and expect such things to occur. They will and do occur. If detected early, it is a relatively simple matter to repair the O-ring on the drain connection or pick up a new dishwasher door gasket at Part Select. The objective is to do this before the floor needs to be replaced.
Review the home maintenance checklists at least every season to avoid costly repairs -and, in some cases threats to your (and your family’s) Life Safety.
- Learn How to Replace Furnace / Air Conditioning filter -at least every 60 days -more often if you have pets or are allergic to dust.
- Clean dryer exhaust vents – at least seasonally. You may notice a build-up of lint at the outlet. Could eventually become a fire hazard.
- Test ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCI) like the one to the right- by pressing the ‘test’ button. It should trip. If it doesn’t trip, replace it. This is an Electrical Life-Safety issue.
- Check smoke and CO alarms – here is another Life- Safety issue. Replace batteries if you didn’t when the clocks were changed.
- Replace the batteries in your programmable thermostat. If they run too low, your furnace will not run. If you are away for the weekend, your house might freeze and the pipes could burst -as a worst case scenario. It happens. Your basement might end up looking like the flooded boiler room on the Titanic.
- Ensure proper storage of fuel cans – ideally they should be in a metal cabinet with other flammables. If you don’t have such a locker, place the cans in an outdoor shed. If you don’t have one of those, place the cans in a spot where a smoker won’t walk by them with a lit cigarette and away from spark producing equipment.
- Check for signs of rodents, bats, roaches, termites – they all like to come inside when the weather turns cold. If you don’t control the rodent population, they will quickly overrun the place. Bats are different, they go someplace to hibernate and won’t breed over the winter.
- Check hot water heater for leaks – check the main tank for leaks and signs of seepage at the pressure relief valve. It’s also a good idea to drain a pail of water off the bottom to control the sludge build-up on the tank bottom. A build-up of sludge decreases efficiency greatly.
- Check traps and drains under sinks, tubs, showers for leaks. Fix-it-now (FIN) is a good policy. Deferred maintenance is costly.
- Check shower-tub surrounds for signs of damage to caulking – replace the caulking before the walls are ruined.
- Check washer hoses connections. Are they leaking? Even if they are not, do you know how old they are? If one burst, it make a heck of a mess to clean up. Consider buying new hoses.
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