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  • Writer's pictureThe O'Hara Group

The 12 Home Maintenance Tasks You Are Probably Forgetting

Updated: Oct 20, 2023


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Don't Wait Until You Sell!

While it's crucial to address the obvious maintenance tasks when you own a home, like replacing old appliances or touching up paint, there are also some hidden gems on the maintenance front that you are probably forgetting about that can make a BIG difference. And guess what?? It's much easier to stay on top of these tasks routinely over the years while you are enjoying your home rather than waiting to take care of everything right before you decide to sell.


So here are the 12 home maintenance tasks you are probably forgetting... you're welcome!


LET'S TAKE THIS OUTSIDE


1. Gutters & Downspouts

Gutters are designed to direct water away from your home's foundation, roof, and walls, protecting them from water damage. When gutters become clogged with leaves, twigs, dirt, and other debris, they can no longer function properly, causing water to overflow and potentially damage your home. Water damage can be expensive to repair and can lead to mold and mildew growth, which can be harmful to your health, AND is usually a big [and scary] surprise when you sell. By cleaning your gutters twice per year and making sure water is directed away from your house, you can prevent these issues and save yourself a headache down the road.



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2. Power Wash

Over time, your home's exterior accumulates dirt, grime, and other pollutants, which can cause damage and wear down the aesthetic appeal of your home. Especially if you have light-colored vinyl siding, power washing is an effective and efficient way to really make your home's exterior shine.


3. Outside Faucets

Two simple things here: 1) Make sure they are not leaking. A leaking outdoor hose bib (faucet) will introduce water directly into the foundation or basement of your home, and you definitely don't want that. And 2) Make sure you turn off the main water valve that supplies your outdoor hose bibs before temperatures drop below freezing to avoid a major issue [IYKYK].



BATHROOM BREAK


4. Check for Leaks

The smallest drip - over time - has the potential to wear and warp most surfaces, and you've probably seen that stained, bubbly, gross-looking wood or laminate under a bathroom sink. FYI: the goal is to AVOID that. Make it a habit to check for water anytime you grab something from under your sink.


5. Clean the Ceiling Vent Fan

That thing can get really gross! Like disgusting. So take a look up next time you visit your bathrooms, and if you see caked dust, it's time to clean. If you are unable to remove the vent cover, just use a Swiffer or some other type of duster, or use a vacuum attachment to get rid of the dust and gunk.


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6. Refresh Bathroom Caulk

There's nothing that makes a bathroom look gross more than old, peeling, or stained caulk. So refreshing old caulk is definitely something you don't want to forget. Take a minute to check the caulk in your bathrooms, and if you notice anything not-so-nice-looking, you can try scraping the caulk and replacing it, or if it's stained, often a cleaner with bleach will do the trick. Just be extra meticulous, since the caulk prevents water from getting behind your tile, which is definitely something you don't want to deal with later.



IN THE KITCHEN


7. Clean Around/Behind the Refrigerator

If you want to see some really gross stuff, pull out your refrigerator. Yup, we told you! This is definitely a task that most of us forget about and for good reason. Over time, dust, dirt, and pet hair can accumulate behind your fridge, which can cause it to work less efficiently and even lead to potential fire hazards. So do yourself a favor and put this on your to-do list. To clean behind your fridge, first unplug it and then carefully pull it away from the wall. You may also want to use a damp cloth to wipe down the walls and floor behind the fridge.


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Photo courtesy of The Spruce

8. The Dishwasher Filter Needs Attention

Over time, the filter at the bottom of your dishwasher catches food particles, debris, and other residues, which can lead to blockages and just general gross-ness. This is why it is important to clean your dishwasher filter regularly. It's actually a super easy task, but one that most of us forget about. Take a look at this helpful tutorial on how to do it.



TURNING UP THE HEAT


9. Have Your HVAC Serviced

Do NOT neglect scheduling annual inspections and servicing of your HVAC systems. A professional technician can clean and tune up your furnace, air conditioner, and any other components, ensuring they operate efficiently and smoothly. Not only will this help prevent unexpected breakdowns, but it will also extend the lifespan of your equipment.


10. Change the HVAC Filter

This is one that so many of us forget. Regularly changing your HVAC filters is crucial for maintaining good indoor air quality and ensuring proper airflow. Clogged filters can put a strain on your system and reduce its efficiency. It's also a good idea to clean the vents and ducts throughout your home. Dust and debris can accumulate over time, blocking airflow and reducing the effectiveness of your HVAC system. While you can likely change your own HVAC filter, it's best to call in a professional to clean the ducts throughout your home.



WASH & DRY


11. Clean Your Dryer Vent

A clogged dryer vent can lead to a variety of problems, such as reduced airflow, longer drying times, and increased risk of fire. When the vent is blocked, the hot air and moisture produced by the dryer cannot escape properly, which means that it will take longer for your clothes to dry. This not only wastes energy and money, but it can also cause your dryer to overheat and potentially start a fire. By cleaning your dryer vent, you can prevent these issues and ensure that your dryer is running safely and efficiently.



LAST BUT NOT LEAST, THE CHIMNEY


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12. Have Your Chimney Inspected & Swept

Even if you don't regularly use your fireplace, this is one of those items that almost always comes up during a home inspection, and is usually quite costly. Once per year, add it to your calendar to have your chimney inspected and swept. The inspector will check the crown and the cap, the liner and the firebox. This is especially important if you have an older house with a tall brick chimney. You'll thank us when it's time to sell, we promise!


 

Check out The O'Hara Group's Home Maintenance Checklist to help you remember what you should be doing to maintain your home, and as always, reach out if you need help or recommendations!



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