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House tasks to tackle each yearEwelina Wachala / Shutterstock
Our houses are probably our biggest investment so it's important to take care of them to protect and preserve as well as maintain (and possibly even increase) resale value. But knowing what upkeep and repair jobs should be on the to-do list can feel like a daunting chore especially if you're a first-time buyer. With this in mind, we've put together an annual home maintenance checklist to keep your dwelling ship-shape and running smoothly from year to year.
Spring: work out a seasonal rotaMatalan
The best way to keep on top of annual house maintenance upkeep is to work out which jobs suit certain seasons. A home comes to life in spring, so use this time for jobs that involve a good declutter, a paint refresh and let sunlight stream through clean windows. Whereas ensuring your house is cosy in time for winter means preparing heating systems and weatherproofing just before the cold months arrive. Spreading the list out throughout the year ensures your home will stay in constant order all year round.
Spring: freshen up the front gardenDobbies
Ensure your kerb appeal remains superior with an outdoor and front garden refresh. Wash down and repaint (if necessary) porch walls. Clean glazed panels. Rub down and repaint wooden frames. Trim and prune trees and hedges. And why not update the entrance entirely with one of these new fabulous front door ideas.
Spring: professionally clean hard-to-reach glazingUsed Kitchen Exchange
Glass roofs require a bit more maintenance than regular windows and are often hard to reach. Use lukewarm water and soap to clean the interior with a telescopic brush and then hire an expert to clear them of leaf litter, moss, algae and grime externally. Conservatory roofs are not designed to be load-bearing and will need specialist cleaning equipment.
Spring: refresh tile groutDirect Tiles
Spring is prime tme for thinking about a bathroom refresh. Sealant and grout are probably one of the most neglected bathroom aspects, yet faded, moulding and cracked areas not only affect the whole appearance of the bathroom but cause leaks and mould opportunities in all corners. Instead of ripping out your old suite, inspect the caulk annually to check for decay and replace if necessary. Wash bathroom tiles with warm soapy water and use bleach or apply a mould remover on really dirty grout. Repair any holes with a grout pen.
Spring: clean and paint patios and deckingCarpetright
Your garden needs constant maintenance all year round to ensure it doesn't overgrow and become a jungle. However, the structural elements should only need sprucing up once a year to maintain an attractive and cared-for outdoor space. Jet wash patios and decked areas, re-strain garden fences and sand and re-paint wooden furniture and decking, ready for summer.
Summer: service the boilerQuite Mark
Summer is a good time to have your boiler inspected by an authorised inspector and may be part of your insurance policy. Before you start it up for the first time as the days become colder, read the manual and carry out any maintenance instructions, such as topping up the water pressure. Here are 7 ways to keep your boiler running smoothly this winter yourself. Something not working? Check out these 8 common heating system problems and solutions – it may be a job for the experts.
Summer: sweep chimneysGarden Trading
Before you start using your fireplace or wood-burning stove, call the chimney sweep to prevent build-up. Most people choose to do so at the end of summer or even springtime, so it is ready for colder temperatures ahead.
Summer: repair and paint window framesSofology
Make sure warm air doesn't escape through windows during winter by double checking window frames are sealed and draught free. Identify air leaks. Remove old caulking, prepare and clean the area and apply fresh caulk at the joints. If needed, give wooden frames a touch up of paint to protect them and keep them looking fresh and clean.
Summer: mend walls, steps and fencesDariusz Jarzabek / Shutterstock
Inspect external walls, garden fences, steps and paths for decay and corrosion. Are there cracks or crumbling mortar that needs to be filled? If walls and fences are leaning look for tree roots or climbing plants that are causing deterioration and have them professionally removed.
Summer: wash through pipesB&Q
While this is not a fun job, keeping bathroom drains and pipes flushed clean of soap scum and clogged hair will ensure pipes last. This task can be carried out throughout the year, but with all those extra summer showers your pipes do take a hit in the summer months. Enlist a professional plumber or run drain cleaning gels throughout the system according to packet instructions. Or, for a natural formula pour bicarbonate of soda, white vinegar and boiled water through the system. The results will speed drainage and eliminate nasty niffs.
Autumn: bleed radiatorsThe Big Bathroom Shop
There are a few maintenance jobs to carry out each autumn before you turn on the central heating for the first time. One of those is bleeding the radiators. Don't worry, it's not as gory as it sounds. The process simply releases air build-up and allows the radiators to fill with hot water. Read our How to bleed a radiator: a step-by-step guide to ensure your home is warm and toasty and your energy bills remains low for winter.
Autumn: clear the guttersM-Foto / Shutterstock
Gutters are an important resource for collecting and draining rain water back into the ground. A blocked or broken gutter system with lead to water running down the house causing brickwork damage, leaks, damp and mould. Before winter sets in clear guttering of leaves, moss and general build-up. Ideally do the same in the springtime, and scan for bird or small animal nests and inspect for holes, cracks or any loose brackets.
Autumn: check the roofEwelina Wachala / Shutterstock
Whilst gutters are being cleared it is also a good idea to inspect the roof for loose or cracked tiles and check the flashing is watertight. Carry out an inside inspection – look for water rings and sunlight shining through and get the professionals in if you need to.
Autumn: declutter the garageIKEA
Without a regular declutter, the garage could soon become a dumping ground that's too hard to tackle. Set a date each year to have a thorough clear-out and clean up. Autumn can be a good time to have a sort out of the garden furniture. Where you can, keep storage boxes off the ground to keep a damp-free and organised space. Once sorted and clear make use of the space with these 35 garage hacks that are borderline genius.
Winter: lubricate hinges and valvesFotoDuets / Shutterstock
Make sure your house runs like a well-oiled machine by running checks on taps before they seize up. Turn stopcocks on and off and spray with WD40 or natural alternatives, if preferred. Check door hinges and locks that might be used often and repeat the process.
Winter: check the electricsLoaf
Ensure your home's electrical system is running safely and efficiently with a yearly check. You could schedule a professional check-up to deal with any niggling issues or to inspect your fuse box and electrical panel. Throughout the year be mindful of plugs, outlets and wires; do not force them, never overload sockets and always unplug and don't leave on standby any appliances that aren't in use.
Winter: deep clean carpetsAndrey_Popov / Shutterstock
Children, pets and cooking odours can take their toll on carpets and rugs. Whilst regular vacuuming keeps surface dirt at bay, a deep clean once or twice a year will take the sanitising process a step further by washing fibres and removing deep-down dirt. This will keep carpets clean and longer-lasting.
Winter: service large appliancesB&Q
Make kitchen appliances last by giving them a yearly review. Clean the refrigerator base grill to improve airflow. Wash door seals and replace any water filters every six months. Check the dishwasher filter for build-up, clean out water jets with a toothpick. Flush out washing machine pipes, empty the filter, and clean door seals thoroughly. Have your oven professionally cleaned or give it a deep clean yourself and inspect door gaskets.
Winter: touch up wall paintGood Homes at B&Q
Throughout the year painted walls can endure scrapes and nicks especially in high traffic areas such as hallways and open-plan living areas. Keep an additional can or handy space-saving container of paint labelled for each room and a few tester pots of bolder colours in the newly organised garage to patch cover and make walls like new. Why not give yours a fresh coat before welcoming guests for Christmas?
Any time: change smoke alarm batteriesHadrian / Shutterstock
To keep your smoke alarms in good working order the batteries should be changed once per year. Fireservice recommends testing them once per month and when clocks change by pressing the test button until the alarm sounds. After 10 years it's best to get a new alarm. Do the same checks with carbon monoxide alarms and fire extinguishers.
Looking for deep cleaning tasks? 30 Household chores to do before winter
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27 October 2021
InteriorsSee more on this topic
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