Home Owners Seasonal Maintenance List

Here’s a handy checklist of home maintenance tasks for each season, as well as items to tackle monthly. Just scroll down for our current season!

Monthly to-do items

  • Test smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms. You know the saying, safety first. This is something that can be easily overlooked but testing smoke detectors will take you literally 5 minutes or less. Just do it, check it off the list and keep your family safe.
  • Snake and clean all drains as necessary — tubs, showers and sinks — to avoid costly plumbing problems. Especially those of use with long hair and those with pets washed indoors!
  • Check heating, ventilation and air conditioning, or HVAC, filters and change, if necessary, to keep your system running at maximum efficiency. Some of the newer homes have 3 month filters and some are 6 month filters, but if you have pets you may need to check sooner.  They are inexpensive and replacing them is as simple as sliding thIn order to maintain good air quality in your home and keep your HVAC system running smoothly. You can even  order them cheaply through Amazon. No excuses.
  • Clean your dishwasher screen to get rid of trapped food particles that can block water flow and affect efficiency.
  • To keep your sink drains/disposals smelling fresh try putting lemon or lime peels through the disposal.
  • Wash out and disinfect trash cans to avoid odors and bugs.
  • Examine your utility bills for major spikes in usage. It could be a sign of major issues with your home’s systems, or that you need adjust your usage habits (or just call the company to get their side of the story lol)
  • Deep cleaning. Giving your house a deep cleaning each month will prevent the build-up of nasty grime and filth that is not only disgusting but can lead to other issues like insects and rodents. Make a list of everything that needs to get scrubbed and divide up the duties. Regular cleaning will make it much more manageable versus doing it once in a while.

Inspect fire extinguishers

It’s important to regularly inspect your fire extinguishers for obvious reasons. This article gives a good overview of what to look for during the inspection. In addition to inspecting them, make sure they are stored in places that you can access quickly and are close to areas that are prone to fires such as your kitchen or furnace.

Clean garbage disposal

Clean your garbage disposal each month to prevent repulsive odors from developing and debris from getting stuck and damaging the system. There are several easy techniques you can use to clean your disposal. Cut up lemons and toss them in while you’re running it. Instead of lemons, you can use ice cubes. You can also pour dry baking soda down the drain along with a cup of distilled white vinegar.

Unclog drains

You are constantly flushing food, debris, hair and other things down the various drains in your home. Make sure they stay unclogged to prevent blockage and avoid major plumbing issues down the road. Especially if you have long hair. You will need to make sure to check your shower drain. Same if you have pets you wash in your bathtub or shower.

Clean the range hood and filter

If you cook as much as I do, grease will build up quickly in your range hood and filter. Regular cleaning will prevent kitchen odors, air pollution in your home and a greasy mess that, if neglected for long enough, it can become a fire hazard. The hood is simple, just wipe it down with soap and water. Cleaning the hood filter is easy as well, just soak it in hot water and soap then give it a good scrub.


It’s spring and the weather is finally warming up. It’s time to get 

outside and tackle some of those repairs and maintenance projects that you put on-hold all winter. Here are the most important things to do each spring to keep your house running smoothly.

  • Check for damage to your roof. Over the course of the year, the chimney rakes receive punishment from hail, wind driven debris and falling branches. Every spring you should hire someone to make sure the bricks and mortar are intact, the flue is not damaged, there are no cracks, and the damper is working properly. A professional roofer will also check to make sure all nails are sealed, no shingles are lifted or cracked, the granules are still in place, and all flashing and roof jacks are in good condition. The rubber type boot jacks typically deteriorate earlier than lead jacks. If youve had a recent wind or hail storm you will need to have a roofing professional inspect the roof right after to verify there are no leak concerns or shingles damaged that need to be replaced.
  • Blow out your sprinkler systems and restart outdoor water sources.
  • Uncover and check all exterior faucets for leaks or damage.
  • Have an HVAC professional inspect and maintain your air conditioning system. If you have central air conditioning system it is critical to have the system serviced every spring prior to heavy use in the summer. They will clean or replace the air filter, clean the indoor coil, clean the condensate pump, and give the entire system a thorough inspection. Regular service will extend the lifespan of the equipment, increase dependability, reduce the chances of major issues, and increase system efficiency which saves you money on your power bill. 
  • Examine and replace extension cords that have become worn or damaged to avoid electrical fires.
  • Make sure your fire extinguisher is accessible and operable.
  • Clean lint buildup from the clothes dryer exhaust duct, damper and space under the dryer to prevent fires.
  • Clean gutters and downspouts. Your gutters and downspouts are an integral system in your home. They are the pathways for rainwater flowing off your roof and into the ground. They protect your roof, walls, and foundation from water damage. If you allow leaves, sticks, and debris to build up in the gutters and downspouts, it will not only block the water flow but will also make a nice home for mold, pests, bees, and rodents. We recommend cleaning the gutters and downspouts twice a year, once in the spring and once in the fall, but also check monthly for larger items that may get stuck.
  • Wash outside windows and siding.  The rain will take care of this for you. Well, that is what I thought before I owned my home. Unfortunately, that is not the case. Rent a power washer and spend a couple hours blasting your siding and windows. You’ll be amazed at how much dirt and stain can build up.
  • Septic tank cleanout (if you have one). Some experts recommend pumping the septic tank every 3-5 years while others say every two years. Check with your chosen professional.
  • Lawn maintenance.  Weeds are going to happen no matter what but the best way to limit them and keep your lawn healthy is to apply pre-emergent in the spring. Pre-emergent prevents the germination of weed seeds so they can’t sprout on your beautiful lawn. It’s easier to prevent them than to get rid of them after the fact. Theres a lawn service called TruGreen but you can pick up a bag of pre-emergent at Home Depot or on Amazon and apply it yourself with a spreader. You can speak to a lawn professional at a local gardening center if you would like to apply nutrients to your lawn to help promote that beautiful dark green look. Look in the Fall section here for the seeding info if you would like to do that in late Spring rather than early Fall.
  • Re-seal the deck, fence, railings and other outdoor woodwork. Your wooden deck and fence take a lot of punishment from the elements over the course of the year and especially in the winter. Give them a thorough inspection each spring and if you see the wood starting to splinter, it might be time to re-seal it and make sure it’s protected. This article from Lowes.com gives a nice step by step overview of how to clean, seal or stain your deck.
  • Repair cracked, broken or uneven driveways and walkways to prevent trips and falls. Like your deck and fence, your driveway takes on damage throughout the year too. If you notice severe cracking or what they call the “alligator effect”, it’s likely time to reseal your driveway. Water will get into the cracks, freeze and expand which further accelerates the damage. There are concrete repair items at Home Depot or can be ordered on Amazon. If your driveway has large unlevel sections and needs professional attention contact us so we can recommend a driveway repair company that does Mud-jacking
  • Check the shutoff valve at the water main and each plumbing fixture to make sure they work and aren’t leaking. 
  • Inspect your sprinkler system. Over the course of the year, they are prone to break. Bushes and plants often grow into their spray path preventing the water from reaching the intended areas of the yard. Lawn mowers can do damage too. In both cases, you’ll be racking up a larger water bill and not getting optimal results. The upfront cost of installing new sprinkler heads and/or relocating them won’t be cheap but doing so will save you in the long run.
  • Spray for mosquitos and other bugs. Spray each year around the perimeter of your foundation, at weep holes (gaps in the brick at bottom by the slab), around your patio, doors, and windows outside. We still get some bugs, there’s no way to completely stop them, but I’ve noticed significantly fewer since I started spraying. It’s very affordable and worth the 30 minutes it takes to apply it.
  • Check caulking. Caulk does not last forever. Some brands/types break down sooner than others. Not only does caulk keep moisture out of places it shouldnt be, it keeps bugs out of your home. Example: Ants are notorious for coming in the uncaulked joints of baseboards. This article from Home Depot gives a nice video of what caulk to use in the different areas of your home.
  • Check screen doors and windows. Give your screens a once over each spring. Fix any rips or holes and keep the bugs out of your house. There are dozens of inexpensive and simple to use products on the market to patch broken screens. This is the one I use and it does the job, but there are lots of choices so check to see what you like.
  • Get your lawn mower blades sharpened. If you do your own mowing that is…Bring your mower to your local shop and get the blades sharpened each year. Several experts recommend twice a year but I think that is overkill unless you have a 2+ acre lawn in which case it’s unlikely you are cutting it yourself. Sharp blades cut the grass cleanly so the plant recovers quickly and makes your mower more efficient.


My strategy is to do as much Summer maintenance while the weather is still mild so I can enjoy the hot summer weekends at the beach. Here is what I recommend tackling each summer.

  • Check play equipment for damage, and repair if necessary.
  • Hire an arborist or tree trimmer to remove damaged or dead trees that might fall on or near your home.
  • Examine exterior siding for chips or damage, and repair as needed.
  • Check window and door locks to ensure they lock properly.
  • Check your home for water leaks and/or damage. 
  • Prepare for a storm. We live in Texas plus on the Gulf Coast so be prepared long before the season begins. Stock up on water bottles, non-perishable food, batteries, flashlights, matches, candles, shovels, and ice melt. Consider buying a generator if your area is prone to power outages. This article from Direct Energy will give you lots of ideas and another list of smart items to stock away.
  • Get the grill ready for cooking. Do a thorough cleaning and buy new grates if necessary. Fill up your propane and buy an extra tank so you never run out in the middle of a cookout.
  • Mulch. Add a layer of mulch to your flower beds to keep the weeds down and freshen up your landscape. The purpose of much goes well beyond its attractive appearance. It suppresses weeds, adds nutrients to the soil, regulates soil temperature, retains moisture, and prevents erosion. Learn more about the purposes of mulch in this Miracle Grow article: Why You Should Mulch.
  • Exterior paint touch-ups. Inspect the exterior of your home and scrape off and chipping paint, sand it down and apply a new layer.
  • Check on the washer and dryer. Always clean the lint filter before and after each time you use the dryer. Inspect the dryer vent located outside. If the vent is on the roof make this part of the roof inspection in Spring. Make sure air is flowing out of the vent when the dryer is on. If not, remove whatever is blocking it. If the blockage is not obvious, call a service professional to check it out before you use the dryer again.
  • Clean refrigerator coils. The refrigerator coils are what cools the air inside your fridge. Over time they can get dirty and dusty which can make the fridge less energy efficient and cost you money. The coils are located either on the back of the fridge or inside hidden by a kick plate which you can easily remove with a screwdriver. Turn off the fridge and give the coils a quick vacuum.
  • Clean bathroom vent fans.  If you walk into your bathroom and look up at the vent fan you’ll likely see a dusty mess. Take 5 minutes, remove the fan cover, and give it a thorough cleaning. The fan will be more effective and keep the moisture out of your bathroom. If the fan is not effectively removing moisture, you can run into major issues, like mold. Typically the cover just clips on and off.
  • Test your home alarm. Most newer systems like SimpliSafe will alert you when something is wrong with the system. However, this is not always the case. Test the system each year and make sure everything is functioning normally.
  • Wash the trash barrel and recycle bin. Now that you got the hose connected and it’s warm and sunny out, it’s time to clean the trash barrels. I’m not going to sugarcoat it, this is a disgusting job and you might need a face mask to block the smell. Tip your barrels on their side, squirt some soap and give it a good blast with the hose
  • Fertilize the lawn. Your lawn is hungry and it needs more than just water and sun. Apply fertilizer at least once during the summer to keep your lawn strong and healthy. Fertilizers contain chemicals that can be unsafe if you get it on your skin, breath or swallow it. If you can afford it, find a local landscaper and avoid the risk altogether.


Fall is here, the leaves are changing color, football is on, and you can feel the air turning cool and crisp. As much as I’d love to sit on the couch all weekend and watch the games, there are several things that need to get done each fall in preparation for the winter.

Check attic vents

Before winter, climb up into your attic and make sure there is nothing blocking the vents. Take a look at your roof to see if there are any birds nests or debris covering the vents from the outside.

  • Drain sprinkler systems and other outdoor water sources and cover outdoor pipes to prevent freezing.
  • Mow and rake your lawn, and winterize your garden. Bring plants in during cold spells to prevent frost damage.
  • Rake leaves and aerate your lawn. At the end of the season (and before snow falls), clean the gutters.
  • Clean the interior of major kitchen appliances before the holidays.
  • Drain, clean and cover your swimming pool if you live in a colder climate.
  • Empty gas-powered lawn equipment of fuel to avoid damage.
  • Hire a certified chimney sweep to inspect and clean flues and vents.
  • Re-caulk/seal around doors and windows to keep cold air out if you have not done so already.
  • Clean lint buildup from the clothes dryer exhaust duct, damper and space under the dryer to prevent fires.

Schedule a chimney sweep (if you have one)

Before you use your fireplace, get the chimney swept by a professional, especially if you used it several times the year before. Creosote will build up inside your chimney overtime restricting the airflow and can become a fire hazard. A chimney sweep will remove all the ash and soot and keep your home safe.

Put outdoor furniture and grill into storage

This is always a sad day for me because I love sitting outside in the nice weather. If youre like me you will likely do this one at the very end of Fall or beginning or Winter!

Seal cracks on windows and doors (you may have already completed this item in your Spring list)

Drafty windows and doors will make your heating bill skyrocket. Give each window and door a good inspection and make note of any cracks or gaps. Replace the weather stripping on doors if necessary. For windows, seal cracks between the trim and the siding with high-grade polyurethane caulking. If the glass itself is drafty, use clear plastic window film. I’ve never used it myself but have heard from friends that is works really well.

Turn off outdoor water

Prevent any chance of frozen pipes and turn off the water that runs to the outside faucet.

Winterize sprinkler system

Each fall you need to get your sprinkler system winterized. Your irrigation company will come and blow all of the water out of the pipes that run to the sprinkler heads. You are almost guaranteed to have frozen pipes and a major problem if you forget to have this done.

Rake leaves

Raking is not my favorite fall activity but it’s a necessity. If you have thick clumps of leaves covering your lawn all winter and spring, your grass won’t get the light and nutrition it needs and will likely die.

Clean gutters and downspouts

Unfortunately, it is time to clear out your gutters and downspouts yet again. All of those leaves that fell on your roof are now stuck in your gutters. Clear them out before it gets too cold so that rain and melted snow doesn’t build up on your roof and leak into your house.

Overseed and aerate the lawn

In Texas, late Spring to early fall is the best time to aerate and overseed your lawn.  Aerating is the process of removing small coils of soil from the lawn. Aeration allows air and water better access to the roots aiding in germination. For best results, aerate and overseed at the same time. This article from Home Depot a good article on how to do this.

Ensure pipes are well insulated

Inspect the pipes in your bathroom, kitchen, and basement and make sure they are well insulated. Keep the heat at a minimum of 55 degrees Fahrenheit throughout the winter, even when you are not home, to prevent pipes from freezing.

Don’t skip this one thing: Get heating system serviced

Similar to the AC system, the heating system needs to be serviced every year in the fall before heave use in the winter. A service will typically consist of tightening loose connections, cleaning or replacing the air filter, inspecting ductwork, calibrating the thermostat, and testing airflow. A neglected system will use more energy to increase the temperature in your home.

A heating system needs to be serviced once a year, typically at the start of the heating season. A qualified professional will change the filters and check for dangerous carbon monoxide leaks to keep it running at top shape, DiClerico says.

Potential savings: Replacing a furnace costs thousands; repairs could run as high as 1,200. You might add 100 or so in higher heating bills during the winter if your furnace becomes inefficient, too. When I replaced my  worn out furnace I saved between 75-100 per month afterwards!


Winter is a perfect time to catch up on some of the maintenance that you neglect when it’s 75 and sunny and you’re enjoying the outdoors. Here are the things you should do each winter to keep your home in working order.

  • Clean refrigerator and freezer drip pans, and vacuum coils.
  • Inspect the roof, gutters and downspouts for damage or debris after snow storms.
  • Ensure all electrical holiday decorations have tight connections and that any exterior decorations are labeled for outdoor use only.
  • Clean the kitchen exhaust hood and air filter of build-up. You’ll be using your stove and oven a lot more during the holidays.
  • Check your water heater for leaks and pressure issues. Consider installing a leak detector to prevent costly flooding damage.

Make sure your entryways are protected

Put mats inside each doorway to protect your floors. Inspect the weather stripping on exterior doors and replace them if they are worn out.

Check on insulation

Check the insulation in your attic and basement. Home Depot and other home Improvement stores sell small pieces of insulation if you just need to sure up a small area.

Make sure steps and handrails are safe and secure

Take a good look at you front steps and give the handrails a shake. Make sure the rails are secure and there are no loose bricks. Call a mason if any of the stonework needs to be secured.

Insulate hot water tank

If you have an older home where the water heater is open to the weather, you can buy a hot water tank jacket to insulate and prevent heat loss. I found this one from Amazon. Doing this, you may see a year over year reduction in your energy bill. It can pay for itself in the first year. I highly recommend it.

Clean the range hood and filter

If you cook as much as I do, grease will build up quickly in your range hood and filter. Regular cleaning will prevent kitchen odors, air pollution in your home and a greasy mess that, if neglected for long enough, it can become a fire hazard. The hood is simple, just wipe it down with soap and water. Cleaning the hood filter is easy as well, just soak it in hot water and soap then give it a good scrub.

No one said being a homeowner is easy but now you understand your responsibilities and are ready to go!