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Checklist: Your Annual and Monthly Home Maintenance List

Last modified: 2020-07-29 | Approximate reading time 16 mins

Amanda Harvey

As a homeowner, it can feel like our schedule is filled with boring maintenance tasks. Sometimes it can even become a kind of insurmountable mountain that we’ll tend to avoid by cutting corners or simply ignoring what needs to be done. This impulse is completely normal, as most homeowners will experience a similar situation during their lifetime. However, you have to realize that avoiding maintenance tasks will end up having financial consequences and sometimes even risks for your health and for the integrity of your home.

To make this mountain easier to tackle, one of the best techniques is to create a well-organized schedule where these tasks are spread out over the year. Knowing exactly when a certain thing needs to be done will make it easier to tackle and will help you stay on top of your home maintenance management.

Certain tasks can also be entrusted to experts. If you already have an annual schedule to manage the maintenance of the various property elements, you can arrange in advance to contact these experts and get a date that suits you so that the work is completed. 

Do you need a little help to determine which maintenance tasks should be scheduled for the coming months? We’ve prepared this article to guide you. You’ll also find a checklist/checklist document that you can use to record dates and check off what’s been done. Click here to go directly to the memory aid in table form

The house maintenance list (monthly, seasonal and annual tasks)

Entretien d'un bain_bathtub maintenance

We’ve divided this article into two main sections: tasks that should be done on a monthly or bi-monthly basis and jobs that are recommended on an annual or bi-annual basis. A note will also be added to indicate whether these tasks should be performed at a certain time of the year (for example, in summer or before the first frost).

Monthly or bi-monthly maintenance list

Here are the tasks to schedule once a month (or every two months). The more people there are in your home, the more likely it is that this maintenance should be done regularly.

Change air conditioning filters (when used)

Why is it important to regularly change the filters on an air conditioner? Here are the three main reasons:

  • To ensure the device can before well;
  • To avoid breakdowns;
  • To ensure good air quality.

Here 's an article where you'll find information about cleaning filters in an air conditioning unit: How to replace an air conditioning filter.

Hotte cuisinière_kitchen hood range

Inspect and clean the kitchen hood

The reasons why it’s important to clean the kitchen hood are almost the same as those of air conditioners. If you neglect cleaning the hood, it won’t operate at full capacity.

Change furnace filters

Furnace filters should also be changed regularly. If you notice that your home smells like dust, it could be a sign that the filter needs to be changed as soon as possible.

See our article: 4 things to know about electric furnaces

Entretien de maison_home maintenance

Remove mineral deposits from faucets and showerheads

If your water contains a lot of lime, it could form a deposit in your taps and showerhead. To avoid flow problems, you should remove these deposits as they appear. To do this, there are several techniques including natural products (lemon, vinegar) and products sold in hardware stores. If the filing results in blockage, you can also hire the services of a plumber.

Inspect baths, showers and toilets to prevent or repair obstructions

Also, take advantage of the previous inspection to assess the presence of other types of obstructions in the valves and piping to avoid blockages.

nettoyer évier et broyeur_sink and garbage disposal

Clean your garbage disposal

If you neglect the maintenance of your garbage disposal, you may have to deal with very unpleasant odours in your kitchen. Know that this type of problem is easy to avoid. Indeed, a simple monthly cleaning should be enough to keep the tool in good condition. Be sure to turn off any electricity before cleaning the grinder with dish soap or baking soda. You can also try the salt and ice cube technique.

Clean window frames

Around the windows, we tend to see an accumulation of dust and dirt from outside. If the window frame is damaged, there may also be traces of mould or other harmful elements. To avoid a long-term accumulation of grime that would be hard to remove, it's best to take a look at your windows and clean the frames. This is all the more important for basement windows, which are even more exposed to dirt than others.

Check out our article: How to maintain wood window frames

Micro-ondes cuisine_kitchen microwave

Thoroughly clean your appliances (fridge, oven, microwave)

If your appliances are clean and tidy, they will certainly last longer. Once a month or every two months, take a few minutes to thoroughly clean your refrigerator, oven and other appliances in your kitchen.

Clean the ducts around the dryer

It’s very important to clean the ducts that are connected to the dryer because if dust has time to accumulate inside them, this could cause a fire hazard. In general, these pipes can be cleaned using a sweeper. However, if in doubt, you can also contact duct cleaning experts.

Thoroughly clean all floors

Most people will do a weekly cleaning of their floors, which provides an adequate level of cleanliness for daily needs. However, several times a year, it’s recommended to carry out a more advanced maintenance treatment.  To avoid the accumulation of dirt which will sometimes withstand regular cleaning, you can use more powerful products and a technique requiring more meticulousness. Be sure to choose your cleaning products carefully, as some flooring materials are more fragile than others.

Balayeuse entretien maison_vacuum cleaner home maintenance

Annual or bi-annual maintenance list

Below is a list of exterior maintenance tasks to be performed on an annual or bi-annual basis.

Clean windows

Windows are among the most important elements of the home. They allow air to circulate and natural light to enter your home. Once or twice a year, the exterior surface of the glass deserves a good cleaning to ensure that the windows are kept clean and that they remain in good condition for the long term.

Here’s a task that you can do as an owner, but it’s also possible to hire experts who will offer you an affordable cleaning service. This option is all the more interesting when some of your windows are difficult to access, especially those located on the second floor or in a skylight.

Fill out this form to be put in touch with window cleaning companies

Boyau d'arrosage extérieur_exterior hose

Maintain outdoor plumbing

Outdoor plumbing components, including the garden hose and sprinkler systems, are exposed to bad weather. If not properly maintained, they could have a reduced lifespan. This is why it’s important to maintain or look over them at least once a year.

This should be done in the spring, as winter is when there is the most potential for damage. Watch for rust, make sure your piping is well insulated, and check that drains aren’t blocked.

You can contact an outside plumbing expert for this type of project.

Caulk the holes around the house (to prevent insect infestations)

Several times a year, you can do a cursory inspection around the house to see if you notice any holes that are open invitations for various critters to enter your home. These holes could be found around basement windows, in foundations, in siding and so on.

The techniques to repair these holes vary depending on where these openings are located, so it will be necessary to adapt your plan of attack according to the conditions to which you are exposed.

Caulking experts can also guide you to see what should be done. Further, we can help in your search for experts!

Nettoyage vitre_washing glass surface

Inspect the condition of the patio

At the end of winter, you’ll certainly be looking forward to enjoying your patio! Before you install your furniture and your BBQ, take the time to inspect its structure to make sure everything is in good condition. Once that is done, you’ll be able to determine if you need to re-paint or stain the patio and if certain repairs are necessary.

Would you prefer to entrust this task to a person who specializes in the maintenance and renovation of patios? We can help you!

Inspect the roof

In spring and fall, it’s strongly advised that you carry out a roof inspection. Ideally, this inspection should be done by an expert. However, if you can observe the roof well from your front or back yard, you‘ll be able to do your preliminary inspection.

Be very careful if you decide to climb with a ladder, because it’s one of the riskiest actions in terms of house maintenance, especially if you’re not used to this type of equipment! This is why we prefer to say that you should hire an expert for this type of task. Also, a roofer will have a precise eye for identifying potential problems.

Are you looking for a roofer to inspect your roof? Click here!

Inspect the foundations

Foundations play a very important role in ensuring the integrity of your home. Therefore, it’s in your best interest to monitor the condition of your foundations at least twice a year, in spring and fall. Doing this will mean that you will be able to intervene quickly if problems appear, such as cracks or efflorescence.

Check out these articles to learn more:

Produits de nettoyage_maintenance products

Inspect the exterior siding

There are several types of exterior siding materials. Since this article applies to everyone, we can’t give specific advice for a particular coating. However, it’s important to know that all types of sidings should be inspected at least once a year.

Here are the main problems to watch out for the most common models:

  • Brick - Bulging brick, joints in poor condition;
  • Vinyl - Warped slats;
  • Aluminum - Marks and dents;
  • Wood - Mould, maintenance requirements;
  • Fibre cement - Discolourations, cracks;
  • Suretouch- Problems with joints.

You can also check out our articles on exterior siding for more information:

Would you prefer to work with an exterior siding expert? Tell us about your project so that we can refer specialists.

Feuilles d'automne_fall leaves

Remove leaves on the ground

Before winter, it’s strongly advised to remove most of the leaves that have fallen from the trees to allow the lawn to breathe. If we omit this step when finishing up our landscaping protective measures before the snow arrives, we risk ending up with a bad lawn when spring arrives.

There’s also another option, which is to spread the leaves and shred them with a mower-shredder, to create a layer of compost.

Here. you will find pros who can help with your landscaping

Clean the gutters

We are aware that cleaning gutters is not the most preferred task. However, it’s important not to neglect this crucial operation aimed at ensuring that the gutters can fulfill their role adequately. In general, the gutters should be emptied and cleaned at least once a year. If your house is surrounded by trees, you’ll have to repeat this operation two or three times a year to avoid blockages.

To learn more about cleaning gutters, see this article:

Nettoyage de gouttières_cleaning gutters

Clean your exterior surfaces with a pressure wash

The pressure washer is a very useful tool to help you when cleaning the exterior surfaces of your house. This tool is sold in hardware stores, but you can also rent it or hire experts who offer this type of maintenance service.

Warning: some materials are not designed to support the power of the jet of a pressure washer. Before proceeding, find out whether or not you should use this tool!

Here’s an article about pressure cleaning that can help you:

Click here to find pressure washing experts

Take care of your landscaping

Landscaping is a general concept that encompasses several things, here is a short overview:

  • Opening the yard in the spring;
  • Closing the yard before winter;
  • Maintaining the lawn/installing peat;
  • Setting up and maintaining flower beds;
  • Pruning trees and shrubs;
  • Applying pest control products;
  • Installing or repairing paving stone / concrete / tiles.

We have chosen to include landscaping in this checklist to help you organize the dates when the tasks will be scheduled in your calendar.

Peinture et teinture patio_painting and staining deck

Repainting your exterior surfaces (patio, covering, shed, fence)

Before you’re able to enjoy the summer, most people will want to make sure that their outdoor environment meets their expectations. Sometimes, this involves taking out the brush to paint or stain wooden surfaces, including the patio, balcony, siding, shed or fence.

Here are some articles about painting and staining on exterior surfaces:

Don't you feel like taking on the job to paint or stain your exterior surfaces? We can put you in touch with experts!

Reopening and maintaining your pool

Pools are back in style and when we’re lucky enough to have one in our backyard, it’s important to take good care of it! This involves doing basic weekly maintenance when open, but also deeper maintenance during spring and fall.

Are you looking for swimming pool experts to install a new one or to repair the one you already have? Fill out our form.

Clean window wells to remove any debris

Window wells play an important role in protecting basement windows. However, for them to be able to do their job, they must remain in good condition.

Watch for ice dams and icicles around the roof

Who hasn't seen those long icicles that hang along the gutters and ledges of a roof, creating a pretty landscape typical of cold winter days? Unfortunately, the presence of these icicles indicates that there’s probably an insulation problem in your home.

Here's what you need to know about ice dams

Entretien extérieur gazon_outdoor maintenance grass

Indoor or bi-annual maintenance list

Below is a list of exterior maintenance tasks to be performed on an annual or bi-annual basis.

Clean the ventilation ducts

If your house is equipped with a ventilation system that contains ducts with vents leading into your home, you’ll need to plan for regular maintenance. At least once a year, you should schedule an inspection and cleaning.

You can entrust this task to ventilation duct cleaning experts, as they will have access to the appropriate equipment to perform this type of maintenance. Fill out the form to be put in touch with pros!

Tapis d'intérieur de maison_interior rug maintenance

Deep carpet cleaning

Carpet floors are far less popular than before, but that doesn't mean they have completely disappeared! If you have carpet flooring in some of the rooms of your home, you will have to think about doing in-depth clean at least once a year. This will help restore the carpet to its beautiful original colours and prevent a build-up of dust from affecting the air quality in your home.

There are tools you can hire to clean floor mats. Otherwise, you can also consult carpet maintenance experts.

Oil your floors (if necessary)

Are your wood floors oiled? A new coat of oil should be applied approximately every 3 to 5 years. In other years, you can watch for stains and repair small scratches that sometimes appear on the surface.

Here’s an article about the maintenance of oiled floors:

Are you afraid of applying the oil incorrectly on your floor? Don't hesitate to contact floor renovation experts

Nettoyage de plancher_cleaning a floor

Check the water heater to see if there are leaks

A home's water heater has a limited lifespan. Depending on the models, it could last 10 to 20 years. To make sure that your device is working well and that it will reach the end of its expected life, you should take a look at it at least once a year.

In some cases, it’s advisable to drain your water heater. You may also need to descale the tank, examine the anode, and test for resistance. Note: if you know very little about this type of appliance, it’s strongly advised that you call in a water heater expert.

Test your fire and carbon monoxide alarms

This may seem obvious, but many fires that destroy homes could have been prevented if the owners had taken the time to test their smoke detectors. The same is true for carbon monoxide detection systems, where incidents could have been prevented by an assistive device.

Twice a year, test your systems to see if they still react as expected.

Inspect your basement to avoid flooding

If your home is at risk of flooding, you should monitor the condition of your basement walls, windows and ceilings.

Check out this article for more info about waterproofing your basement:

 

Lavage de mains_washing your hands

Repair damaged caulking around doors and windows

In winter, you can check if cold air is entering your interior through cracks around your doors and windows. These openings must be blocked, either by caulking, adding insulation or installing various accessories designed for this purpose such as weatherstripping.

Click here to be put in touch with experts in doors and windows

Repair damaged caulking around baths, sinks or showers

In bathrooms, caulking is used to prevent water infiltration that can damage walls and floors. If the caulk is damaged, it will not be able to work as expected.

Here's an article on caulking around a bath:

Coulis tuiles de céramique_grout ceramic tiles

Redo the grout around the ceramic tiles

Have you noticed that some parts of the grout around your ceramic tiles are damaged? Don’t neglect the maintenance of grout, especially in rooms that are often exposed to water including bathrooms and kitchens.

Here’s an article that presents some advice on the maintenance of tile joints:

Maintain your kitchen/bathroom countertops

Countertop surfaces are among those that undergo the most daily maintenance. That being said, once or twice a year, it’s important to plan a more thorough cleaning. The cleaning tools and techniques will depend on the type of countertop material you’ve installed.

You can find more information by consulting our articles about kitchen countertops:

Hotte cuisinière_kitchen countertop

Inspect the chimney

We see fewer and fewer chimneys on homes, but if your home is equipped with such a structure, it’s important to avoid neglecting its maintenance!

Lubricate your door hinges

Do your door hinges produce unpleasant noises? Take the time to lubricate all hinges with a product designed for this purpose. You’ll find this type of product in your neighbourhood hardware store.

Check the condition of your electrical system

In everyday life, we do not always realize that our electrical system would need to be refurbished. In this article, you’ll find signs to watch out for so that you can determine if there’s a problematic situation:

Electrical work must always be carried out by experts. Are you looking for electricians? Click here to fill out the form

Maintain the sump pump

Is your sump pump in good working order? The role of this pump is to evacuate the water that enters through the floors and foundation walls to avoid damaging accumulation. The sump pump can be tested by pouring a bucket of water into the tank to see if the pump responds properly. If the water remains in the tank, you’ll need to hire an expert to repair the pump.

Reinstall and maintain sprinklers

Does your home have a sprinkler system installed to put out fires? Be sure to inspect your system regularly to make sure it’s working.

This type of inspection should be done by a specialist in sprinkler maintenance, as it’s a relatively complex system.

Clean the coils of your refrigerator

During spring cleaning, many tend to clean the inside of the refrigerator. However, many people forget to wash the outside parts, including the coils under their appliance (or sometimes behind). The cleaning of fridge coils is used to remove dust which affects the proper functioning of the compressor.

Be careful to follow these steps during cleaning:

  • Unplug the refrigerator;
  • Remove the grid which is installed in front of the coils;
  • To vacuum;
  • Clean the drip tray with soapy water;
  • Put everything back in place.

What housekeeping tasks should be left to experts?

Throughout this article, we’ve often mentioned that certain maintenance tasks should be entrusted to experts. Indeed, tasks involving more complex systems (especially plumbing and electrical systems) should always be performed by specialists.

It’s also difficult to replace expert knowledge when it comes to inspecting for potential problems. If you prefer to have more free time to spend with your loved ones and on your hobbies, don’t hesitate to call on the services of companies used to doing this work.

Here are some other useful articles about house maintenance:

Home maintenance checklist (annual and monthly tasks)

Click here to download the PDF version of the checklist

Home maintenance checklist

Home maintenance 02

 

 

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