Home Maintenance Checklist: Keep your home in good health!


Keep this home maintenance checklist handy to maintain your home’s value and to provide a comfortable and safe living environment for yourself and your family.

Just as you need regular maintenance—in the form of healthy eating, exercise and regular check-ups—to remain in good health, so does your home. Regular home maintenance could help prevent time-consuming and expensive projects down the road. Protect your largest financial investment by setting aside one weekend a month to check off some of these items. For an even more complete checklist of routine home maintenance, hire a professional inspector to visit your home and talk with you about areas you should regularly check.

Foundations, basements and yards

  • Be sure gutters and downspouts are kept open and in good repair so water does not pool around the foundation of your home.
  • Trim shrubs and bushes at least one foot away from the foundation walls.
  • Check your foundation for cracks or crumbling mortar.
  • Examine main support beams and columns as well as floor joists for bowing or warping.
  • Check wood joists, beams and columns with a screwdriver or pocket knife to be sure wood is solid and free from decay.
  • Check the inside and outside of foundation walls for termite damage.
  • Check that the crawl space vapor barrier is in good condition and placed correctly.
  • Examine the inside of basement walls for dampness or water stains indicating a leak.
  • If you live in a state that experiences freezing during the winter, drain your garden hoses and store for the winter.
  • Clean leaves and debris from around outside heating or air conditioning units, and trim shrubs that may block air movement around the house.
  • Drain fuel from yard-care equipment in the late fall or early winter and properly service equipment.
  • Doorways, below-grade window wells and storm drains should be cleaned of debris or leaves.
  • Driveways and walkways should be checked for cracks, breaks or erosion.
  • Periodically check your septic tank if you have one for sludge and scum accumulation in the tank and have your tank pumped as needed.
  • Fences, gates and retaining walls should be checked for condition of structure and materials.

Exterior walls, windows and doors

  • Check bricks or blocks for cracked mortar or loose joints.
  • Check siding for loose or missing pieces, lifting or warping, or any sign of mildew.
  • Check painted surfaces for peeling, chipping, or blistering; water damage; or mildew.
  • Examine all trim for tightness of fit, damage or decay.
  • Check the condition of caulking where two different materials meet, such as where wood siding joins the foundation wall, at inside corners and where window and door trim meets the siding.
  • Check the windows for cracked or broken glass, loose putty around the glass panes, holes in screens and evidence of moisture between pane and storm windows.
  • Check that windows and doors close properly and examine all hardware, lubricating moving parts.
  • Check weather-stripping on windows and doors for damage and tightness of fit.
  • Make sure that all window and door locks work properly.



  • Trim back tree branches that scrape against or overhang the roof. Keep branches away from the chimney to avoid fire hazard.
  • Check for curled, damaged, loose or missing shingles.
  • Check the lower edge of the roof sheathing for water damage.
  • Examine all roof flashing and the flashing around chimneys, vent stacks, roof edges, dormers and skylights.
  • Make sure that the chimney cap is in good condition and is tall enough to prevent creosote build-up.
  • Check vents and louvers for free air movement. Clean screens and remove bird nests, spiders, insects and dust.
  • Check for damaged gutters, downspouts, hangers and strainers. Make sure they are clear and free from leaks and rust.
  • Check the condition of paint on the gutters.

Interior surfaces

  • Check all ceilings and walls for cracks, loose or falling plaster, signs of leaks or stains, dirt and finish damage.
  • Check for cracks where ceilings join walls and where moldings attach to ceilings and walls.
  • Check for odor or visible evidence of mildew or mold.
  • Check for finish damage around cabinet pulls.
  • Examine all joints in ceramic tiles and laminated plastics for adequate caulking.
  • Check caulking around sinks, bathtubs and showers. Replace with long-lasting resilient caulking material as needed, such as silicone or latex.
  • Check all floors for wear and damage, particularly where one type of flooring material meets another.
  • Check stairs for loose treads, handrails or carpeting.

Electrical systems and fixtures

  • Check the condition of lamp cords, appliance cords, vacuum cords, washer and dryer cords, extension cords and plugs.
  • Check for exposed wires and signs of wear in the fuse box. Mark each circuit so you know what outlets or appliances are included on each.
  • Check places where wiring is exposed, such as the attic. Look for exposed wires and wires with cracked insulation and make repairs as needed.
  • If you have ground circuit interrupters (GFCIs) in outlets near sinks, the laundry, and the garage, check the GFCIs monthly and after an electric storm.

Heating and cooling systems


  • Have heating and cooling systems checked once a year by a qualified serviceperson.
  • Clean or replace filters. (Check your owner’s manual for recommended procedures.)
  • Clean dirt and dust from around furnaces, air grills and ducts.
  • Regularly clean out fireplace ash pit.
  • Have the chimney checked and cleaned each fall before you use it.
  • Check the attic to be sure that insulation or other material is not blocking free air flow through attic vents.

Plumbing systems

  • Check faucet and hose connections under sinks and toilets. Look for leaks at shut-off valves at sinks, toilets, laundry equipment and the main water shut-off valve.
  • Check that the water pressure is adequate and all drains run freely.
  • Pull back floor insulation in the basement or crawl space to check for leaks and wood damage around water supply pipes, drains and the water closet.
  • Check the pressure relief valve on the water heater to see that it is working. Look for signs of leaking or rusting. Check your owner’s manual to see if the tank should be drained of a small amount of water periodically.

Safety systems

  • Test smoke alarms and other alarm systems at least monthly and replace old batteries.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher handy and in operating condition for use in the kitchen and near any wood-burning stoves or fireplaces.
  • Keep flashlights handy and in operating condition.
  • Keep outside security lighting in good repair.

Related Articles

Source: North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service
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