The Ultimate Home Maintenance Checklist for Your Chicago Home

Your home is an investment worth looking after. Home maintenance can seem overwhelming, and that’s why we created a list that breaks up the tasks into how often each should be performed. What parts of the home should be maintained every month, quarter, season, and year? Follow this checklist to feel confident that you’re doing what you can to take care of your family and home. 

Table of Contents:

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Why Should I Perform Regular Home Maintenance Check-Ups?

That's a simple answer... to keep your home in the best condition possible.

A detailed check-up is similar to going to the doctor's office for a medical check-up. You want to know what's okay and what's not. And you want to take action to fix things that need to be fixed before they get out of hand.

Early detection of problems aids in the preservation of your home. Furthermore, performing preventive maintenance can extend the life of the equipment and materials, which is generally less expensive than replacing these components.

How Do I Perform A Home Maintenance Check-Up?

We have outlined all aspects of your home and the optimal times that it should be inspected. Whether you should perform the tasks monthly, quarterly, seasonally, or annually, we lay it all out for you.

Additionally, if you are looking for a printable home maintenance checklist so you are able to track and appropriately maintain your home, we also have a home maintenance checklist that you can follow.

Home Maintenance Checklist for your chicago home

Home Maintenance Needed Every Month

Some home maintenance should be done once a month. Missing a month here and there is normal, however, you could be missing important signs that could result in more damage as time goes on and even injury to a family member or visitor. 

Check Fire Extinguishers

  • Make sure the seals are intact
  • Look for any damage
  • Check the pressure by using the test indicator

Deep Clean Counters, Tiles, and Floors

  • Go beyond your regular cleaning
  • Disinfect grout
  • Steam floors if it’s safe to use on the flooring material

Dryer Maintenance

  • Thoroughly vacuum lint ducts 
  • Vacuum area all around your dryer 

Clean the Grills of Your Wall Heaters

  • Clean the grills to get rid of any dirt and dust buildup
  • Soak the filter in a bucket of warm soapy water

Vacuum Registers and Grilles

  • Make sure there is no dust accumulation to allow for proper air circulation and help to ensure good indoor air quality

Check Water Softener 

  • Replenish salt if necessary
  • Check for hard-water mineral scaling

Clean Your Range Hood Filter

  • Remove the grease filter from your range hood
  • Soak it in warm soapy water with some baking soda
  • Scrub it with a non-abrasive brush, rinse, and dry

Test Smoke Detectors & Carbon Monoxide Detectors

  • Press and hold the test button and wait for a loud, alarm-like noise
  • If the sound is weak or the detector is silent, replace the batteries immediately

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Maintenance Every 3-4 Months

Depending on the age of your home, furnishings, or appliances, these items may need to be looked after more frequently. 

Change Furnace Filters

  • Change your filters more frequently if you have pets, use a fireplace, or have allergen sensitivities

Check Wires 

  • Start from the basement and work your way through every room of the home
  • Look for fraying or any sign of wear

Washing Machine Maintenance

  • Clean out your washer's inlet filters with soapy water
  • Check for any leaks
  • Replace if necessary

Inspect Caulking 

  • Check around sinks, tubs & showers
  • Look for damp patches, mold, and gaps
  • Re-caulk if necessary

Water Heater Maintenance

  • Flush out your water heater to remove sediments that have built up over time in the tank 

Air Exchanger

  • Clean the filters with a vacuum
  • Wash in a solution of warm water and mild soap
  • Rinse and allow dry time before replacing

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Chicago Home Maintenance Every Spring

Some home maintenance items are better suited to be looked after in the Spring after the last snow has fallen and warmer temperatures allow for better visibility and access. 

Roof

  • Inspect the roof’s surface, flashing, eaves, and soffits 
  • Clean out the gutters and downspouts and check for proper drainage
  • Installing deicing cables if ice build-up persists
  • Repair any weak areas
  • Look for bare spots, buckling, curling, and torn or missing shingles
  • Check the underside of the roof, where accessible, for water stains or dampness
  • Check for damaged flashing, gutters, and downspouts
  • Inspect vents, louvers, and chimney caps

Inspect the Attic

  • Check for leaks, mold, moisture intrusion, fire hazards & critters

Exterior Caulking

  • Inspect any exterior caulking and fill cracks and caulk edges as soon as possible

Windows and Doors

  • Clean window and door screens
  • Repaint window sills, door sills, and thresholds, if needed 
  • Check windows for fog and condensation, which can signify cracked seals or aging windows that need to be replaced
  • Oil all door hinges, particularly exterior doors

Garage-Door 

  • Oil garage door opener and chain
  • Check for accumulated water at the bottom of the door
  • Check that the door can open and close all the way

Check for Pests and Schedule Professional Pest Maintenance 

  • Have a professional evaluate potential pest problems and prevent future ones
  • Seal any gaps or holes around pipes doorways and windows to keep them out
  • Install some mesh screening over exhaust pipes
  • Securely cap your chimney to keep larger pests out

Reseal Tile Grout in the Shower

  • Tile grout elsewhere can be sealed once every 3 to 5 years
  • Clean the grout thoroughly first

Septic Tank

  • Hire a professional to inspect and pump the tank 

Inspect Your Decks, Porches, and Patios

  • Inspect your deck for loose screws and protruding nails, corroding fasteners, and rotting wooden boards or posts
  • Check for loose or wobbly connections
  • Inspect for any termite damage or structural damage
  • Check for any areas that need paint or staining touch-ups 
  • Check concrete for any damage, cracks, sinking, or animals burrowing below

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Property Maintenance to Check Every Fall

Before temperatures drop and freezing sets in, these items should be checked off your home maintenance list. 

Roof 

  • Clean out the gutters and downspouts and check for proper drainage
  • Repair any weak areas

Siding

  • Inspect and clean siding
  • Make any repairs if necessary

Windows and Doors

  • Inspect window and door weather stripping and repair if needed
  • Power wash the build-up of dust and pollen from your windows

Thermostat Sensor 

  • Clean your thermostat's heat sensor, contact points, and contacts
  • Check the thermostat’s accuracy

Inspect Forced-Air Heating System

  • Have the forced-air heating system inspected by a professional
  • Schedule an inspection in late summer or early fall before colder weather sets in

Inspect the Fireplace

  • Check the fireplace for damage or hazards 
  • Clean fireplace flues.

Deep Clean the Carpets

  • Rent a steamer or hire a professional service for a deeper clean than regular vacuuming

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Annual Home Maintenance Checklist

Outside of items that are best to be completed in either the Spring or Fall, other annual tasks can be done when it’s more convenient or feasible for you. 

Air Conditioners 

  • After disconnecting it, simply spray the unit with a water hose to clean off loose debris
  • Spray the outside with a coil cleaner
  • Hire a professional to run tests and check hoses

Prune Trees and Shrubs

  • Remove dead limbs
  • Trim back excess growth, especially vegetation that’s too close to the home or fence lines
  • The best time is after the growing season, like late summer

Test Indoor Air Quality

  • The air inside your home can be 3 times more polluted than the outdoors
  • Hire a professional to check your indoor air quality or invest in detectors
  • Use a hygrometer to check the humidity levels throughout your home and purchase a dehumidifier if necessary 
  • Or call an HVAC professional to install a furnace-integrated dehumidifier

Inspect Your Basement

  • Check for leaks
  • Look for cracks in the foundation
  • Check for evidence of pests

What To Do When You Need a Repair

As you go through your home maintenance checklist every month, quarter, season, or year, you will eventually need a repair or two that’s more complex than a quick run to the hardware store. You may even notice that quick repairs won’t be enough and a remodel is necessary for bigger repairs. Call Patrick A. Finn to get your home back into shape. 

Take advantage of having a talented team on your side and think about other parts of your home that could use updates. Is your layout causing frustration? Has your family grown out of the space and been forced to make it work? Patrick A. Finn is a Chicago area design-build firm with a reputation for centering client needs above all else, delivering a seamless experience that leaves clients with a space that well exceeds expectations.

Home Maintenance Checklist for your chicago home

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Written By Patrick Finn