Taking Care of Your New Home: A Seasonal Guide

Your home is typically your biggest asset, so taking care of it is essential. Not only will keeping up with home maintenance protect your investment, it will make living in your home more enjoyable.

Some inside chores are year-round, best done weekly or monthly, depending on your lifestyle and tolerance. So while some might reach for the scrubber at the first sign of mold in the bathroom grout, others might tackle it quarterly.

That said, here’s a suggested checklist of seasonal maintenance.


Spring is the time for rebirth, renewal and cleaning anything that doesn’t move.

• Wash windows inside and out on a cloudy day to avoid streaking
• Power wash deck and vinyl exterior siding
• Steam clean carpets and floors
• Dry clean or machine wash drapes
• Dust baseboards and cabinet toe kicks
• Do a deep clean on bathroom surfaces and renew tile grout
• Give your oven and stove top a good scrub
• Change batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors

The yard
• Prune trees and shrubs to shape and let in sun
• Gather fallen branches and other yard debris, and compost if possible
• Prune shrubs and plants to 2 feet away from air conditioning compressors
• Plant summer-flowering bulbs like dahlias after last date of frost
• After the lawn wakes up, fertilize and over-seed if necessary
• Scrub and fix patio furniture
• Power wash sidewalks, patios and paths

Home exterior
• Clean and repair gutters and downspouts
• Repair or replace window screens to keep out bugs
• Scrape and touch up peeled paint
• Remove, replace and paint rotting wood trim
• Remove and replace crumbling bricks and stone
• Inspect foundation and seal cracks
• Check and replace cracked roof shingles and vent collars


When the weather turns hot, summer maintenance revolves around outdoor space and saving money on cooling costs.

The yard
• Water plants deeply two or three times a week, then give grass a little water daily
• Mow grass as needed (length varies by variety) and leave clippings on the lawn to decompose and nourish the turf
• Keep on top of weeding flowerbeds and around shrubs; a spritz of horticultural vinegar will kill young weeds
• Deadhead spent flower to encourage continuous blooms

• Dust ceiling fans and change rotation direction to counterclockwise to create a cooling downward air flow
• Clean refrigerator coils to keep the appliance cooling efficiently
• Clean refrigerator door gaskets; replace if necessary
• Dehumidify the basement to prevent mildew and mold
• Clean or replace air filters that can reduce your AC’s energy consumption by as much as 15 percent


Winter is coming, and you’ve got a few months to prepare.

• Hire a professional to check and clean your heating system
• Clean and replace system filters, and clean return vents
• Change batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
• Inspect and repair weather stripping around doors and windows
• Check the insulation around your home, and consider adding more in the attic to save money
• Call a chimney sweep to maintain chimneys

The yard
• Pull spent plants, remove weeds, store summer bulbs like dahlias, and dig in shredded leaves to nourish soil
• Plant bulbs like tulips for spring color
• Aerate your lawn to help water and nutrients to penetrate grass roots
• Overseed lawn bald spots
• Clean and cover porch furniture; bring cushions inside
• Empty and clean flower planters and pots
• Clean and store garden tools
• Disconnect, drain and store garden hoses before the first hard freeze

Home exterior
• Check and repair caulk around window frames and venting — any place heat can escape
• Replace frayed door sweeps to prevent drafts
• Clean gutters of fallen leaves


Staying inside and saving energy are the name of the winter chore game.

• Clean or replace furnace filters
• Reverse ceiling fans so blades spin clockwise to move warm air down into rooms
• Turn off interior water valves that lead to outdoor spigots; open bibs a bit to let remaining water in pipes drip out
• Wrap vulnerable pipes in unheated rooms or on exterior walls to help prevent a cold-weather burst
• Clean heating registers to maximize air flow
• Wait for spring to return

This article was originally published at Zillow.

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