The best way to ensure your home is safe and secure is by doing regular annual maintenance. For new homeowners in Oklahoma City, this can seem like a monumental task. Use this checklist to know what you need to take care of to keep your home safe and in good condition.
Update your smoke detector batteries.
You should regularly test your smoke detector.
Some smoke detectors have internal batteries and need to be replaced every 5 or 10 years, if you have this kind, make sure to keep track of when it needs to be replaced.
If your smoke detector runs on external batteries, you should also keep track of the date and make sure to charge or replace the batteries regularly.
Change the furnace filter once per month to keep it running efficiently.
A clean furnace filter pulls air through the HVAC system with less resistance and keeps the air in your home clean.
You can also use a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment to clean out dust, hair, and other debris that accumulates around the area where your furnace sits.
Test your carbon monoxide detectors and make sure they’re working correctly and change the batteries.
Most modern carbon monoxide detectors have a “test” function that illuminate green lights when activated successfully during operation tests. If you don’t see yours, you may need to check the manual to find out how to test the unit.
If your detector runs on batteries, make sure to replace or charge them regularly.
Call an HVAC professional to inspect and clean your air conditioning system.
It’s recommended that you have your air conditioning system inspected and cleaned by a professional at least once per year. This includes both the outdoor unit and the indoor coil, which are often overlooked when it comes to maintenance but can lead to problems if they aren’t properly maintained.
If you live in Oklahoma City or any other area with similar weather patterns, this is especially important because of how much dust gets kicked up by wind throughout the year.
Inspect your roof for any damages.
- Inspect your roof for any damages. If you notice loose shingles or cracks in the roof, it’s time to get them replaced.
- Check for missing or damaged flashing around your chimney and vent pipes as well.
Check your gutters, downspouts and drainage system.
- Check for clogs and debris.
- Make sure downspouts are draining properly.
- Check drainage system to make sure it’s working correctly.
- Check for leaks or damage to gutters, pipes, or other parts of your home’s exterior (such as siding and windows).
Maintain your sump pump system.
- Check the sump pump float switch. This can be done by removing the cover of the sump pit and placing your hand over it, or simply looking at its position to see if it’s in place and working properly.
- Make sure there are no clogs in your pipes leading to or from your sump pump system.
- If you have a battery backup, make sure it’s working properly as well—you’ll need this if power goes out during heavy rains or flooding events.
Inspect your attic and crawl space.
Inspecting the attic is a great way to check for water damage, mold, and pests that might be hiding in the insulation.
Walk around with a flashlight and look at all sides of each joist—if there are any signs of water damage (like stains) or mold growth on them then it’s time to replace those boards with new ones.
Check your electrical system.
You should check your electrical system at least once a year. This will help you avoid potentially dangerous situations, such as broken light fixtures, exposed wires, and faulty wiring. Look for:
- Loose wires
- Broken light fixtures (including bulbs)
- Loose outlets (and plugs)
If you notice anything that looks out of place or unsafe, call an electrician to fix it.
Examine your water heater and furnace.
- Check the pilot light.
- Inspect the pressure relief valve and make sure it’s working properly.
- Inspect the gas line connections, looking for rust or corrosion that could indicate a leak in one of them—or even on an appliance itself (like an oven). If you do find something like this, call a professional right away; don’t try to fix it yourself.
- Check for leaks around where pipes enter walls or floors by using soapy water; if there are any bubbles appearing as soon as you turn on your water supply, then there may be an unseen leak somewhere nearby which needs immediate attention before mold starts growing inside those walls/floors.
- Check under sinks where pipes enter from underneath with similar methods.
Check that all windows are working properly, including screens and locks on sliding glass doors.
- Check that all windows are working properly, including screens and locks on sliding glass doors.
- Look for cracks, holes or other damage on the outside of your home’s windows. If you find any, have them repaired so that you don’t have to worry about water getting into your home (which could cause mold).
- Make sure all of your windows open and close properly—if they don’t want to budge, it could mean they’re stuck due to dirt build up or some other issue with the frame itself.
- Inspect the locks on each panel of glass in your house; make sure they work correctly and are secure. You should also check if there are any gaps between frames.
Look for signs of termites or other pests in areas like porches, garages or storage rooms located near these areas.
Termites are a common pest in Oklahoma, and they can damage your home’s foundation by eating through wood. Look for signs of termites or other pests in areas like porches, garages, or storage rooms located near these areas.
Check your fire extinguishers.
It’s important to know where your fire extinguishers are located in case of a fire, but it’s equally important to check them regularly. Look for signs of damage (cracks or dents) and make sure the pin is still in place. According to National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standards, disposable fire extinguishers should be replaced every 12 years and rechargeable fire extinguishers should be recharged every 6 years.
Check your emergency supplies.
Make sure you have a first aid kit, flashlights, and working batteries. In addition to these supplies, you should also have food and water on hand for at least three days in case of an emergency situation.
Annual home maintenance is essential!
While you may be thinking that annual home maintenance is only necessary for older homes, the truth is that it’s important for all homeowners. Maintenance can help you avoid costly repairs and keep your home in good condition. In addition to saving money on repairs, regular maintenance will also ensure that your property remains safe and livable throughout the year.
Homeowners often don’t realize how easy it is to perform routine tasks around the house that can save them money in the long run—maintenance doesn’t have to take up a lot of time or energy. You’ll also be able to enjoy the peace of mind that comes with knowing that everything is working properly.