Free Home Maintenance Consultations in Vashon & West Seattle

Home Maintenance Checklist

Your home is generally your biggest investment.  With the amount of rain we get in Washington, especially in Puget Sound around West Seattle and Vashon Island, it is wise to pay attention to your home's needs. Proper care and maintenance will extend the life of your home and save you money.  This list will allow you to identify any issues that your home may have. Feel free to contact us for a free home maintenance consultation.

 

1.  Roof: Check flashing around all roof penetrations:  Vents, skylights, and chimneys.   Repair as necessary.  Clean the roof of debris and moss.  Metal roofs require annual cleaning to keep warranties in tact.   Install a roof anchor to make roof and gutter maintenance safe. 

2. Gutters: Clean gutters and downspouts.  Check joint seals.  Consider a gutter screening system so leaves won't clog them.   Check your gutter and downspout attachments.  Flush your gutter tight line.  Make sure proper grading exists around splash blocks to keep water moving away from the house.  

3. Siding and Paint:  Check the condition of your paint or stain on your siding and trims.  Cracking or peeling paint is a good indication that your house needs some painting work.  If your siding is stained and the surface of the siding appears dry and the wood pores are open your siding is ready for a fresh coat.  Check that all of the caulking at siding joints and at trims is intact.  Replace caulk if necessary.  

4. Deck and Patios:  Clean decks and patios removing mildew and moss.  If mildew is present, cleaning with a deck cleaner or diluted bleach solution will be required to kill the mildew.  Pressure washing is generally good on patios but may not be OK for decks.  Careful cleaning of decks with a scrub brush may be required depending on manufactures recommendations. 

5. Attic: If there is no ridge vent, keep gable vents open year-round to ensure proper ventilation.  Make sure there are no obstructions.  Check for pests and block any entrance points.   Check for any signs that ventilation needs to be improved, such as mold or mildew.

6. Crawl Space:  Crawl space ventilation is very important.  Check all vents to make sure they are not obstructed with landscaping.  Check the vapor barrier and insulation.  Inspect the duct work making sure that everything is connected and that duct runs are insulated.  Rodents often tear this away.  Inspect and treat for rodents if necessary, plug any entrance points. 

7. Basement: Check the basement walls and floor for dampness. Be sure to clean the dehumidifier regularly.   Poor footing / foundation drainage and improper grading are the most commonly the causes for basement water issues.  Start with the drainage.  Landscaping work placed after the original grading often changes the drainage patterns of the property and may need to be reviewed. 

8. Windows and Doors: Seal drafty doors and windows.  Windows and doors have gasket seals. Check that these are in place, review for tears or wear.  Replace as needed.  Doors seals at the top and bottom are notoriously bad. Foam wedges are available to add at these locations to help with this seal.  Check the weather strip at the bottom of the door.   If you added up all of the small cracks where heating and cooling escapes from a home, it would be the same as having a window open. Replace seals as needed.  

9. Windows Screens:  Clean your window screens and check fit and screen tearing.  Frames may have become bent.  The screen itself may be torn.  Replace or repair screens and frames as needed. 

10. Fireplace or Wood Stoves: Clean the fireplace of ashes. Check the chimney for loose or missing mortar. Have the chimney professionally cleaned. Make sure the damper closes tightly.  Clean glass doors.  Check the door seal.  Check the combustion air ducts to make sure they remain connected. 

11. Filters / Exhaust Fans: Remember to clean or replace filters once a month, or as needed.   This applies to your forced air furnace, Heat Recovery Ventilator and range hood.  Check and clean the dryer duct and vent outlet.  Vacuum exhaust fan covers and wipe / vacuum internal components. Keep heating and cooling vents clean and free from furniture and draperies.

12.  Furnace / Boiler:  All fuel burning appliances need to be serviced annually by a certified technician. This allows for the unit to perform at its highest efficiency.  Cleaning burners and reviewing for proper combustion is necessary.  Inspect condensate lines / pumps for proper operation.  Clean and replace filters as applicable. 

13. Air Conditioner:  Visually inspect the outdoor unit.  Remove any vegetation or debris which may obstruct adequate air flow around the unit.  Make sure leaves and pine needles have not fallen into the fan area.  Maintenance of the compressor, condenser coil, condenser unit and the evaporator coil (which is located in the air handler or furnace) will need to be serviced by a certified technician.

14. Safety Equipment: Ensure that all smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors are in good working order. Replace batteries in appropriate devices as needed, or at least twice each year.  The added carbon monoxide feature is now available with newer smoke detectors. They are required with new homes and if you’re selling your home.  Replacing your single smoke detectors with this updated model is smart.  Make sure you have a fire extinguisher in your home.  Place one in the kitchen under the sink for quick access.  The garage is also a great place for a fire extinguisher. Mount it in a visible location on the wall.  Fire extinguishers have a shelf life, check the expiration date and replace or recertify as needed. 

15. Appliances: Make sure your refrigerator and freezer door seals are airtight.  Issues with the bottom freezer drawer seals are common. Check for ice build up on the inside bottom of the freezer.  Vacuum the refrigerator coils at least twice each year. Your refrigerator will run more efficiently with clean coils.  Check the seals on your dishwasher door and clean the debris screen at the bottom of the dishwasher.  Check the spray arm for debris that may be lodged in the water ports. Make sure all of your appliances remain level and are secure.  Your cooking range / cook top igniters also need cleaning.  If the burners are not lighting properly, burning efficiently or if your oven temperature does not seem accurate your appliance will require servicing by a certified technician.  Water heater maintenance  involves testing and changing the anodes, flushing the sediment build-up and checking/replacing the temperature and pressure relief valves.

16. Faucets: Check for dripping faucets in the kitchen, bathroom(s) and laundry room. Remove and inspect the cartridges for debris.  Replace O rings or faucet cartridges as necessary. This monitoring can save you money on your monthly water bill.