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Tips from the pros: ​The house maintenance checklist you need in Pretoria

Johannes van Graan Johannes van Graan
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Living in a house comes with responsibility – just like your car requires regular oil changes, so does your home need regular maintenance to avoid future headaches. 

The good news is that you can undertake the majority of these house maintenance tasks on your own without needing much experience – especially since we here at homify have already laid out a splendid little list which you can just tick off. 

So, let’s see what you should be doing to keep your house looking spick-and-span and running as smooth as possible…

1. House maintenance tasks: Monthly

Modern family home in the heart of Simbithi Eco Estate: modern Houses by CA Architects
  1. Inspect and change out (if necessary) your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning filters.  
  2. Clean your kitchen sink disposal (if you have one). The best way to do this is via vinegar ice cubes. Put some vinegar in an ice tray, allow to freeze, then run them through the disposal to freshen plus sharpen the blades.   
  3. Clean range hood filters with a degreaser from an auto parts store mixed with hot water.   
  4. Inspect your fire extinguisher(s). And ensure it’s easily accessible, isn’t blocked by anything like a garbage bin, and shows no visible signs of wear and tear.

2. House maintenance tasks: Quarterly

Bathroom Renovation: classic Bathroom by Kgodisho Solutions and Projects
  1. Test all smoke / carbon dioxide detectors. This is important to ensure the batteries still work and that no corrosion has taken place on the battery terminal.
  2. Run water and flush toilets in unused spaces, especially guest bathrooms that don’t get used very often. This is to prevent grime or any other kind of build up. If you’re worried about wasting water, collect the water from the taps in a bucket and use to flush the other toilets in your home, or to water the garden.

3. House maintenance tasks: Biannually

Kitchens: classic Kitchen by Life Design
  1. Test your water heater’s pressure relief valve to help it run more efficiently, plus prevent mineral and corrosion build-up.  
  2. Give your house a PROPER deep clean. Put one Saturday aside every six months and tackle appliances, windows, surfaces that require dusting, etc. This can be a family activity, but is definitely necessary to keep your home in tip-top shape.  
  3. Vacuum your refrigerator coils. As a fridge uses up to 15% of a home’s total power, you want it running as smoothly as possible. And since those coils get dirty over time, you fridge will require more power.

4. House maintenance tasks: During spring

Exterior Renovation: classic Houses by Kgodisho Solutions and Projects

They don’t call it ‘spring cleaning’ for nothing, as this season is the ideal time to give your home a fresh new look. Focus especially on your house’s exterior, since it’s just gone through another harsh winter and is preparing for the summer heat.  

  1. Check all exterior drainage to ensure that rain water will flow away from the house. If any water puddles stay for more than 24 hours, check your gutters to spot a bad sprout or loose connection, or maybe they just require a good cleaning. Or grade the spaces around your home with some dirt. Last but not least, you can have professionals come out to raise the pavement (if necessary) to move the drainage away from your house.  
  2. Check your house’s façade to see if any paint is chipping. Are there any holes in the siding or brick? And see if there are any foundation cracks that require a good silicone / caulk job.  
  3. Get those air conditioning systems ready for the South African summer! Make sure they’re clean, test them to see if they work efficiently, get a professional out if they need to be serviced, etc.  
  4. See which damaged window screens need to be repaired or replaced. 
  5. Clear dead plants and shrubs from the house. Check that no plants are weaselling their way into cracks and holes on the exterior of your home – pay close attention to decorative vines!  
  6. Check that your yard’s trees are not interfering with electric lines. Have them professionally trimmed, if necessary.  
  7. Inspect your roof for damages, leaks etc. And rely on a professional if anything needs fixing.

5. House maintenance tasks: During summer

Bathroom Renovation: classic Bathroom by Kgodisho Solutions and Projects

Summer is a great time to focus on your lawn and garden, especially with the harsh South African temperature.  

  1. Check the grout in bathrooms and kitchens and repair as needed. 
  2. Inspect all plumbing and check all faucets and toilets for any small leaks. Poor water pressure out of a faucet could be because of an aerator. 
  3. Tackle those insect problems, as summer is their favourite season. Keep cobwebs clear, have ant poison ready, make sure all doors and windows are closed properly, etc.  
  4. Clean and repair your deck / patio as needed – usually, a good washing is all it takes, but sometimes a deck could require re-staining. And inspect all loose boards or posts.  
  5. Check and clean the dryer vent, plus other exhaust vents. While the dryer is running, the exhaust should smell like fresh laundry. If there’s not much exhaust, it could be due to a blockage. Be sure to also vacuum the lint from the hose at the dryer. 
  6. Clean your garage. We actually recommend cleaning it more than once a year (depending on how many projects you got going on in there), but an annual thorough cleaning is better than nothing.

6. House maintenance tasks: During autumn

Autumn is a weird in-between season where you’re finishing up your summer house maintenance tasks and getting it ready for winter. It’s crucial that you don’t skip these tasks, as a harsh winter can really cause a lot of damage to a property.  

  1. Flush the hot water heater and remove sediment to prolong its life and help with efficiency. 
  2. Get your air conditioning systems ready for winter. Remove and store window units. If you have central air, cover the outside unit with plastic sheeting and secure with bungee cords. 
  3. Get your home’s heating system ready. Check all windows and doors for leaks, make sure heating vents are open and unblocked, and get your furnace serviced/inspected. And don’t forget about your fireplace!  
  4. Turn off and flush outdoor water faucets. Flush your garden hoses and store them indoors (like the garage or garden shed). 
  5. Get the chimney cleaned.
  6. Double-check your pavement / driveway for cracks and have them resealed if necessary. You don’t want freezing water to get in there and expand the cracks.

7. House maintenance tasks: During winter

Beach Retreat: eclectic Bathroom by Studio Do Cabo

Since you won’t be spending too much time outdoors, use winter to focus on your indoor projects. Painting, building shelves, etc. Now is the time to get on those!  

  1. Although a professional is always required when working with electricity, there are certain tests you can do yourself, like checking that all outlets work, testing your GFCI outlets, etc.  
  2. Go through your home and inspect anything that could have a loose screw like handles, knobs, racks, etc. 
  3. Check that all locks and deadbolts on your doors and windows work properly.  
  4. Check the caulking around showers and bathtubs and repair as required. 
  5. Remove all showerheads and clean build-up residue. This keeps it working for longer and will help with water pressure.

8. Professionals to help with your house maintenance tasks

Exterior Renovation: classic Houses by Kgodisho Solutions and Projects

Since a lot of house maintenance tasks require professional assistance, why not get seasoned experts in to lend a helping hand? Pretoria-based Kgodisho Solutions and Projects is a construction company which offers a vast number of construction services to clients in Pretoria, Johannesburg, and Midrand. This small yet dynamic multidisciplinary construction company is accredited with the NHBRC and is able to undertake any form of alterations, extensions, and renovations. 

Some of their services include: Building, painting, ceiling, shop-fitting, kitchen designs, bathroom designs, built in cupboards, paving, decking, wood/laminate flooring, plastering, tiling, plumbing, waterproofing, roof designs and repairs, carpetry, electrical repairs and maintenance.

Speaking of spick-and-span homes, see these 9 ways to make sure you're cleaning properly.

What other house maintenance tasks did we forget about?
modern Houses by Casas inHAUS

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