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Season by Season Home Maintenance Checklists

Here's what needs doing — every winter, spring, summer and fall

Maintenance with checklist.


Home repair problems will only get bigger if not attended to. When it comes to your home, protect it — don’t neglect it!

Fixing up your home? AARP member discounts can help

Checklist for Winter

  1. Keep paths and driveways clear of snow and ice
  2. Keep a blanket, shovel, sand and first aid kit in your car
  3. Stock up on canned goods and household items, including lightbulbs and batteries. Buy compact fluorescent lightbulbs (CFLs). Although they cost more than incandescent bulbs, they're more energy efficient and last longer
  4. Check for proper lighting inside and outside the house
  5. Check any holiday lights inside and outside the house and make sure they are in good working order
  6. Make sure space heaters work properly, and never leave them on unattended or placed too close to furniture or draperies
  7. Check sinks, bathtubs and toilets for leaks in the faucet or tank
  8. If you live in an area that may experience freezing tempatures, turn off the water pipes that lead to outdoor faucets. Then open the outdoor faucets to ensure that no water remains inside the pipe or hose bid. Water that freezes inside pipes can cause pipes to burst, and burst pipes cause extreme damage.

Checklist for Spring

  1. Clean windows
  2. Replace storm windows with screens
  3. Change batteries in smoke detectors
  4. Look for fire hazards, such as overloaded extension cords
  5. Check or install carbon monoxide detectors
  6. Make sure all exits, hallways and stairs are clear of clutter
  7. Clear debris from the gutters, yard, driveway, walkway and other outdoor spaces
  8. Clean out the garage, shed or carport
  9. Clean the basement and attic
  10. Clean your clothes dryer’s vent system. (Lint buildup can cause the dryer to run longer to dry your clothes, which wastes energy. Even worse, lint buildup in the vent can lead to a fire.)
  11. Make sure all indoor and outdoor stairs are slip-proof, well-lit, and in good condition
  12. Fix broken or uneven pavement on stairs, walkways, the driveay and other outdoor surfaces
  13. Have someone inspect the roof for leaks, loose shingles or debris
  14. Check indoors and outside for signs of pests, such as termites or rodents. Call a professional if you suspect an infestation problem
  15. Fix broken doors, gates and fences

Checklist for Summer

  1. Mow the lawn and trim the bushes
  2. Have an arborist remove weak, dead, or rotten trees or large branches that may fall on the house
  3. Install window air conditioners or have central air system inspected
  4. Check all door locks and doorknobs to be sure they’re in good working order. Install deadbolts on doors, if you don’t have them
  5. Check the home security system or consider installing one
  6. Check screens in doors and windows and repair or replace as needed
  7. Check all outside lights and replace bulbs as needed
  8. Clean outdoor lawn furniture and grill
  9. Check garden hoses for leaks and replace as necessary

Fixing up your home? AARP member discounts can help

Checklist for Fall

  1. Rake leaves
  2. Clean and inspect gutters, downspouts and eaves
  3. Weatherize the house (including the attic and basement) for cool and cold weather with, as needed,  insulation, weather stripping, caulk, plaster, or replacement windows
  4. Check and clean the furnace and replace air filters
  5. Put away unused lawn furniture, hoses, planters, grills and other outdoor items
  6. If you live in a cold climate, buy and store salt, sand, a snow shovel and snow blower
  7. Drain outdoor water faucets and irrigation pumps
  8. Clean your clothes dryer’s vent system. (Lint buildup can cause the dryer to run longer to dry your clothes, which wastes energy. Even worse, lint buildup in the vent can lead to a fire.)
  9. Create and store an emergency survival kit for bad weather
  10. Include batteries, candles, water and canned or packaged food that won’t spoil
  11. If you have a fireplace or wood stove, inspect and clean the hearth and stock up on firewood. Hire a chimney sweep if you haven’t had the chimney flue cleaned in a while or if you regularly use your fireplace or wood stove
  12. Change screens to storm windows and remove and clean window air-conditioning units
  13. Fill oil or propane tanks
  14. Keep walkways, paths and the driveway clear of leaves and debris
  15. Change batteries in smoke detectors

Article last reviewed or updated April 2014


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