Routine Maintenance and Preventative Care

Chores plague us without concern for our schedules! Some maintenance guidelines don’t fall under a specific season, but keeping an eye on the different parts of your home throughout the year can help safeguard its contents and your loved ones. 

Whether you call it spring cleaning or The Purge, you should routinely discard unnecessary items. Random junk like old paperwork, newspapers, and other unused items can become a fire hazard. If you haven’t used something in over a year (not including seasonal decorations), and you can’t immediately list the scenarios in which you will need it, it’s probably time to get rid of it. Be sure to go through your basement or attic to purge those long-forgotten and unneeded items. 

Reposition firewood if you have a wood-burning stove or fireplace. Avoid storing wood against an exterior wall of your home; this can create an enticing entry point for termites and other pests — especially if your exterior wall is made from wood. 

Test safety devices (monitors, smoke detectors, etc) to ensure they’re working properly. Ideally, you should clean any vents or heat registers on your appliances every month to optimize their performance and reduce energy loss. And don’t forget to clean your dryer vents!

Rule of Thumb

You should contract a professional to clean your dryer’s vents — this can be a fun DIY project some years if you’re pinching pennies, but be sure to hire a professional periodically, since clogged dryer vents are a major fire risk. 

Emergency Preparedness

How will home maintenance for disaster preparedness work for you? Homes in every region need maintenance to be safe shelters during disastrous circumstances. Don’t assume you’re in the clear because there haven’t been any disasters lately. Keep up with your home maintenance and incorporate your upkeep tasks into your disaster plan to make it easy to repeat the process each year. Falling behind on home maintenance can cause unforced errors that could put your family in serious danger in the event of a significant storm, heat wave, or earthquake. Ignoring some tasks could even precipitate an emergency, like a house fire fed by unchecked hazards.

Consider what events are most likely to occur in your region (i.e. tsunamis, earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes, etc.) and create a plan. Be sure to check out our guides below: 

Were clogged gutters a factor in the destruction of this home? Who can say?


About the Author

It takes a village! We are researching, writing and fact checking as a family. Collaboration is the name of the game, whether we’re running from a zombie horde or finding the best way to turn a complex concept into a deliciously digestible set of bullet points.