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Home Maintenance 

Monthly Checklist 



Home Maintenance Monthly Checklist: May

Kelly Marsh

Who is Kelly Marsh? Brookhaven knows the name Kelly Marsh...

Who is Kelly Marsh? Brookhaven knows the name Kelly Marsh...

Apr 22 7 minutes read

May Home Maintenance Checklist

Wash House Exterior to Clean or Prepare for Paint

WHAT: Whether your house's exterior is painted siding or stucco, vinyl siding or brick will determine how often cleaning is needed. Vinyl sided houses, especially sides not exposed to direct sunlight, will probably need annual pressure washing to remove mildew.  Painted houses should be pressure washed only right before painting, because the cleaning process will break down the paint, and shorten its life span. A paint job on average, will last 5-10 years.  Gentle cleanings with soap and garden hose between painting jobs should be done only as needed to clean off mildew and dirt.  Brick homes will also need washing right before painting doors and trim areas. 

WHEN: Annually or right before painting 

HOW:  Hiring a professional to pressure wash your house is always an option.  However, if you have your own pressure washer, you can do it yourself.  Start the cleaning by using a small sprayer filled with house washing solution to soak down small sections of the exterior walls, soffits, gutters, decks, railings at a time.  Start spraying from the bottom at ground level, and work your way up the wall to reduce streaking. Allow the solution to soak for a few minutes before pressure washing or rinsing (if you're only using garden hose).  Continue the spray/soak/rinse steps a section at a time until the entire exterior is cleaned.

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Clean Screens and Windows

WHAT: Washing windows and screens regularly keeps incoming breeze air cleaner and keeps your view to the outdoors clear.

WHEN: 1-2 times/year

HOW:  After washing house is a good time to go ahead and wash screens and windows, since they will be wet already from the washing.  Start by removing screens, and labeling them on an inconspicuous spot with info about which window they came from.  Lay them out on a flat surface (such as a driveway or tarp). Soak them down with soapy solution, and rinse with garden hose. A light scrub with a soft brush or carpet remnant can help loosen dirt before rinsing.  While screens are drying, wash windows with cleaner and paper towel or squeegie.

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Paint House Exterior and Trim 

WHAT: A typical exterior paint job will last 5-10 years depending on the paint quality, and how well the surface was prepared before painting.  Keep an eye on your exterior paint for signs of failure such as peeling and bubbling, and plan to repaint to correct such issues when they occur. Keeping your exterior paint in good shape will help protect your home from premature weathering, rot and expensive repairs.

WHEN: Every 5-10 years

HOW: After cleaning the exterior surfaces with soapy solution and hose or pressure washer, remove loose paint with scrapers and/or sanders to smooth the surface, and aid paint adhesion.  Choosing a higher quality paint should help ensure a longer life for your paint job.

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Recurring Monthly Maintenance 

Test Carbon Monoxide Detectors

WHAT: A carbon monoxide detector or CO detector is a device that detects the presence of the carbon monoxide gas to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. 

WHEN: Monthly

HOW: To test a carbon monoxide detector, hold down the “test” button until you hear two beeps sound off. Once you hear these beeps, release your finger off of the test button. Recreate this event, but this time hold down the test button until you hear four beeps. If the four beeps are heard, you know that a signal was sent to your monitoring station. After 10-15 minutes the CO alarm will return from test mode back to its original setting. If for some reason the device doesn’t return to its original setting, you’ll need to perform a power cycle. 

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Test Smoke Detectors

WHAT: A smoke detector is a device that senses smoke, typically as an indicator of fire. 

WHEN: Monthly

HOW: This style of testing occurs when an operator simply clicks on the test button that is present on a smoke detecting device. Pressing this button alone will conduct a test. Once the button is pressed, a few seconds will pass before the test starts, but you’ll know the test in process whenever you begin to hear a loud, piercing siren that comes via the smoke detector. 

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Clean Garbage Disposal

WHAT: A garbage disposal unit is a device, usually electrically powered, installed under a kitchen sink between the sink's drain and the trap. The disposal unit shreds food waste into pieces small enough—generally less than 2 mm —to pass through plumbing. 

WHEN: Monthly

HOW: Kosher salt is an effective abrasive cleaner that can adequately dislodge slimy residue. First, pour a large cup of ice cubes into the garbage disposal, switch it on while adding a half-cup of the salt. The ice and salt combination should grind away what remains of the odor-causing residue. This is yet another quick fix to a dirty drain using simple items that you already have in your freezer and pantry. 

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Run Water & Flush Toilets in Unused Spaces

WHAT: Run water and flush toilets. This helps prevent the buildup of grime. You will also refill the trap which blocks sewer gas from entering the home.  

WHEN: Monthly

HOW: Run the water through unused faucets and shower/baths for 2 minutes. Also flush all unused toilets.

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