leader pipes. Leaders should extend at least 5-feet to direct water away from the foundation, says Consumer Reports.
____ Clean or replace the filter in heating/air conditioning unit. Do this more often if it’s recommended by the manufacturer, says Healthy House Institute.
____Change batteries regularly in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Also, vacuum dust from alarms to ensure proper operation, says Unigard Insurance Group.
____Clean fireplaces of ashes. Have your chimney professionally cleaned, making sure it is checked for loose or missing mortar. Be sure the damper closes tightly. Leave the damper open for improvement ventilation if the home is not air conditioned. This can prevent damage to your home from fire or excessive smoke.
_____ Drain water and sediment from your hot water heaters. Be sure to replace the water and test the pressure valve. Morley recommends calling a professional to do this. “They’ll come out and make sure there are no leaks and that it’s drafting properly,” she says. Sediment buildup can reduce the amount your water heater holds and reduce the efficiency of your unit.
_____Check sludge level in septic tank. When sludge reaches one-third of the tank’s depth, have a professional pump out the tank to clean it. Frequency of service depends on the size of the tank and household use; tanks for houses in which there is a garbage disposal need more frequent service. Cleaning your septic tank can extend the life of the septic tank.
_____ Inspect asphalt. Check driveways and walks for cracks, breaks, or erosion that may cause damage. Reseal, if necessary, to prevent a fall hazard.
____Inspect your basement and crawl space. Look for leaks, moisture, termites, and check for cracks or any sign of dampness, which can lead to mold.
____Inspect walls. Check masonry for cracks and inspect paint for wear or cracking. Sealing cracks and crevices can keep moisture out and ensure energy efficiency, says Morley.
View a printable checklist to keep track of your progress here.