A Comfortable Home: Top 7 Home Maintenance Mistakes to Avoid

Free printable home maintenance checklist

Whether it’s your first time owning a house or you’re a long-time homeowner, you are the one who has to be responsible to maintain its beauty. After all, you’re the one who’s going to suffer from the consequences of an unmaintained home. And what’s worse, neglecting your home maintenance is sure to result in costly repairs down the road!

But, how can you properly take care of your home?

You might think that maintaining your home properly is a complex process, but in reality, it’s not. Just think of your home as your body— you shouldn’t forget to take care of all of its parts!

However, there’re always mistakes we often make in home maintenance. So, to ensure you can take care of every nook and cranny in your home, we’ve listed common mistakes that you should steer clear of. So, let’s explore home maintenance and give you a free printable home maintenance checklist.

I’ve created a free printable home maintenance checklist for you that you can grab from my free downloads library. You can use this guide as a to-do list for your home maintenance tasks. It’s a great way to ensure the regular maintenance of your home. This free printable checklist shows major items and also contains a 4 page seasonal home maintenance checklist.
This way you’ll have:
a Spring home maintenance checklist when it comes time for spring cleaning, 
a Summer home maintenance checklist to prepare your home before warmer weather
a Fall home maintenance checklist so that you can ensure everything is in good condition before the colder months, 
a Winter home maintenance checklist that’ll have you ready for winter weather before the winter months set in

Image Credit: Payam Moghtader | Unsplash.com

Mistake #1: Neglecting regular inspections

First things first: your home’s an asset. And when assets get damaged, its value depreciates!

To ensure your home is in tip-top shape, you shouldn’t forget to have it regularly inspected. This way, you prevent small issues from becoming major headaches!

So, how will you inspect your home?

Simple— observe! You can take a look at your home’s exterior, interior and systems to check whether there are any issues. For example, you can periodically inspect your water heater for leaks, rust, or signs of wear and tear. This would fall under the yearly type of home ownership checklist. However, there are some items that need more routine maintenance, such as your fire extinguishers, smoke detector, and carbon monoxide detectors. Since these are safety items, you’ll want to be sure they’re in great condition at all times. 

Your air filter for your air conditioner, and your garbage disposal should be checked monthly.

  • Change air filters: Change air filters in your HVAC system to improve efficiency.
  • Clean garbage disposal: Clean your garbage disposal to prevent odors. I like grinding up some lemon in mine so that it stays fresh and removes any odors.

 It sounds like a lot to remember and a lot of work, but it’s really easy if you use the checklist maintenance items to keep things organized. This way you’ll just have a handful of monthly tasks. It provides a good starting point for your maintenance needs.

When you regularly inspect your home, you can catch problems early and save yourself from any costly repairs. Plus, it can help in prolonging your appliances’ useful life!

Mistake #2: Skipping the gutters

It’s undeniable that cleaning the gutters of your home is a hassle. However, did you know that it’s crucial in protecting your home from water damage?

Since they’re so high and really somewhat out of sight, this is one of those cleaning tasks that can be easily overlooked. However, it’s a good idea to take preventative measures and clean these regularly so that they don’t accumulate leaves, debris, or much dirt.

It’s because clogged or even damaged gutters can lead to water pooling around your home’s foundation. And when that happens, your home’s structure gets damaged and your basement could suffer from water intrusion. In areas like mine, Florida, we don’t have basements, but clean gutters are still essential for the proper flow of water away from the home, especially during the rainy season of the year. 

So, clean your gutters regularly. You should also ensure that your gutters are securely fastened. 

By maintaining your gutter, you’ll have a home with a strong foundation, plus a landscape that can last for years!

Mistake #3: Ignoring your HVAC system

Let’s face it— temperature changes can make our home uncomfortable! This is why HVAC systems exist.

But did you know that your HVAC system also needs some TLC?

When you don’t properly maintain your HVAC system, it’ll likely break down when you most need it. Plus, you’ll get stressed out by higher energy bills!

So how can you maintain this system?

You can start by regularly changing your air filters, as mentioned above, and clean ducts. You should also schedule annual professional HVAC inspections. Regular cleaning and inspections can ensure that your HVAC system functions efficiently, resulting in a longer lifespan and savings in the long-run!

Don’t forget to also check the status of the ac unit drain line. So often we receive tenant phone calls about frozen a/c units and they could have been prevented by cleaning of the drain line. 

Mistake #4: Overlooking your water heater

Imagine you’re taking a shower during the winter, and you suddenly run out of hot water. It’s a definite hassle, right?

This is why you should properly maintain your water heating system. After all, you use it every day, from bathing to cleaning, to even cooking.

When your water heating system doesn’t work properly, you’ll experience issues such as leaks, reduced efficiency, and even water damage. So how can you properly maintain them?

Well, you should start where it all began— water heater installation. You should always hire a professional when installing your water heating systems. This way, you can ensure that it’s done correctly. 

To top it all off, you should also inspect your water heater annually to ensure it’s working properly and no sediments build up in your heater, this way small problems don’t turn into major damage.

Free printable pdf, your home maintenance cheat sheet

Mistake #5: Disregarding exterior paint

painting home exterior

What makes your home look pleasing to the eyes? It’s the paint! After all, looking at a house with faded paint makes it boring and uncared for!

But did you also know the exterior paint is more than that?

Exterior paint acts as a protective barrier for your home against the elements. And when you neglect to touch up your home’s exterior paint, you’ll allow its wood to rot, or water to penetrate the stucco, and get damaged!

So, if you see any peeling or chipping paint on your home, it’s best that you deal with it immediately. 

Also, if your home is stucco, you’ll want to keep the exterior paint in shape so that you don’t have water intrusion. You can run your hand along the paint and, if your hand looks chalky as a result, it’s time to seal and paint the exterior.

Mistake #6: What’s on your roof?

Do you know the first line of defense for your home? You might think it’s the walls, but it’s actually your roof! However, many homeowners often take their roofs out of sight and out of mind, leading to costly repairs!

When you ignore your roof’s maintenance, you run the risk of issues such as leaks and water damage.

So, why not schedule regular inspections, especially after severe weather events? You can look for missing or damaged shingles, as well as flashing issues and signs of water infiltration in your attic.

When you properly maintain your roof, you can ensure its long life and even prevent expensive damages to your home’s interior! The last thing you want is to find out about a leak that’s been ongoing and damaging roof decking. Then you’ll have to wait for a roof estimate, permitting, and the job to be done. All while more damage might be taking place. 

Mistake #7: Forgetting pest control

You might’ve not noticed it, but your home may also give warmth and shelter to animals like rodents, termites, and insects. And it’s undeniable that they can wreak havoc in your home.

When you neglect pest control in your home maintenance checklist, you may end up with an unsafe home. After all, these pests mean health hazards! Plus, when they go unchecked, they may even damage your home’s structure. For example rodents that come into the attic to escape the cold weather can end up nesting there and causing a lot of damage to wiring and other elements. 

So, you should regularly inspect your home for any signs of pests and address them immediately. Some of these include the following.

  • Droppings and feces
  • Gnaw marks
  • Damaged food packages
  • Strange and foul odors
  • Unusual behavior from your pets
  • Nesting materials
  • Random holes and entry points
  • Deteriorating wood
  • Bite marks and skin irritation
  • Insect nests
  • Scurrying noises in the walls

When you take proactive measures for a pest-free home, you can ensure a safe and comfortable home for your family!

There’s no doubt that we all want to have a safe and comfortable home for our family. And you can’t do it without properly maintaining your home! With our list, you’ll know exactly what not to do when it comes to proper home maintenance!

The home maintenance checklist, with items included in the free printable home maintenance checklist:

Whether you choose to use professional services, or make necessary repairs yourself, having a monthly home maintenance checklist or a seasonal one like this one, will help you stay on top of things in the long run.

Of course, the best time to take on exterior projects is in summer, after all the weather makes it the perfect time of year to enjoy the outdoors. Meanwhile, winter is the perfect season for the indoor tasks. It’s helpful to break things up this way, and while this isn’t an exhaustive list, it’s a great start and very comprehensive list if you need help remembering all of the things to check, or if you’re just moving into a new house.

Here are some maintenance items to perform monthly:

  1. Change air filters: Change air filters in your HVAC system to improve efficiency.
  2. Clean garbage disposal: Clean your garbage disposal to prevent odors. I like grinding up some lemon in mine so that it stays fresh and removes any odors.
  3. Test garage door: Test your garage door opener and sensors to ensure they are working properly.


  1. Check and clean gutters and downspouts
  2. Inspect roof for damage and leaks
  3. Service your air conditioning system
  4. Clean your a/c condensate line 
  5. Check and clean your dryer vent and duct to prevent fires
  6. Test your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors 
  7. Change your smoke detector batteries – did you know that the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has designated the time change day, the day you “Spring forward” as the day to remember to change your smoke detector batteries every year? 
  8. Caulk around your bathtubs and showers, as well as around fixtures and the kitchen countertop
  9. Check for any signs of pests and take necessary steps to prevent them
  10. Inspect and clean outdoor furniture and grill
  11. Inspect and repair your outdoor deck or the screens your outdoor screen enclosure
  12. Clean windows and window screens
  13. Check and repair any damaged exterior paint or siding
  14. Check and repair any cracks or holes in concrete surfaces
  15. Trim bushes and trees


  1. Check and clean ceiling fans
  2. This is a great time to test and clean your pool and pool equipment
  3. Check and repair any cracks or damage to your driveway or sidewalks
  4. Inspect and clean your deck or patio and enjoy the warm weather
  5. Inspect and repair any damaged or worn window seals
  6. Check and repair any leaks in your sprinkler system and check for damaged sprinkler heads
  7. Clean and maintain your lawn mower
  8. Check and clean your refrigerator coils
  9. Check that outdoor outlets are in good condition
  10. Inspect outdoor faucets for any issues or leaks
  11. Inspect and repair any cracks or damage to your home’s foundation
  12. Inspect and repair caulking around exterior windows
  13. Check and repair any damage to your exterior plumbing and drainage systems
  14. Inspect your roof for any damaged or missing shingles or flashing
  15. Prune the shrubs that flowered in Springtime
  16. Drain the sediment from hot water heater. If you have a tankless hot water heater, flush the sediment from the lines, instead.


  1. Inspect and clean your chimney and fireplace
  2. Check and replace your furnace filter
  3. Test and clean your humidifier
  4. Check and repair any damage to your home’s insulation
  5. Inspect and repair any damage to your roof or gutters
  6. Clean and store outdoor furniture and grill
  7. Cover and store outdoor equipment, such as lawn mowers or bikes
  8. Check and repair any damage to your driveway or sidewalks
  9. Seal any gaps or cracks around windows and doors
  10. Check and replace any worn weatherstripping on doors and windows
  11. Prune the shrubs that flowered in Summer
  12. Clean and cover outdoor furniture for the upcoming Winter season
  13. Test your GFCI outlets


  1. Inspect and clean your heating system
  2. Reverse your ceiling fans. They should be running clockwise.
  3. Check for ice dams on the roof and remove snow from walkways and driveways. Seal any drafts around windows and doors.
  4. Check and repair any leaks or damage to your plumbing system
  5. Inspect and repair any cracks or damage to your home’s foundation
  6. Check and repair any damage to your roof or gutters
  7. Check and replace any worn weatherstripping on doors and windows
  8. Seal any gaps or cracks around windows and doors
  9. Clean your oven and range hood
  10. Inspect and repair any cracks or damage to your home’s foundation
  11. At winter’s end, inspect your outdoor play equipment, Spring is around the corner and the kids will be ready to play outside!

Annual tasks:

I hope this checklist helps you stay on top of your home maintenance tasks throughout the year!


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