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5 Important Home Maintenance Projects

Updated on January 22, 2012

When people move into a house and they think about Home maintenance they often think of painting, decorating, changing the carpets.

Well this article is about the important home maintenance projects which are important to stay on top of to help keep you and your home safe.

This article will discuss which 5 important home maintenance projects you should tackle to keep your home and possessions safe. Some of these you can do yourself and others have to be done by a trained and certified engineer, they are:

  • Cleaning the gutters and downpipes

  • Patch up cracks

  • Chimney sweeping

  • Maintaining you r heating equipment

  • yearly Checks

Important Home Maintenance Project - Clean your Gutters!

Leaves and debris block gutters and downpipes putting your home at risk of water damage.
Leaves and debris block gutters and downpipes putting your home at risk of water damage.

Cleaning gutters and downpipes

This is the first of my important home maintenance projects. Gutters and downpipes protect your home during heavy rain, the gutter protect the roof and fascia boards from getting overly wet and rotting and the downpipes prevent water accumulating by the foundations and possibly flooding a basement if you have one.

It is one that people just completely forget about until water is pouring into the house or the guttering falls down. Some of the potential problems is that the weight of the debris and water due to the blockage can bring down the guttering and damage the house or any items left under it, including people. It can also mean that if ice forms melted water from the roof will back up and get under the shingles and flood your home.

To do this you need to climb tall ladders with a garden hose or get onto your roof, if you don't feel safe doing this, then you are best to call in a local specialist company to do it. The costs for these obviously are dependent on the size of your property but range form $100 - $300.

If you do it yourself use a garden hose to wash them out, you can use a leaf blower to help blow them out. When cleaning out the downpipes one of the best tools is a pair of bbq tongs which can help you remove a lot of the debris. It won't take you a long time but it will save a lot of money and time if they get seriously blocked or damaged. It will also help protect you and your home.

Repairing Stucco Cracks

Patch up your cracks

Cracks in your home are normally caused by the daily expansion and contraction cycle which occurs during changes of temperature. If these cracks are very long or very deep then you should not patch up these cracks, you will want to call in a structural engineer to assess these to rule out more sinister problems such as subsidence.

One of the problems with cracks in the wall is that they allow moisture into your homes walls which can cause damp, which can be bad for your home, reduce it's value and actually carries a small health risk, so it is important to tackle this important home maintenance project. It will cost you about $25 for the caulk or patching compound as long as you have the following:

  • Chisel

  • Hose or bucket of water

  • wire brush

  • A broom

  • bricklayers trowel

  • Paint supplies to match exterior


  1. You need to prepare the surface by removing any loose exterior covering using the chisel and scrub it down with the broom to remove the dust

  2. Wet the area completely using the hose or the bucket of water

  3. Pack the exposed area around the crack with the caulk or patching compound, smooth it with your fingers check manufacturers instructions)

  4. Using the bricklayers trowel and rough up the surface so that it matches the exterior, you can push sand or other items into caulk to achieve the desired affect

  5. Cure the area for at least 2 days

  6. Add a layer of primer and paint to match the exterior.

See it's' so easy and will prevent the contraction and expansion making this crack larger and will help prevent damp in your home.

Chimney sweeping is an important part of any home maintenance project

Chimney Sweep

Some homes have chimneys and others only have flues but wither way maintenance of these is a vitally important part of your home maintenance project.

Similar build-ups can occur in flues as do chimneys and so they should be inspected on a yearly basis. Gas systems can build up what is called scale that is a result of the combination of the gas by-products and moisture, where too much of this can mean poor performing flues and an increased risk of carbon monoxide leaking into the home

As for working chimneys you should have it swept on a yearly basis this will ensure that the fireplace works well, giving you the best heat output and will reduce the amount of smoke which escapes into your home. You can buy the equipment yourself or you can hire a professional chimney sweep which will cost around $300

Sources of Carbon Monoxide in the Home

Maintaining your heating equipment

All systems, whether oil or gas are an important part of your home maintenance project and should not only be preformed but should also be recorded and kept, to help with sale of the property at a future date.

Gas – A home which is heated with a gas system, needs to be checked once every two years, it should be performed by a certified gas engineer. A new gas boiler will normally pay for itself in 4-5 years through efficiency savings. You could also think about taking out a home maintenance insurance and a bi-annual gas check is usually included in that but check your policy.

Oil – These need to be checked and cleaned once per year, this normally costs about $225 but is size dependent. This should be done by qualified companies and is an important part of maintaining an safe and efficient heating system for your home.

Why you need to change the battery in your smoke alarm.

Yearly home maintenance checks

In order to keep your home safe and well maintained these are some more checks you should do as part of your yearly home maintenance projects.

  • Test plumbing shut off valves.- Ensure that everyone in your home knows how to turn off the main water supply valve. In an emergency, turning this off can minimise the amount of damage and save huge amounts of money.

  • Replace batteries yearly. Smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors need working batteries in order to function correctly so don't just test them replace them.

  • Look after your tumble drier – They are actually a common cause of household fires if not maintained so clean out the exhaust duct using your vacuum cleaner and think about replacing plastic ducts with metal ones.

  • Oven Fridge and Freezer Checks – Ensure that the seals are in tact and creating full contact this will prevent you wasting energy, also clean you fridge coils once a year. Look after them and they will look after you

Hope that you fins some of these important home maintenance projects useful and be sure to get some of them done. Looking after your home means that it will look after you and your family of years to come.


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    • dipless profile image

      dipless 6 years ago from Manchester

      Glad you found it useful suzzycue. You are very welcome.

    • suzzycue profile image

      Susan Britton 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      There is a lot of great advice in this hub. I rent an apartment but cleaning the refrigerator coils and checking the seals ,I never thought of doing. Thanks a lot.