Home Care

Your 2017 Home Maintenance Checklist

Keep your home in tip-top shape with the help of these must-dos

Original Article: Amillah Rodil Photography: (Main Photo)

A beautiful home requires regular maintenance and improvements from time to time. Manage your time well and don't be overwhelmed by the number of things you have to accomplish. Following a calendar of must-dos can help you do your tasks efficiently as well as motivate you to set a budget for these. Be guided by the list below:

January to February 

MAJOR TASK: Clean your walls. 

Clear the space around your walls by moving your furniture to the center of the room. With a damp cloth, wipe your walls. For painted concrete walls, clean them using a damp rag with a solution of water and detergent. 


1. Purge storage areas by disposing or giving away what you no longer use. 

2. Clean and repair window screens. Take them down from the window and clean with a soft brush and detergent. Rinse by hosing them with water. 

March to April 

MAJOR TASK: Repaint your walls.

If you see that the paint on your walls is starting to chip, it's time to repaint. Wire-brush or scrape the walls to remove the existing paint. Smoothen the surface by sanding it, then applying putty (masilya). Get some painting tips from Nippon Paint

Other Tasks

1. Finish other renovation projects like replacing your ceiling.

May to June 

MAJOR TASK: Clean and inspect the roof and gutters. 

Inspect the roof to see if there's rust. Check the flashing (metal plates) covering joints. If only a small portion has rust, cover it with coal tar and roof guard paint. But if a huge area has been covered by rust, it's time to replace the rusted sheets. Hammer loose nails down and seal them with plastic roof cement. While you're at it, sweep dried leaves and hose down dirt from the gutter. 

Other Tasks

1. Replace crack and broken windows. If your windows no longer seal properly, it's time to replace them. 

2. Declog drains and canals to make sure rain drains away from your house. 

July to August

MAJOR TASK: Fix plumbing leaks. 

Check if there are water stains under your sink or near the faucets. Another way to check for leaks is by pouring dye into the toilet bowl tank. If the dye leaks into the bowl without flushing, there's a leak. Inspect your water meter—if it's still running after the faucets have been turned off, you have a leak. Leaking pipes will also dramatically increase your water bill. Replace leaking pipes to solve this problem.

Other Tasks

1. Clear clogged drain pipes by using an ogre to clear stubborn blocks.

2. Check if your house is infested by termites and pests. If you see sawdust, small holes in wooden surfaces, and mud tunnels in and outside your house, your place is probably infested. Call a pest control operator. Check out this list

3. Accomplish minor repairs like replacing door knobs, hinges, broken doors, or window jambs. 

September to October

MAJOR TASK: Clean refrigerator condensers. 

Use a vacuum cleaner or a broom to clean the condensers. Then, make sure the door gaskets are sealed tightly to keep cold air from escaping. 

Other Tasks

1. Clean your aircon evaporator coils. Call a professional for this task.

2. Inspect your washing machine hoses if there are cracks. Replace them if they look like they are about to burst.

3. Check if there are leaks in your gas-stove piping and connection. To do this, spray soapy water on the pipes and connections. Then turn on the gas. If there are bubbles, there's a leak. Call a professional to fix it. 

November to December

MAJOR TASK: Check switches, power outlets, and plugs. 

Check your light switches or outlets if they feel warm when in use. Ask a professional electrician to fix the wiring. Make sure that your plugs don't fit loosely onto a wall outlet, because loose connections can cause overheating. Also, screw your light bulbs securely so they will not overheat. 

Other Tasks

1. Secure loose electrical cords. Make sure they don't run under rugs or carpets. 

2. Check if your appliances are working properly. Replace those that repeatedly blow a fuse.

3. Consult your electrician if you plan to add new appliances like air conditioners. He will check the electrical panels to see if it could handle the additional load. 

Read the original article ("20 Essential House Maintenance Tasks") in the January-February 2005 issue of Real Living magazine. Download your digital copy at the Real Living App. Log on to for more details. 

ILLUSTRATION: Mikke Gallardo

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