Preventive Home Maintenance Checkup

Your home can't take care of itself. Your monthly budget should include money for routine maintenance and repair for the house and yard. Plan to set money aside for the large, irregular expenses that occur normally as a house ages. As always, feel free to call the Code Compliance Division at 630-454-2705 with any question you may have.


Large expenses include interior and exterior painting, repairs or replacement of heating and air conditioning units and appliances, floor coverings, and roof surfaces. Housing experts recommend setting aside 1-3% of the market value of your house each year to pay for maintenance and repair costs. While all of these funds may not be needed if your home is new, the accumulated amounts will help you pay for large future expenses, such as re-roofing or replacing a heating unit.

Home maintenance helps provide a healthy, safe environment as it protects your growing financial investment. It is much easier to prevent the development of unsafe, unhealthy conditions and structural damage than to pay medical or repair bills or both.

Developing a Plan

Regular inspection and maintenance of your home will help you keep the house in good condition and maintain its value. Doing maintenance and repair as the need arises also keeps small problems from becoming bigger, more costly problems. Having and following a plan for home maintenance and repair will make the job easier. And finally, a well-maintained house will be more comfortable.

Develop a system where you inspect one area per month to ensure regular inspection of each area. Start at the foundation of the house and work upward and inward. The following list of areas to check may help.

  1. Electrical Systems & Fixtures
  2. Exterior Walls / Windows / Doors
  3. Foundations / Basements / Yards
  4. Heating & Cooling Systems
  5. Interior Surfaces
  6. Plumbing Systems
  7. Roof
  8. Safety Systems
  • Check the condition of lamp cords, extension cords, and plugs. Also examine the appliance cords and plugs of vacuums, irons, mixers, washers, and dryers.
  • Check for exposed wires and signs of wear in the service box. If you have a fuse that blows often or a circuit breaker that trips frequently, call an electrician to determine the cause and make the repair. Mark each circuit so that you will know what outlets or appliances are included on each.
  • If you experience a slight tingling shock when handling or inspecting any appliance or lamp, disconnect the appliance and repair it.
  • Check places where wiring is exposed, such as in the attic. Look for exposed wires and wires with cracked insulation. Replace those in poor condition.
  • If you have ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) in outlets near sinks, the laundry, the shop, and the garage, check the GFCIs monthly and after an electrical storm.
  • Check that all appliance cords are in good condition.