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Natural Awakenings Hawaii

Homeowner Happenings: Home Maintenance Tips

Mar 30, 2018 06:23PM ● By KAREN CHARRON

Taking care of a home will help maintain its value. The trick is knowing what to maintain and when. Single-family, detached home owners are responsible for maintaining both the interior and exterior of their home. Condominium or townhome owners may need to take care of just the inside—their associations may take care of the exterior maintenance, so adjust this handy list accordingly.


  • Air conditioner – Inspect and change the air filter if dirty. If it’s not, check it again next month.
  • Electric garage door opener auto-reverse – Place a 2×4 on the ground in the path of the door and press the close button. The door should reverse immediately after touching the wood. Test the photo-electric sensors too, by placing something in front of them while the door is closing. The door should immediately go back up. (Note: Some older model door openers do not have an automatic reversing feature. Consider having a replacement installed for safety.)
  • Fire extinguisher(s) – Ensure there is easy access. Check the gauge for adequate pressure, make sure it’s it good shape and not damaged, and that it isn’t past its expiration date.
  • Kitchen sink disposal – Frozen vinegar ice cubes work great. Freeze vinegar in ice cube trays, run them through the disposal to freshen it and sharpen the blades.
  • Range hood filter – If it’s just a wire mesh-type filter, it can be cleaned. Remove it, soak it in a degreaser soap, let it dry and put it back. (If it’s a charcoal-type filter, it can’t be cleaned; replace it about every six months.)


  • Smoke/carbon dioxide detectors – There should be a “test” button; push it and if the alarm sounds, it’s good. If not, replace batteries and test again. If it still doesn’t make a sound, try cleaning the battery terminal. If that doesn’t make it work, replace the detector.


  • Deep clean the house – Choose a day every six months to give the whole house a thorough cleaning. This includes cleaning appliances, dusting everything and washing windows.
  • Refrigerator coils – Carefully vacuum the cooling coils on the refrigerator (usually on the bottom and back) to prolong the life of the appliance and reduce the electricity it uses.

Annually – (Set up a schedule – don’t try to do them all at once!)

  • Deck or patio – Clean and repair as needed.
  • Doors and windows – Check all locks and replace as needed.
  • Driveway/pavement – Fix cracks in pavement.
  • Dryer vent – Check and clean the exhaust vent. Make sure that air is flowing out freely when the dryer is running.
  • Exterior drainage – Check to make sure that rain water flows away from the house. Water should not stand for more than 24 hours.
  • Garage – Get rid of clutter and wash the floor.
  • Grout – Check grout in the kitchen and baths (if there are tiled surfaces) and repair as needed.
  • Gutters – Clean out grime and sediment.
  • Handles, knobs, racks, etc. – Inspect and fix anything that could have a loose screw.
  • Overall home exterior – Check for chipping paint and damage to siding and foundation cracks. Re-caulk around doors and windows as needed.
  • Plants and shrubs – When plants are too close to the house they can cause damage. Trim excessive growth away from the house. Check trees that are touching the roof or interfering with electric lines.
  • Plumbing – Inspect for leaks and clean aerators on faucets.
  • Roof – Check for leaks and damage.
  • Showerheads – Remove the showerhead and clean the sediment to prolong its life and improve water flow.
  • Window screens – Fix holes in screens and bent frames.

Homeowner Happenings is a regular feature that offers businesses an opportunity to sponsor a topic. If there’s a subject you think our readers will find educational and interesting, contact us at 808-927-3435.

If you are looking to purchase or sell a home, contact Angela Pohakuola Studer (RA) RS-79822, of Coldwell Banker Pacific Properties (4460 Kapolei Pkwy., Ste. 310, Kapolei), at 808-551-0900 or [email protected]. For more information, visit

©2018 Coldwell Banker Pacific Properties. All rights reserved. Coldwell Banker Pacific Properties fully supports the principles of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Opportunity Act. Operated by a subsidiary of NRT LLC. Coldwell Banker and the Coldwell Banker logo are registered service marks owned by Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. Real estate agents affiliated with Coldwell Banker Pacific Properties are independent contractor sales associates and are not employees of Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage or NRT LLC.

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