A well-maintained home seems like it runs itself – but still needs you to keep up to date on little maintenance tasks that can spiral out of hand quickly if not addressed. Here are a couple of tasks to add to your calendar once a quarter, that will keep your family safe and your home running smoothly (and save expensive disasters rearing their heads)…

Check the security and alarm

It’s a good idea to regularly check that all your alarm sensors are working as they should. Phone your security company ahead and notify them to put you on ‘test’ mode… then have fun setting off each zone to check they’re receiving the signals properly.

Don’t forget panic buttons!

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This is a great time to dust off passive sensors (especially outdoor ones) to ensure they aren’t interrupted by cobwebs and creepy-crawlies and also to cast an eye along your electric fence to make sure it’s running as it should.

Be sure to check fire alarms too. Dead batteries account for almost a quarter of fire alarm failures.

If you have other safety equipment like fire extinguishers, give them the once-over as well.

Check your weatherproofing

A house that’s properly weatherproofed cuts down on draughts that suck away your money on the heating and cooling bill.

Seal up cracks and windows that are draughty, check your doors and plaster walls for leaks and cracks that could indicate settling in the house or wood that’s dried out.

Make sure there are no signs of burning on your electrical outlets.

If you have air conditioners or heating systems, clean their filters and make sure they are in top shape too.

You have rodent or other pest controls in place. Now’s the time to check they’re all operational.

Hose the patio furniture and outside walls

Hosing down your walls at least twice a year helps prevent birds and pests nesting, as well as sprucing up the paint job.

Hose down your patio furniture while you are at it (or check all is well with winter storage arrangements) so you you are ready to go.

This is a good time, too, to check gutters – clogged gutters cause leaks into the house – and louvred patio covers too.

A little care helps prevent expensive problems and keeps you and your family safe.