Your essential home maintenance guide

Last updated on December 5, 2023
While you may treat your car to an annual service to keep it roadworthy, your home or investment property also deserves some regular attention. This guide includes practical tips and handy checklists for planning essential tasks to help keep your property at its best.
man cleaning leaves out of a roof gutter
Home insurance can cover you for insured events such as storms and bushfires.1 However, your policy won’t generally cover damage caused by wear and tear, gradual deterioration, or lack of maintenance. By carrying out regular maintenance, you’re helping to safeguard your property against avoidable damage, and reduce any potential insurance claim issues.
Overlooking regular home maintenance may lead to problems with your property and could potentially affect your insurance claims. If you regularly maintain your property, you’re less likely to have issues with your insurance coverage.
A well-maintained property is a safer environment for you and your family. Whether you’re fixing wear and tear, leaks, or other problems, you’re helping to future-proof your property and make it resilient.
Some areas around the house are more likely to show wear and tear than others. These checklists are packed with practical tips to help you create a maintenance routine that focuses on key areas.
Monthly
Keep your home maintenance schedule on track with these monthly tasks.

Bathroom

  • Clean and check your tiles, grout, cupboards and other bathroom fittings.
  • Check faucets, showerheads and toilets for leaks.
  • Check under vanities and basins too for signs of water staining or dripping pipes. 

Kitchen and laundry

  • Clean and check your tiles, grout, cupboards and other kitchen fittings.
  • Make sure your clothes dryer is well ventilated and remove lint from the filter.
  • Inspect flexi hoses for small leaks that may show as drops of water around the hose.
  • To help prevent mould, don’t hang wet clothes in living areas or bedrooms.

Ventilation

  • Air your home on dry, sunny days by simply opening your windows.
  • Use an exhaust fan in your kitchen, bathroom and laundry to reduce moisture. If you’re considering installing one, contact a professional builder.

General repairs

  • Check electrical sockets for frayed cords, overloading, loose-fitting plugs, and cracks in switches. If you need any repairs, always call a registered electrician.
3 monthly
A few regular checks each quarter may help you spot and fix any potential issues.

Bathroom

  • Check all plumbing fixtures for leaks, water damage or mould. As this can be difficult to spot, look for discolouration on plasterboard or new ‘bubbles’ in old paintwork.
  • Blockages can develop in pipes that aren’t used much, so run water through drains and toilets regularly.

Ventilation

  • To keep exhaust fans working effectively, remove any dust or lint from the vents to prevent moisture build-up.

Exterior

  • Remove any leaves or debris from drains, downpipes and gutters that could potentially cause blockages.
  • Check gutters and consider installing gutter guards. While easier to maintain, gutter guards should be flushed every year to remove dust and debris.
  • Make sure water flows away from your property, including sheds and granny flats, during rainfall. Water draining towards your property could harm its foundations.

Pests

  • Check your property and its surroundings for signs of termites and pests.
  • Seal entry points to prevent infestations. Arrange pest control, if necessary.
6 monthly
To keep on top of areas that may start to show wear and tear, make these checks every six months.

Bathroom

  • Inspect and replace any cracked tiles or damage to your shower base.
  • Check the silicone sealant, especially around the base of the shower to make sure it isn’t separating from the tiles.
  • If any walls back onto wet areas, check inside cupboards and behind bathroom fittings to make sure water hasn’t seeped through.

Kitchen and laundry

  • Test your smoke alarms and replace the batteries if needed.
  • Replace any fire extinguishers or fire blankets if needed.
  • Check your dishwasher and cabinets for any signs of leaks or water damage, such as swollen cabinetry or pooling water.
  • Does your fridge need a good clean? A thorough clean should include coils and drip trays.
  • Clean your clothes dryer filter screen. Rinse this out monthly during the colder months when it’s used more often.

Exterior

  • Trim trees and shrubs near your house, fences or sheds to help prevent damage from falling branches, clogged drains or gutters.
  • If you have solar panels, consider getting them checked for any build-up of leaves or debris to reduce any potential fire risk.
Yearly
Try to schedule these checks every year and consider hiring a professional to help you with more complex home repairs and maintenance.

Bathroom

  • Remove your showerheads and clean them to remove any sediment build-up.
  • Check pipes, faucets and toilets for leaks.

Kitchen and laundry

  • Call in a licensed plumber to inspect your flexi hoses to decide if they need to be replaced. For more information about flexi hoses, see our Flexi Hoses Maintenance Checklist (PDF, 754 KB).
  • Arrange for your rangehood filters to be cleaned with a strong degreaser.

Ventilation and heating

  • Schedule annual HVAC (heating, venting and air conditioning) maintenance.
  • If you have any wood-burning heaters, it’s a good idea to get them serviced each year. Make sure the flue is checked and cleaned.

Roof and exterior

  • Get your roof tiles, corrugated sheets or shingles checked by a roofing professional to make sure they’re in good condition and secure. For further information, see our Roof Maintenance Checklist (PDF, 2.9 MB).
  • Inspect windowsills, doorways and thresholds for leaks or cracks.
  • Check, repair and repaint any walls with cracks, peeling paint or loose weatherboard.
  • Consider removing trees or bushes close to your property. Did you know that roots seeking moisture can burst pipes and cause water leaks? Monitor the ground around your property for signs of sinking or shifting, just in case.
  • Get swimming pool pumps serviced by a professional. Note: Never drain your pool after rain as it can create hydrostatic pressure that could potentially lift the pool out of the ground. This could affect your home’s foundations and cause subsidence.

Fencing and decking

  • If your fences and decking show signs of rot, rust, deterioration, or loose posts, consider replacing them.
  • Clean and reseal decking.
  • Check that your pool fences are still compliant with safety regulations.
10+ years
As it’s difficult to keep track, we’ve included the life expectancy of common items around the home in this checklist. However, these estimates are general guidelines and the actual lifespan may vary depending on usage, quality, and other factors.

Bathroom, kitchen, and laundry

  • Check your kitchen and bathroom faucets as they’re likely to need replacing after 10-15 years.
  • Replace damaged grout and sealant as water can seep underneath and loosen the tiles over time. Caulking is expected to last 5–10 years, grout 15–20 years.
  • Check and replace any rusted or deteriorated sinks or pipes.

Ventilation and heating

  • If your water heater shows signs of deterioration, like water appearing discoloured or not getting hot, arrange for it to be replaced. Water heaters have a lifespan of 10–12 years.
  • Consider replacing your exhaust fans as they can last 10–15 years.
  • If your heating, venting and air conditioning (HVAC) unit is 15–20 years old, it may need replacing.

Roof and exterior

  • If your roof is showing signs of deterioration, arrange for it to be fixed or replaced. The average roof will last 25–50 years, depending on the type of materials used. Asphalt shingles may last 30 years.
  • When your gutters show signs of wear and tear, such as rust and corrosion, replace them. Aluminium gutters usually last 20 years, copper gutters 40 years.
  • Repair cracks and repaint any internal and external walls to protect them and help them last longer. If there are any significant cracks in your walls or foundations, talk to a professional builder.
  • Check driveways and pathways for any cracks or ‘bubbles’ and arrange repairs to stop any further movement or damage.
Holiday
It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of going on holiday. But before you dash to the airport make sure you’ve checked a few things around the property.
  • To reduce the risk of damage from burst pipes while you’re away, turn off the water supply to your home at the water mains.
  • Unplug all unnecessary electric appliances. While helping to keep your home safe, this may also save you money.
  • Check the dates of food in your fridge or pantry. Use up items that will go out of date before you return, or freeze them, or dispose of them sustainably.
  • Move pot plants into shady areas or ask a trusted neighbour to help with watering your plants or garden.
Storm
While Australian weather can be unpredictable, storm warnings can help you prepare. Here are a few maintenance tasks that may help you reduce the impact of storm damage.
  • Secure outdoor furniture and any items that could be blown away or cause damage.
  • If it’s not raining, use a garden hose to check your gutters and downpipes are flowing effectively. Make sure your gutters are clear first.
  • We’re ready to support you through extreme weather. Find more information about what to do before, during and after an extreme weather event.
To keep your home at its best, make sure any repairs are made safely and to a high standard. If you’re planning any work on your property, consider hiring a building professional. This will reduce the likelihood of poor workmanship, faulty design or defects that could lead to issues with your property and insurance coverage.
Here are more handy tips to help you look after your home or investment property.
man standing in front of a house
man checking cupboard under the sink

This article has been prepared by Allianz Australia Insurance Limited ABN 15 000 122 850 AFSL234708 ("Allianz"). In some cases, information has been provided to us by third parties and while that information is believed to be accurate and reliable, its accuracy is not guaranteed in any way.

Any opinions expressed constitute our views at the time of issue and are subject to change. Neither Allianz, nor its employees or directors give any warranty of accuracy or accept responsibility for any loss or liability incurred by you in respect of any error, omission or misrepresentation in this article.

  1. 72-hour exclusion period may apply

    We don’t provide cover for any loss of or damage to your property caused by cyclone, flood, grassfires and bushfires, during the first 72 hours after you first purchase a policy or increase your cover under an existing policy. For full details of conditions and exclusions please refer to the relevant PDS.

Allianz acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the Traditional Custodians of the lands on which we live and work across Australia. We pay our respect to First Nations Elders past and present.



Any advice here does not take into account your individual objectives, financial situation or needs. Terms, conditions, limits, and exclusions apply. Before making a decision about this insurance, consider the relevant Product Disclosure Statement (PDS)/Policy Wording and Supplementary PDS (if applicable). Where applicable, the PDS/Policy Wording, Supplementary PDS and Target Market Determination (TMD) for this insurance are available on this website. We do not provide any form of advice if you call us to enquire about or purchase a product.

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