A guide to long-term home maintenance and replacements

We’re rapidly approaching 2021 (thankfully) – and with a new year comes a new to-do list. Whether you recently purchased a previously owned home or have been settled in for a few years, this is the time to survey your space to see what appliances need a tuneup and what areas need an uplift. I put together an easy guide for you to make your list and check it twice. 

Every three to five years

Heating system

Dirt, dust and pet dander can accumulate over the years in your ventilation system, even if you change your air filters regularly. Clean out your heat ducts every few years to prevent health hazards, maximize interior airflow and save yourself a pretty penny on utilities.  

Bath and kitchen grout

Tile grout in your shower, sinks and walls tends to deteriorate over the years, increasing your home’s risk of water infiltration. Old grout can also accumulate stains and look discolored, which can be a real problem if you ever try to sell. Give your tiles the gift of new life with fresh grout.


Similar to grout, caulking around windows and doors can deteriorate, causing outside air and pesky pests to come in. Adding fresh caulking will keep your home warm in the winter and cool in the summer, all while keeping your home’s energy bill lower and the insect intruders out! 

Every five to 10 years


A fresh coat of paint will make your home look almost good as new. This includes any exterior areas like wall siding and your front door. If you notice any paint chipping, opt to paint sooner than later to prevent any deterioration or damage from weather or regular wear and tear.

Kitchen appliances

Depending on the brand, model and regular upkeep of your appliance, your sink, microwave and dishwasher may need replacing. Kitchen sinks, particularly stainless steel ones, need to be replaced around five years or so as they can show their age over time. If you have a smaller, countertop microwave, you may need to replace it before seven years, but larger ones have a longer life expectancy if you give it some regular TLC. Dishwashers typically last up to a decade, and when it’s time to replace, look for one with an Energy Star label to save on water and electricity. 

Every 10-15 years

Hot water heater

Water heaters tend to last eight to 12 years. When it gets older, be sure to regularly check for leaks, as it could be a sign for replacement. When it’s time to upgrade, be sure to opt for an energy efficient model. 

Garage door opener

Depending on usage, garage door openers should function well for several years. Look for newer models and features that offer more security, such as outdoor keypads, fingerprint detectors and Wi-Fi connection for remote access. 

Every 15-20 years


Roof systems will experience regular wear and tear from varying weather conditions, such as heavy rainfall and hail. Small patches may need replacing, so always be on the lookout for leaks, missing shingles and sagging. Otherwise, your roof system can last several years before a complete overhaul. Composition shingles will last at least 12 years, asphalt shingles will last at least 15 years and tile roofs last between 20 to 30 years.

If you are eyeing a previously owned home, take an extra close look at these items. The seller may even provide details on the latest equipment upgrades or replacements, which can factor into the listing price. Finally, working with a trusted realtor can help you find the maintenance information you need before you make an offer. Call me at 941.225.1500 or email me at AmyChapman@michaelsaunders.com to get started.

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