Home Maintenance Schedule

Regular Maintenance is the key.
(The information below is provided by the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation).


Inspecting your home on an regular basis and adhering to good maintenance practices is the best way to protect your investment in your home. Whether you handle a few tasks at a time or several all at once, it is essential to get into the habit of doing them. Establish a routine for yourself and you will find the work is easy to accomplish and not very time consuming. A schedule of seasonal maintenance can prevent the most common and often costly problems, before they occur. If required, use a camera to take pictures of anything you might want to share with a qualified professional for a consultation, as well as monitor or remind you of a situation later.


By following the information noted here, you will learn about protecting your investment and how to keep your home a safe and healthy place to live in. If you do not feel comfortable performing some of the home maintenance tasks listed below, or do not have the proper equipment (i.e. a ladder), it would be wise and prudent to hire a licensed professional to assist you.

Seasonal Home Maintenance

Most home maintenance activities are seasonal. Fall is the time of year to get your home prepared for the winter, which can be the most grueling season for your home. During the winter months, it is important to follow customary maintenance procedures, by checking your home carefully for any problems that metastasize and taking corrective action as soon as possible. Spring is the time to assess damage incurred over the winter season, start repairs and prepare for the warmer months that follow. Over the summer season, there are a number of indoor and outdoor maintenance tasks to look after, such as repairing walkways and steps, in addition to painting and checking your chimney and roof.

While most maintenance is seasonal, there are some things that you should do frequently, year round:


• Ensure air vents, both indoors and outdoors (intake, exhaust and forced air), are not blocked by snow or debris.
• Check and clean range hood filters on a monthly basis.
• Test the ground fault circuit interrupter(s) monthly by pushing the test button, which will cause the reset button to pop up.
• If there are young children in the house, make sure safety precautions are taken and that all electrical outlets are equipped with safety plugs.
• Regularly check the house for safety hazards such as a loose handrail, lifting or buckling carpet, etc.


Timing and duration of the seasons varies not only from one region to region in Canada, but also from year to year in a given area. For this reason, we have not identified the months for each season. The maintenance schedule presented here, instead, is a general guide for you to follow. The actual timing is left for you to decide. You may want to further divide the list of items for each season into months.

Autumn

• Have furnace or heating system serviced by a qualified service company every two years for a gas furnace, and every year for an oil furnace.
• Open furnace humidifier damper on units with central air conditioning—in addition to cleaning humidifier.
• Lubricate circulating pump on hot water heating system.
• Bleed air from hot water radiators.
• Examine the forced air furnace fan belt for wear, looseness or noise; clean fan blades of any detritus (after disconnecting the electricity to the motor first).
• Turn on gas furnace pilot light.
• Check, clean or replace furnace air filters, monthly, during the heating season. Ventilation systems, such as heat recovery ventilators and filters should be checked every two months.
• Vacuum electric baseboard heaters to remove dust.
• Remove the grilles on forced air systems and vacuum inside the ducts.
• If the heat recovery ventilator has been shut off for the summer, clean the filters and the core, and pour water down the condensate drain to test it.
• Clean portable humidifier, if one is used.
• Have well water tested for quality. It is recommended that you test for bacteria every six months.
• Check sump pump and line to ensure functionality and to ascertain whether there are no line obstructions or visible leaks. • Replace window screens with storm windows.
• Remove screens from the inside of casement windows to allow air from the heating system to keep condensation off window glass.

• Ensure all doors to the outside are shut tightly, and check other doors for ease of use. Renew door weatherstripping if required.
• If there is a door between your house and the garage, check the adjustment of the self-closing device to ensure it closes the door completely.
• Ensure windows and skylights close tightly.
• Cover the outside of air conditioning units.
• Ensure that the ground around your home slopes away from the foundation wall, so that water does not drain into your basement.
• Clean leaves from eaves troughs and roof, and test downspouts to ensure proper drainage from the roof.
• Check chimneys for obstructions such as nests.
• Drain and store outdoor hoses. Close valve to outdoor hose connection and drain the hose bib (exterior faucet), unless your house has frost proof hose bibs.
• If you have a septic tank, measure the sludge and remnants to determine if the tank needs to be emptied before the spring. Tanks should be pumped out at least once every three years.
• Winterize landscaping—for example, store outdoor furniture, prepare gardens and, if necessary, protect young trees and shrubbery for winter.

Winter

• Check and clean or replace furnace air filters each month during the heating season. Ventilation system, such as heat recovery ventilators, filters should be checked every two months.
• After consulting with your hot water tank owner’s manual, drain off a dishpan full of water from the clean-out valve at the bottom of your hot water tank to control sediments and maintain efficiency.
• Clean humidifier two to three times during the winter season.
• Vacuum bathroom fan grille.
• Vacuum fire and smoke detectors, as dust or spider webs can impede them from functioning.
• Vacuum radiator grilles on back of refrigerators and freezers, as well as empty and clean drip trays.
• Check gauge on all fire extinguishers; recharge or replace if necessary.
• Check fire escape routes, door and window locks; and, hardware and lighting around outside of house. Ensure that your family has good security habits.
• Check the basement floor drain to ensure the trap contains water. Refill with water if necessary. • Monitor your home for excessive moisture levels-for example, condensation on your windows, which can cause significant damage over time and pose serious health problems. If that is the case, then take corrective action.

• Check all faucets for signs of dripping and change washers as needed. Faucets requiring frequent replacement of washers may be in need of repair.
• If you have a plumbing fixture that is not used frequently, such as a laundry tub or spare bathroom sink, tub or shower stall, run some water briefly to keep the water in the trap.
• Clean drains in dishwasher, sinks, bathtubs and shower stalls.
• Test plumbing shut-off valves to ensure that they are working and to prevent them from seizing.
• Examine windows and doors for ice accumulation or cold air leaks. If found, make a note to repair or replace in the spring.
• Examine attic for frost accumulation. Check roof for ice dams or icicles.
• Check electrical cords, plugs and outlets for all indoor and outdoor seasonal lights to ensure fire safety: if worn, or if the plugs/cords feel warm, replace immediately.

Spring

• After consulting with your hot water tank owner’s manual, carefully test the temperature and pressure relief valve to ensure that it is not stuck.
&nbap;&nbap;Caution: This test may release hot water that can cause burns.

• Check and clean or replace furnace air filters, monthly, during the heating season. Ventilation system, most notably, heat recovery ventilators and filters, should be checked every two months.

• Have fireplace, woodstove and chimney cleaned and serviced as needed.

• Shut down and clean furnace humidifier. Moreover, close the furnace humidifier damper on units with central air conditioning.
• Check air conditioning system and have it serviced every two to three years.

• Clean or replace air conditioning filter (if applicable).

 • Check dehumidifier and clean if necessary.

 • Turn off gas furnace and fireplace pilot lights where possible.
• Have well water tested for quality. It is recommended that you test for bacteria every six months.

• Check smoke, carbon monoxide and security alarms. If needed, replace the batteries.

• Clean windows, screens and hardware. Replace storm windows with screens. Check screens first and repair or replace if needed.

• Open valve to outside hose connection after all danger of frost has passed.

• Examine the foundation walls for cracks, leaks or signs of moisture, and repair as required. Repair and paint fences as necessary.

• Ensure sump pump is operating properly before the spring thaw sets in. In addition, make sure the discharge pipe is connected and allows water to drain away from the foundation.

• Re-level any exterior steps or decks, which moved as a result of frost or settling.

 • Check eaves troughs and downspouts for loose joints and secure attachment to your home, clear any obstructions, and ensure water flows away from your foundation.
• Clear all drainage ditches and culverts of debris.

• Undertake spring landscape maintenance and, if necessary, fertilize young trees.

Summer

• Monitor basement humidity and avoid relative humidity levels above 60 per cent. Use a dehumidifier to maintain safe relative humidity. Clean or replace air conditioning filter, and wash/replace ventilation system filters, if necessary.
• Inspect basement pipes for condensation or dripping, and take corrective action. For example, reduce humidity and insulate cold water pipes. • Check the basement floor drain to ensure the trap contains water. Refill with water if appropriate.
• If you have a plumbing fixture that is not used frequently—for example, a laundry tub or spare bathroom sink, tub or shower stall—then run some water briefly to keep water in the trap.
• Give all carpets and rugs a deep clean.
• Vacuum bathroom fan grille.
• Disconnect the duct that is hooked up to the dryer. Then, proceed to vacuum lint from duct and the areas surrounding your dryer and your dryer’s vent hood outside.
• Check security and stability of all guardrails and handrails.
• Check functionality of all windows and lubricate as required.
• Inspect window putty on outside of glass panes and replace if needed.
• Lubricate door hinges and tighten screws as required.
• Lubricate garage door hardware and ensure it is operating properly.
• Lubricate automatic garage door opener motor, chain, etc. Furthermore, ensure that the auto-reverse mechanism is properly adjusted.
• Check and replace damaged caulking and weatherstripping around windows and doorways, including the doorway between the garage and the house.

• Inspect electrical service lines, for secure attachment, where they enter your house. Make sure that there is no water leakage into the house along the electrical conduit.
• Check exterior wood siding and trim for signs of deterioration; clean, replace or refinish as needed.
• Check for and seal off any holes in exterior cladding that could be an entry point for small rodents, such as bats and squirrels.
• Remove any plants that contact, or roots that penetrate, the siding/brick.
• Climb up on your roof, or use binoculars, to check its general condition, and note any wilting that could indicate structural problems requiring further investigation from inside the attic. Note the condition of all shingles for possible repair or replacement, and examine all roof flashings, such as chimney and roof joints, for any signs of cracking or leakage.
• Sweep chimneys connected to any wood burning appliance or fireplace, and inspect them for end-of-season problems.
• Check the chimney cap and the caulking between the cap and chimney.
• Repair driveway and walkways as needed.
• Repair any damaged steps that present a safety problem.