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Routine Home Maintenance

  • Test all Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter breakers and outlets
  • Test garage door closer safety circuit
  • Test smoke detectors
  • Test Carbon Monoxide detectors
  • Test all door / window latches and hardware for proper operation and security, particularly those used for emergency exits
  • Perform a general inspection of all heating/cooling units, clean or replace filters. Follow manufacturers maintenance instructions. Clean snow and/or debris from exterior units
  • Perform a visual inspection of hot water heater(s) for signs of leaks or rusting.
  • Unless you are proficient and knowledgeable with hot water tanks, testing the P&T valve and draining any sediment build up on the bottom of the tank is better left to a qualified professional
  • Check all fire extinguishers charge
  • Add water to any floor drains to keep the trap seal intact
  • Flush garburator with baking soda and hot water
Bi-annually Spring/Fall
  • Masonry chimneys should be inspected for loose mortar, cracked or broken pieces, metal chimneys should be inspected for rust, missing rain caps and that the storm collars or properly caulked, and metal flashings need to be checked for leaks. Signs of moisture penetration i.e.: efflorescence, should be further investigated by a qualified professional
  • Roofs should be inspected for missing, loose or damaged shingles. Check high wear areas (valleys, heavy weather side) for missing granules. Check all flashings and caulking for damage or leaks. Flat roofs need to be checked for shifting, or missing gravel, blistering, cracks and standing water. Keep all trees and branches well back from the roof
  • Gutters and down spouts should be cleaned of debris and flushed with water, be sure to disconnect the down spouts from the perimeter drainage first. Make sure all gutters and down spouts are securely fastened and properly connected
  • Inspect soffits and Fascia for damage, and signs of birds, rodents or insects
  • Exterior walls should be checked for any signs of damage or rot. Note any signs of settlement
  • Check fences and retaining walls for rot, insects, and/or shifting
  • Check toilets for leaks and that they are well secured to the floor
  • Clean all faucet aerators and shower heads
  • Clean debris from all drains (including floor drains, exterior catch basins & sumps), and replace seals if necessary
  • Flush all fixtures with baking soda and hot water
  • Check all accessible supply side plumbing for leaks
  • Check all accessible DWV (drain/waste/vent) plumbing for leaks
  • Inspect foundation walls, basements & crawl spaces for moisture penetration (efflorescence, spalling or blistering of paint) and or cracks
  • Service hot water heating systems
  • Clean or replace range hood filters
  • Check all windows for cracks, loose glazing compound, failed sealed units (condensation in between the panes)
  • Check all doors for ease of operation and proper seals on all exterior doors
  • Remove storm windows & install screens
  • Re-connect all exterior hoses, pipes and turn on water
  • Clean exterior of the house with a mild cleaning solution and rinse with clean water
  • Clean and treat areas affected by fungus or mildew
  • Remove screens and install storm windows and doors
  • Clean window wells, debris from under decks & porches
  • Shut off water to, and drain all exterior pipes, hoses, hose bibbs, and valves
  • Test sump pumps
  • Test and recharge fire extinguishers as necessary
  • Clean smoke and carbon monoxide detectors (vacuum)
  • Heating ducts, registers, and radiators should be vacuumed
  • The mechanical systems (heating, plumbing,hot water, and electrical service) should be checked on an annual basis by qualified professionals for any signs of failure or necessary repair/maintenance
  • Have septic tanks and fields checked and cleaned if necessary
  • Cut back trees and shrubs from the siding and roof of the house
  • Check all caulking on exterior windows, doors, vents
  • Have all chimneys and flues checked and cleaned as needed
  • Recaulk and reseal bathtub surrounds
The intent of the above suggestions is to impart but a few of the many duties and responsibilities of a homeowner to maintain a house in safe and comfortable condition. Some of the suggestions may not apply to specific regions and others may be missing.

There are several books and agencies available to the home owner that can give more in depth details of the proper maintenance for your specific region or area of concern, the Canadian Housing and Mortgage Corporation is a good starting point for any reference materials, as are the Internet and Public Libraries.

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