Home Maintenance

Sometimes homeowners forget or don’t know about how important maintaining your home is. If you are having trouble deciding what needs to be done, then it’s time to call me. As a certified home inspector: I can help you.

A Home Inspection report isn’t just for people who are buying or selling homes. As a home inspector I provide valuable information about the current maintenance cycle of a home. This information is listed in summary form in the digital report – where you have access to it everywhere, including the hardware store.

Good maintenance protects your hard-earned investment, enhances your comfort, extends the life of your systems and reduces your costs in the long run. It makes sense. Homes that are maintained are the homes that stand the test of time.

Some homeowners do the work themselves and others higher someone.

Here is some of the things you should be doing:

Monthly

Smoke Detectors Test smoke detectors to make sure they work in the event of a fire.
Carbon monoxide detectors Test your CO2 detectors to make sure they are working in the event of an appliance that is malfunction
Ground fault circuit interrupters Test your GFIs in your bathrooms, kitchens, and on your breaker panel to make sure they are working
Filters/Air cleaners on heating and air-conditioning systems You should change or clean your furnace filter every 3 months. If you have pets, every month. This will also help you reduce heating costs and make sure your furnace is running at optimal efficiency.
Automatic reverse mechanism on garage door openers Test to make sure that when you open the door, it stops and reverses when you hold it. When you close it, put something in the way so it can’t close – it should reverse. Test the laser sensors. If you aren’t sure check the owner’s manual. This can prevent life threatening situations
Range hood filters Clean these to maintain efficiency, reduce energy costs and minimize the risk of grease fires.
Central vacuum system Empty canister and clean filter (if applicable) so system will work effectively (In some homes, you may have to do this more often then just once a month).

Quarterly

Sliding doors and windows Clean tracks and make sure drain holes are open to reduce the risk of water damage in the home.
Floor drains Check that there is water in the traps to prevent sewer odors getting into the home.
Heat Recovery Ventilator Clean or replace the filter (every two months is better) to ensure proper and cost-effective operations.
Bathroom exhaust fan Clean grill to ensure good air flow

Spring

Gutters It’s a great idea to clean every spring. Cleaning will extend the life of the gutters and help keep the basement/crawlspace dry.
Air-conditioning system Have it serviced before turning it on – to help protect the equipment.
Humidifiers Attached to furnace: turn off and shut off the water so we don’t get more humidity than we want in the summer.

 

Attached to AC: close the damper on the humidifier bypass to avoid short-circuiting the air-conditioning system.

Well water Have well water tested by a certified laboratory to ensure the water is safe to drink.
Sump pump Test to make sure it is working. If there is a back-up, test the backup as well.
Chimneys for fireplaces and other wood-burning appliances Have these inspected and swept as required – to reduce the risk of a chimney fire.

Fall

Gutters It’s a great idea to clean every fall. Cleaning will extend the life of the gutters and help keep the basement/crawlspace dry.
Heating system Contact a certified HVAC specialist for servicing.
Gas fireplace Contact a certified HVAC specialist for servicing.
Outdoor hose bibs Should shut off the water to these to prevent freezing pipes.
Hot water heating systems Bleed radiators to remove the air so that the radiators will keep the house warm efficiently.
Humidifiers Attached to furnace: Turn on and open the water supply so that the humidifier will work in the heating season.

 

Attached to AC: open the damper on the humidifier bypass to allow the humidifier to work in the heating season.

Electric baseboard heaters Vacuum to remove the dust to increase efficiency and reduce the risk of fire starting.
Well water Have well water tested by a certified laboratory to ensure the water is safe to drink.
Sump pump Test to make sure it is working. If there is a back-up, test the backup as well.
Catch basins Test and clean out debris if needed – to make sure that the water will wash away.
Exterior vents Make sure that flaps close properly to reduce heat loss and prevent guests from entering your home uninvited.

Annually

Trees and shrubs These should be trimmed back at least 1m from the air-conditioning to allow the air-conditioner to working properly and efficiently.

 

They should also be trimmed back from the walls and roof to prevent damage caused by branches rubbing up against the building and to reduce the risk of uninvited guests entering your home.

Vines Vines should be removed from the side of buildings to protect brick/siding/soffits of the building.
Roofing Inspect the roof annually, it’s useful to have your home inspector come and take a look and advise you.
Bathtub and shower enclosures Although we jump into the tub almost daily, it’s important to check the caulking and the grout to prevent concealed water damage.
Attic It’s a good idea to check to see if you have uninvited guests in your attic (pests/insects) and check for roof leaks to prevent water damage. It is strongly recommended that you were an appropriate mask when entering your attic to protect your lungs.
Building exterior Go around the exterior of the building to inspect the weather tightness at siding, trim, doors, windows, wall penetrations, etc. to prevent concealed water damage.
Exterior paint and stain Check and improve as needed to prevent rot in exterior wood. Pay particular attention to wood close to the ground. Wood in contact with soil is prone to rot.
Refrigerators and freezers Vacuum coils to improve efficiency and reduce cost.
Fire extinguisher Check to make sure that all your extinguishers are ready to be used and easy to get to.
Garage door hardware Lubricate where needed. Check with your owner’s manual if you’re not sure.

For those of you who have septic systems. Set up a program for regular maintenance and inspection with a local service provider. Tanks are typically pumped out every three years or so.