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Home Maintenance Tips

Posted by Richard Robibero on December 4, 2014
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Home Maintenance Tips

Owning a home is a big deal and something one should take pride in. So it goes without saying that along with home ownership comes certain responsibilities. If you’ve signed up for any email newsletters from websites like Houzz or CMHC you’ll receive an email once in a while with recommended home maintenance tips. Over the last several years I’ve taken the tips that have been offered and long with my own personal experience have developed a very comprehensive and exhaustive list of monthly home maintenance tasks.

While this home maintenance list is very long and intimidating many of the tasks can be done in minutes and some tasks you may want to do less or more often. I usually spend a morning once a month to handle the tasks for that given month. Could you do none of these and still enjoy home ownership? Sure. But then again why not learn a little bit about how your home works and spot problems before they become major expenses (like the kitchen leak I discovered during a routine check).

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January

□ Check for drips and run infrequently used taps (laundry tub, spare bathroom, etc) briefly to keep water in the trap. (monthly)
□ Make sure air vents indoors and outdoors (intake, exhaust and forced air) are not blocked by snow or debris. (monthly)
□ Check and test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. (monthly)
□ Examine windows and doors for ice accumulation or cold air leaks. If found, repair or replace in the spring. (monthly during winter)
□ Monitor your home for excessive moisture levels–for example, condensation on your windows. (monthly during winter)
□ Examine attic for frost accumulation. Check roof for excessive ice dams or icicles. (monthly during winter)
□ Check and clean range hood filters. (bi-monthly)
□ Test the ground fault circuit interrupters by pushing the test button which should cause the reset button to pop up. (bi-monthly)
□ Clean Central Vacuum Unit (bi-monthly)
□ Check gauge on fire extinguisher and recharge or replace if necessary. (bi-monthly)
□ Check the basement floor drain to ensure the trap contains water. Refill with water if necessary. (bi-monthly)
□ Vacuum bathroom fan grille, smoke detectors and refrigerator grills and dishpan. (quarterly).
□ Test plumbing shut-off valves to ensure they are working and to prevent them from seizing. (quarterly)

February

□ Check for drips and run infrequently used taps (laundry tub, spare bathroom, etc) briefly to keep water in the trap. (monthly)
□ Make sure air vents indoors and outdoors (intake, exhaust and forced air) are not blocked by snow or debris. (monthly)
□ Check and test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. (monthly)
□ Examine windows and doors for ice accumulation or cold air leaks. If found, repair or replace in the spring. (monthly during winter)
□ Monitor your home for excessive moisture levels–for example, condensation on your windows. (monthly during winter)
□ Examine attic for frost accumulation. Check roof for excessive ice dams or icicles. (monthly during winter)
□ Clean furnace filter and replace if required. (bi-monthly)
□ Empty and clean fridge and freezer drip trays. (bi-monthly)
□ Clean Washing Machine Soap Dish and Drain (bi-monthly)
□ Clean Humidifier (bi-monthly during winter)
□ Clean drains in dishwasher, sinks, bathtubs and shower stalls with baking powder. (quarterly)
□ Inspect kitchen, bathroom, toilet, and basement pipes for leaks. (quarterly)
□ Inspect electrical service lines for secure attachment where they enter your house, and make sure there is no water leakage into the house. (quarterly)
□ Check for and seal off any holes in exterior cladding that could be an entry point for small pests, such as bats and squirrels. (quarterly)
□ Clean dishwasher spray arms. (semi-annually)
□ Drain off a dishpan full of water from the clean-out valve at the bottom of your hot water tank to control sediment and maintain efficiency. (semi-annually)
□ Check caulking and grout in tub, showers, and sinks and replace if necessary. (semi-annually)
□ Disconnect the duct connected to the dryer and vacuum lint from duct, the areas surrounding the dryer and the vent hood outside. (semi-annually)

March

□ Check for drips and run infrequently used taps (laundry tub, spare bathroom, etc) briefly to keep water in the trap. (monthly)
□ Make sure air vents indoors and outdoors (intake, exhaust and forced air) are not blocked by snow or debris. (monthly)
□ Check and test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. (monthly)
□ Examine windows and doors for ice accumulation or cold air leaks. If found, repair or replace in the spring. (monthly during winter)
□ Monitor your home for excessive moisture levels–for example, condensation on your windows. (monthly during winter)
□ Examine attic for frost accumulation. Check roof for excessive ice dams or icicles. (monthly during winter)
□ Check and clean range hood filters. (bi-monthly)
□ Test the ground fault circuit interrupters by pushing the test button which should cause the reset button to pop up. (bi-monthly)
□ Clean Central Vacuum Unit (bi-monthly)
□ Check gauge on fire extinguisher and recharge or replace if necessary. (bi-monthly)
□ Check the basement floor drain to ensure the trap contains water. Refill with water if necessary. (bi-monthly)
□ Check fire escape routes, door and window locks, and lighting around outside of house; ensure family has good security habits. (quarterly)
□ Remove the grilles on forced air systems and vacuum inside the ducts. (quarterly)
□ Take down Christmas lights (yearly)

April

□ Check for drips and run infrequently used taps (laundry tub, spare bathroom, etc) briefly to keep water in the trap. (monthly)
□ Make sure air vents indoors and outdoors (intake, exhaust and forced air) are not blocked by snow or debris. (monthly)
□ Check and test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. (monthly)
□ Clean furnace filter and replace if required. (bi-monthly)
□ Empty and clean fridge and freezer drip trays. (bi-monthly)
□ Clean Washing Machine Soap Dish and Drain (bi-monthly)
□ Check dehumidifier and clean if necessary.
□ Clean Humidifier (bi-monthly during winter)
□ Vacuum bathroom fan grille, smoke detectors and refrigerator grills and dishpan. (quarterly).
□ Test plumbing shut-off valves to ensure they are working and to prevent them from seizing. (quarterly)
□ Clear all drainage ditches and culverts of debris. (semi-annually)
□ Check eavestroughs/downspouts for loose joints and secure, clear any obstructions, ensure water flows away from your foundation. (semi-annually)
□ Clean Backflow Valve and ensure Sump Pump functions. (semi-annually)
□ Turn circuit breakers off and on. (yearly)
□ Have fireplace or woodstove and chimney cleaned and serviced as needed. (yearly)
□ Turn OFF gas furnace and fireplace pilot lights where possible. Remove batteries from controls (yearly)
□ Undertake spring landscape maintenance and, if necessary, fertilize young trees. (yearly)
□ Carefully test the temperature and pressure relief valve to ensure it is not stuck. Caution: This test may release hot water that can cause burns. (yearly)
□ Check air conditioning system and have serviced every two or three years. (yearly)
□ Clean or replace air conditioning filter (if applicable). (yearly)
□ Ensure sump pump is operating properly before spring thaw. Ensure discharge pipe is connected and allows water to drain away from home. (yearly)

May

□ Check for drips and run infrequently used taps (laundry tub, spare bathroom, etc) briefly to keep water in the trap. (monthly)
□ Make sure air vents indoors and outdoors (intake, exhaust and forced air) are not blocked by snow or debris. (monthly)
□ Check and test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. (monthly)
□ Check and clean range hood filters. (bi-monthly)
□ Test the ground fault circuit interrupters by pushing the test button which should cause the reset button to pop up. (bi-monthly)
□ Clean Central Vacuum Unit (bi-monthly)
□ Check gauge on fire extinguisher and recharge or replace if necessary. (bi-monthly)
□ Check the basement floor drain to ensure the trap contains water. Refill with water if necessary. (bi-monthly)
□ Clean drains in dishwasher, sinks, bathtubs and shower stalls with baking powder. (quarterly)
□ Inspect kitchen, bathroom, toilet, and basement pipes for leaks. (quarterly)
□ Inspect electrical service lines for secure attachment where they enter your house, and make sure there is no water leakage into the house. (quarterly)
□ Check for and seal off any holes in exterior cladding that could be an entry point for small pests, such as bats and squirrels. (quarterly)
□ Clean oil and grease from driveway (semi-annually)
□ Shut down and clean furnace humidifier, and close the furnace humidifier damper on units with central air conditioning. (yearly)
□ Open valve to outside hose connection after all danger of frost has passed. (yearly)
□ Uncover and clean air conditioning unit. (yearly)
□ Clean windows, replace screens and lubricate hardware. Check screens and repair/replace if needed. (yearly)
□ Oil garage door rollers, bearings and hinges. Opener does not require additional lubrication. Do not grease door tracks. (yearly)
□ Examine the foundation walls for cracks, leaks or signs of moisture, and repair as required. Repair and paint fences as necessary. (yearly)
□ Uncover deck patio table and chairs. Bring out patio umbrella. (yearly)

June

□ Check for drips and run infrequently used taps (laundry tub, spare bathroom, etc) briefly to keep water in the trap. (monthly)
□ Make sure air vents indoors and outdoors (intake, exhaust and forced air) are not blocked by snow or debris. (monthly)
□ Check and test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. (monthly)
□ Monitor basement humidity and avoid relative humidity levels above 60 per cent. Use a dehumidifier to maintain safe humidity. (monthly during Summer)
□ Check basement pipes for condensation or dripping. Reduce humidity or insulate cold water pipes if required. (monthly during Summer)
□ Clean furnace filter and replace if required. (bi-monthly)
□ Empty and clean fridge and freezer drip trays. (bi-monthly)
□ Clean Washing Machine Soap Dish and Drain (bi-monthly)
□ Check fire escape routes, door and window locks, and lighting around outside of house; ensure family has good security habits. (quarterly)
□ Remove the grilles on forced air systems and vacuum inside the ducts. (quarterly)
□ Lubricate door hinges and tighten screws as needed. (yearly)
□ Check and replace damaged caulking and weather stripping around windows and doorways, including the doorway in the garage. (yearly)
□ Lubricate garage door hardware, automatic garage door opener motor, chain, etc. and ensure the auto-reverse mechanism is properly adjusted. (yearly)
□ Deep clean carpets and rugs. (yearly)
□ Take out delicate patio furniture (yearly)
□ Examine decks. Scrub mildewed areas and treat for water stains, mildew, and fungus. (yearly)
□ Check concrete, asphalt, and interlocking for cracks or deterioration. Reseal/repair if necessary. (yearly)

July

□ Check for drips and run infrequently used taps (laundry tub, spare bathroom, etc) briefly to keep water in the trap. (monthly)
□ Make sure air vents indoors and outdoors (intake, exhaust and forced air) are not blocked by snow or debris. (monthly)
□ Check and test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. (monthly)
□ Monitor basement humidity and avoid relative humidity levels above 60 per cent. Use a dehumidifier to maintain safe humidity. (monthly during Summer)
□ Check basement pipes for condensation or dripping. Reduce humidity or insulate cold water pipes if required. (monthly during Summer)
□ Check and clean range hood filters. (bi-monthly)
□ Test the ground fault circuit interrupters by pushing the test button which should cause the reset button to pop up. (bi-monthly)
□ Clean Central Vacuum Unit (bi-monthly)
□ Check gauge on fire extinguisher and recharge or replace if necessary. (bi-monthly)
□ Check the basement floor drain to ensure the trap contains water. Refill with water if necessary. (bi-monthly)
□ Vacuum bathroom fan grille, smoke detectors and refrigerator grills and dishpan. (quarterly).
□ Test plumbing shut-off valves to ensure they are working and to prevent them from seizing. (quarterly)
□ Repair driveway, walkways, steps, handrails as needed. (yearly)
□ Remove any plants that contact, or roots that penetrate, the siding or brick. (yearly)
□ Check exterior wood siding and trim for signs of deterioration; clean, replace or refinish as needed. (yearly)

August

□ Check for drips and run infrequently used taps (laundry tub, spare bathroom, etc) briefly to keep water in the trap. (monthly)
□ Make sure air vents indoors and outdoors (intake, exhaust and forced air) are not blocked by snow or debris. (monthly)
□ Check and test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. (monthly)
□ Monitor basement humidity and avoid relative humidity levels above 60 per cent. Use a dehumidifier to maintain safe humidity. (monthly during Summer)
□ Check basement pipes for condensation or dripping. Reduce humidity or insulate cold water pipes if required. (monthly during Summer)
□ Clean furnace filter and replace if required. (bi-monthly)
□ Empty and clean fridge and freezer drip trays. (bi-monthly)
□ Clean Washing Machine Soap Dish and Drain (bi-monthly)
□ Clean drains in dishwasher, sinks, bathtubs and shower stalls with baking powder. (quarterly)
□ Inspect kitchen, bathroom, toilet, and basement pipes for leaks. (quarterly)
□ Inspect electrical service lines for secure attachment where they enter your house, and make sure there is no water leakage into the house. (quarterly)
□ Check for and seal off any holes in exterior cladding that could be an entry point for small pests, such as bats and squirrels. (quarterly)
□ Clean dishwasher spray arms. (semi-annually)
□ Drain off a dishpan full of water from the clean-out valve at the bottom of your hot water tank to control sediment and maintain efficiency. (semi-annually)
□ Check caulking and grout in tub, showers, and sinks and replace if necessary. (semi-annually)
□ Disconnect the duct connected to the dryer and vacuum lint from duct, the areas surrounding the dryer and the vent hood outside. (semi-annually)
□ Check roof condition and note any sagging, condition of shingles, and flashings at chimney and roof joints. (yearly)
□ Check the chimney cap and the caulking between the cap and the chimney. (yearly)

September

□ Check for drips and run infrequently used taps (laundry tub, spare bathroom, etc) briefly to keep water in the trap. (monthly)
□ Make sure air vents indoors and outdoors (intake, exhaust and forced air) are not blocked by snow or debris. (monthly)
□ Check and test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. (monthly)
□ Check and clean range hood filters. (bi-monthly)
□ Test the ground fault circuit interrupters by pushing the test button which should cause the reset button to pop up. (bi-monthly)
□ Clean Central Vacuum Unit (bi-monthly)
□ Check gauge on fire extinguisher and recharge or replace if necessary. (bi-monthly)
□ Check the basement floor drain to ensure the trap contains water. Refill with water if necessary. (bi-monthly)
□ Check fire escape routes, door and window locks, and lighting around outside of house; ensure family has good security habits. (quarterly)
□ Remove the grilles on forced air systems and vacuum inside the ducts. (quarterly)
□ Open furnace humidifier damper on units with central air conditioning and clean humidifier. (yearly)
□ Check sump pump and line to ensure proper operation, and to ascertain that there are no line obstructions or visible leaks. (yearly)
□ Ensure that the ground around your home slopes away from the foundation wall, so that water does not drain into your basement. (yearly)

October

□ Check for drips and run infrequently used taps (laundry tub, spare bathroom, etc) briefly to keep water in the trap. (monthly)
□ Make sure air vents indoors and outdoors (intake, exhaust and forced air) are not blocked by snow or debris. (monthly)
□ Check and test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. (monthly)
□ Clean furnace filter and replace if required. (bi-monthly)
□ Empty and clean fridge and freezer drip trays. (bi-monthly)
□ Clean Washing Machine Soap Dish and Drain (bi-monthly)
□ Vacuum bathroom fan grille, smoke detectors and refrigerator grills and dishpan. (quarterly).
□ Test plumbing shut-off valves to ensure they are working and to prevent them from seizing. (quarterly)
□ Clear all drainage ditches and culverts of debris. (semi-annually)
□ Check eavestroughs/downspouts for loose joints and secure, clear any obstructions, ensure water flows away from your foundation. (semi-annually)
□ Clean Backflow Valve and ensure Sump Pump functions. (semi-annually)
□ 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. (yearly)
□ Take in delicate patio furniture (yearly)
□ Ensure windows and skylights close tightly. (yearly)
□ Ensure all doors to the outside shut tightly, and check other doors for ease of use. Renew door weatherstripping if required. (yearly)
□ Cover outside of air conditioning units. (yearly)

November

□ Check for drips and run infrequently used taps (laundry tub, spare bathroom, etc) briefly to keep water in the trap. (monthly)
□ Make sure air vents indoors and outdoors (intake, exhaust and forced air) are not blocked by snow or debris. (monthly)
□ Check and test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. (monthly)
□ Check and clean range hood filters. (bi-monthly)
□ Test the ground fault circuit interrupters by pushing the test button which should cause the reset button to pop up. (bi-monthly)
□ Clean Central Vacuum Unit (bi-monthly)
□ Check gauge on fire extinguisher and recharge or replace if necessary. (bi-monthly)
□ Check the basement floor drain to ensure the trap contains water. Refill with water if necessary. (bi-monthly)
□ Clean drains in dishwasher, sinks, bathtubs and shower stalls with baking powder. (quarterly)
□ Inspect kitchen, bathroom, toilet, and basement pipes for leaks. (quarterly)
□ Inspect electrical service lines for secure attachment where they enter your house, and make sure there is no water leakage into the house. (quarterly)
□ Check for and seal off any holes in exterior cladding that could be an entry point for small pests, such as bats and squirrels. (quarterly)
□ Clean oil and grease from driveway (semi-annually)
□ Check chimneys for obstructions such as nests. (yearly)
□ Cover deck patio table and chairs (yearly)
□ Bring Pressure Washer inside for the season. (yearly)
□ Clean leaves from all areas including window wells. (yearly)
□ Remove screens from the inside of casement windows to allow air from the heating system to keep condensation off window glass (yearly).
□ Winterize landscaping, for example, prepare gardens and, if necessary, protect young trees or bushes for winter. (yearly)
□ Drain and store outdoor hoses. Close valve to outdoor hose connection and drain the hose bib/exterior faucet. (yearly)
□ Stockpile salt and sand for winter ice. (yearly)

December

□ Check for drips and run infrequently used taps (laundry tub, spare bathroom, etc) briefly to keep water in the trap. (monthly)
□ Make sure air vents indoors and outdoors (intake, exhaust and forced air) are not blocked by snow or debris. (monthly)
□ Check and test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. (monthly)
□ Examine windows and doors for ice accumulation or cold air leaks. If found, repair or replace in the spring. (monthly during winter)
□ Monitor your home for excessive moisture levels–for example, condensation on your windows. (monthly during winter)
□ Examine attic for frost accumulation. Check roof for excessive ice dams or icicles. (monthly during winter)
□ Clean furnace filter and replace if required. (bi-monthly)
□ Empty and clean fridge and freezer drip trays. (bi-monthly)
□ Clean Washing Machine Soap Dish and Drain (bi-monthly)
□ Clean Humidifier (bi-monthly during winter)
□ Check fire escape routes, door and window locks, and lighting around outside of house; ensure family has good security habits. (quarterly)
□ Remove the grilles on forced air systems and vacuum inside the ducts. (quarterly)
□ Put up Christmas lights (yearly)

 

Call Richard at 416-277-8025 to help you find your dream home. Remember, my advice and experience as your Buyer Representative comes at no cost to you.

 

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