recognizes the value of spring clean-up in and around your home. After a long
winter, it’s good to take stock of how well your home stood up to wintry blasts
of cold, ice and snow and to fix or adjust anything that was affected by the
just as important to prepare your home for winter before inclement
weather arrives. In fact, it’s important to make maintenance a year-round habit
– even if you own a brand new home.
All new homes in Ontario come with a
warranty provided by the builder and guaranteed by Tarion Warranty Corporation.
This warranty lasts up to seven years from the date of first possession and
covers a lot of things inside and out, from defects in workmanship to major
But did you know that lack of maintenance
can affect your warranty? If issues arise in your home in those first seven
years that can be traced back to a lack of proper maintenance, they won’t be
covered. That’s why you should maintain your home year-round.
The time to prepare for winter is in the fall, and there are all kinds
of things you can do to keep your new home healthy and to ensure that your
warranty rights are protected.
The first place to start is outside your
home. Take a wander around outside and check out all of your windows and doors
for any cracks or separations around the frames. If you see any damage, get out
the caulking gun and apply caulking to those areas. This will prevent water penetration
or heat loss.
Second story windows can be a challenge. Not
comfortable on a ladder? Try taking digital photos of the windows and then zooming
in for greater detail to see if they need attention.
Weather stripping on exterior doors is
another must-check item. Look for damage or wear, and replace if necessary. Warm
air will seep from your home – and your heating bills will rise – if the
weather stripping isn’t in good shape.
Eavestroughs and downspouts should be
inspected too. Leaves and debris can collect and create messy, smelly blockages
that could build up over winter. So, clear all of this away so that water can
drain freely. If you see cracks or seam separations in your eavestroughs, fix with
Next up is your exterior water supply. The
last thing you want is a flash freeze to damage your water lines and cause a
pipe to burst. So now that watering the law and garden is done for the season,
shut off your home’s exterior water supply and drain all exterior water lines
and hoses. You should leave the taps open a bit – this will prevent any
remaining water in the lines from freezing and damaging the water supply line.
If you have an irrigation system to water
your lawn or garden, or if you have water features like a pool, pond or
fountain, you should make sure all water is drained from those as well. If you
don’t, you will be sure to find damage in the spring.
And finally, have a professional roofing
company inspect the roof to ensure that shingles, flashing and chimney caps are
all in place and properly sealed.
Once you’re done outside your home, there
are a few things you should look after inside.
Clean and test all of your exhaust fans,
including dryer vents, stove vents and furnace vents. Look at your furnace
filter to see if it needs to be cleaned or replaced, and consider having your
furnace serviced to prepare it for winter.
Inspect your gas or wood-burning fireplace
and chimney dampers and have them serviced or cleaned, if necessary. Then test
all smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors to make sure they are in good
And finally, if your home has a sump pump, you
don’t want to risk a flood in the winter. Check the sump-pump float and
discharge line and then test the whole operation.
If you take some time this fall to prepare
for winter weather, your home will withstand the elements and your warranty
will be protected.