Keep your home in tip-top shape inside and out

​Spring is a particularly important time to perform a series of home maintenance checks

After a long winter, it looks like spring is finally upon us. Take advantage of the warmer weather and longer daylight hours to do some upkeep around the house.

Regular maintenance is an important part of home ownership and helps ensure the internal environment of your house stays healthy.

It's also a necessary part of maintaining your new home warranty if you live in a house or condominium that is less than seven years old, as some warranty claims require that proper maintenance be performed.

Your warranty protects your home from things like water penetration through the basement or foundation walls, defects in the electrical, plumbing and heating systems and major structural damage.

Here are some tips to make sure your home stays in good shape and stays covered by warranty.

Inside your home

  • Wet weather makes spring an ideal time to be on the look-out for musty smells and odours. They are often an indicator of a hidden moisture problem.
  • Check your windows and screens to make sure they're in good working order.
  • If you have a humidifier, clean it according to the manufacturer's directions so it's ready to use when the weather cools off again.
  • Clean or replace your furnace filter. Most new furnaces require the filter to be changed or cleaned on a monthly basis.
  • Check air ducts, remove covers from vents and vacuum dust that has accumulated over the winter months.
  • Air out a damp basement on dry sunny days.

Outside

  • Have your roof inspected regularly to ensure shingles, flashing and chimney caps are in place and sealed properly.
  • Remove the winter cover from your air conditioner and following the manufacturer's instructions, inspect, vacuum, brush outdoor coils, and wash or clean the filter. Service as needed.
  • Take advantage of a dry day to inspect and fix the caulking and weather stripping around windows and doors and on the roof. Replace any areas that are cracked or separating.
  • Leaves and sticks that accumulate through fall and winter can cause blockages, so be sure to regularly clear eavestroughs and gutters of debris.
  • Extend downspouts so that water is directed away from your home. Melting snow and rain can accumulate quickly and water that flows around the foundation could eventually find its way into the basement.
  • Turn on the exterior water supply. Make sure it's turned off and bled dry each fall to prevent external plumbing lines from bursting in the winter.
  • Inspect external exhaust vents to make sure they're clear of debris. Small animals often nest in vents that aren't fully covered.
  • Check driveways and walks for frost damage that may have been hidden under snow.
  • If you have a sump pump, check the float and discharge line and test the overall operation. Likewise, if you have a septic system, inspect it and if necessary, have it emptied.

For more information, watch our video guide to home maintenance and more seasonal tips.

  

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