Protect Your Home — And Your Investment!
Although the first days of official spring are nearly upon us, it still feels alot like the first days of winter here in Alberta. Nevertheless, planning and preparing for spring cleaning and maintenance is a good idea so it does not become overwhelming when the thaw finally does come and it may even lift your spirits! Well, maybe cleaning your fireplace does not make you feel like dancing around the May pole but at least it doesnt involve a snow shovel!
If you’re like most Canadians, your home is probably your most important investment. It’s also the place where you and your family tend to spend a great deal of time. A regular schedule of seasonal maintenance can help you protect that investment for years to come, and help keep your home — and most importantly, your family — healthy, safe and sound all year round.
This spring, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) has a short checklist of simple inspections and repairs that can help you put a stop to some of the most common and costly problems before they occur, in as little as a few minutes a week, including:
- Check and clean your range hood filters on a monthly basis.
- Make sure all outdoor air vents (intake, exhaust and forced air) are clear of snow and debris.
- Test ground fault circuit interrupter(s) on electrical outlets each month by pushing the test button, which should cause the reset button to pop up. Press the reset button again to restore power.
- Check your furnace and air-exchanger filters, and clean or replace them if needed.
- Have your fireplace or wood stove and chimney inspected, cleaned and serviced as needed.
- Shut down, drain and clean furnace-mounted humidifiers, and close the furnace humidifier damper on units with central air conditioning.
- Have well water tested for quality, and test for bacteria every six months or as required by local regulatory authorities.
- Check smoke, carbon monoxide and security alarms, and replace their batteries.
- Clean all windows, screens and window hardware. Repair any holes in screens or replace them if necessary.
- Open the valve to the outside hose connection once any danger of frost has passed.
- Examine the foundation walls for cracks, leaks or signs of moisture, and repair them if required.
- Make sure your sump pump is operating properly before the spring thaw sets in, and ensure the discharge pipe allows water to drain away from the foundation.
- Re-level any exterior steps or decks which may have moved due to frost or settling.
- Check for and seal off any holes in exterior cladding that could be an entry point for rain or small pests, such as bats and squirrels.
- Check eavestroughs and downspouts for loose joints and secure attachment to your home, clear any obstructions, and ensure water flows away from your foundation.
- Clear all drainage ditches and culverts of debris.
- Repair and paint fences as needed — allow wood to dry adequately before tackling this task.
- Carry out any spring landscaping and, if necessary, fertilize young trees.
For more information or a free copy of the “About Your House” fact sheet Home Maintenance Schedule and other fact sheets on owning, maintaining or renovating your home, visit our web site at www.cmhc.ca or call CMHC at 1-800-668-2642. For over 65 years, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) has been Canada’s national housing agency, and a source of objective, reliable housing information.