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Our monthly blog will post many interesting topics and discussions.

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maintenanceRegular Maintenance is the Key

Inspecting your home regularly and following good maintenance practices are the best ways to protect your investment and keep your home a safe and healthy place to live. It is important to get into the habit of doing them and establish a routine, and you will find it easily manageable. A regular schedule of seasonal maintenance can prevent the most common and costly problems before they occur. You may want to take pictures of anything you might want to share with an expert for advice or to monitor.

If you do not feel comfortable performing some of the home maintenance tasks listed below, or do not have the necessary equipment (i.e. a ladder), consider hiring a qualified handyperson.

Examine the exterior and interior walls for cracks, leaks or signs of moisture, and repair and/or consult with a specialist as required.

Seal off any holes in the exterior walls to prevent an entry point for small pests, such as bats, mice and squirrels.

Check eaves troughs, downspouts and leader extensions for any loose joints for any possible obstructions and ensure water flows away from your foundation.

Switch OFF gas furnace and fireplace pilot lights where possible.

Ensure sump pump is operating properly before the spring thaw sets in. Ensure discharge pipe is connected to allow water to drain away from the foundation.

Replace batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Batteries should be replaced after two seasons (approximately 6 months of use).

Clean windows and screens. Replace or repair windows and screens as needed.

Shut down, drain and clean furnace humidifier, and close the furnace humidifier damper.

Switch on power to air conditioning and check system. Air conditioners should be serviced every two or three years.

Repair any exterior steps or decks that moved as a result of frost or settling.


Inspect electrical service lines for secure attachment where they enter your house. Ensure there is no water leakage into the house along the electrical conduit.

From the ground, identify the general condition of the roof. Note any sagging that may indicate structural problems and may require further investigation from inside the attic. Check the shingles for possible repair or replacement and examine roof flashings for any signs of cracking or leakage.

Monitor basement humidity and avoid relative humidity levels above per cent. Use a dehumidifier to maintain relative humidity below 60 per cent.

Check basement pipes for condensation or dripping. To reduce condensation or dripping, use a dehumidifier and insulate cold water pipes.

Replace damaged caulking and weather stripping around mechanical and electrical services, windows and doorways.

Remove any vegetation that can penetrate the wall and foundation.

Check functionality of all windows. Lubricate as required.

Disconnect the duct connected to your clothes dryer and vacuum lint from duct and surrounding areas.

Check chimney cap and caulking between cap and chimney.

Replace any degraded window putty on outside of glass panes of older homes.


Ensure all ground around your home slopes away from the foundation wall.

Have furnace or heating system serviced by a qualified service company every two years for a gas furnace. For an oil furnace, it would be every year.

If you have a central air conditioning, ensure the drain pan under the cooling coil mounted in the furnace plenum is draining properly and is clean.

Check chimneys for obstructions such as nests.

Turn on gas furnace pilot light (if your furnace has one), set the thermostat to “heat” and test the furnace for proper operation by raising the thermostat setting until the furnace starts to operate. Once you have confirmed proper operation, return the thermostat to the desired setting.

Check smoke, carbon monoxide and security alarms, and replace batteries.

Clean leaves from gutters and roof, and test downspouts to ensure proper drainage from the roof.

Check to see the condition of the ductwork, the joints are tightly sealed with aluminum tape and there are no holes in the duct insulation and plastic duct wrap.

Ensure windows and skylights closed tightly and repair/replace weather-stripping, as needed

Ensure all doors to the outside are shut tightly. Replace door weather-stripping if required.


Clean or replace furnace air filters each month during the heating season,

After reviewing your hot water tank owner’s manual, 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.

Clean humidifier at least twice during the winter season

Check the basement floor drain to ensure the trap contains water. If there is no water present refill with water

Monitor your home for excessive moisture levels. Dry out condensation with a dehumidifier and or through an open window

Check all faucets for signs of dripping and change washers as needed. Faucets requiring frequent replacement of washers may be in need of repair.

Clean drains in dishwasher, sinks, bathtubs and shower stalls

Examine windows and doors for ice accumulation or cold air leaks. If found, make a note to repair or replace in the spring.

Examine attic for frost accumulation. Check roof for ice dams or icicles. If there is excessive frost or staining on the underside of the roof, consult with a credible roofer.

Keep snow clear of gas meters, gas appliance vents, exhaust vents and basement windows.