Seasonal Maintenance Calendar

Implementing a seasonal maintenance schedule is the best way to manage your household maintenance budget, protect your investment and prevent problems down the road. Read on for detailed information and handy tips that can help keep your home in top shape throughout the year.

Safety first

Using a maintenance schedule is recommended, however it should not replace any manufacturer’s recommendations. Homeowners often want to perform maintenance themselves to save money. Many areas of home maintenance are best left to the professionals, such as electrical work, entering an attic, or climbing on roofs and ladders. Always use licensed contractors for any tasks you feel uncomfortable performing.

Fall

  • Check all windows and doors for air or water leaks, and make sure windows, sliding doors and masonry weep holes are clear.
  • Inspect exterior caulking for obvious signs of failure including de-bonding, bulging, cracking and sagging.
  • Check the roof for loose shingles, tiles or shakes, and make sure vents are in good condition and free of debris.
  • If you have large trees or shrubs close to your home, trim them well back so that they don’t damage your home's exterior, shingles, or interfere with vents.
  • Check for leaves and debris in gutters and eaves troughs, and check for blockages at the down-pipe connections.
  • Have gas heating systems inspected by a certified professional.
  • Vacuum and clean out forced air registers (vents) and ductwork in your home.
  • Remove the hoses and any diverter manifolds or other attachments from the hose bib itself.
  • Review flashing for damage or staining.
  • Check carbon monoxide detectors to ensure they’re working properly.
  • Check all vents outside your home: the combustion vent intake, the dryer vent and the range hood vent. Make sure they are all clear and functional, and have clean screens free of debris.




Turn off the tap!

Remember to turn off all outside water outlets and drain exterior faucets before winter!

Keep in mind there are several different kinds of outside water outlets. If you have only the frost-free type of hose bib, it shuts off only from the outside of your home. In this case make sure all hoses and appliances are disconnected to allow water to drain out. You may have a frost-free type that also has an inside water shut-off valve. In this case, shut off the inside valve, then open the outside hose bib to allow it to drain. If you have a non-frost-free type of hose bib with an inside shut-off, you’ll need to turn off the water at the inside valve and open the outside valve to ensure the water drains. Some new homes have the hose bibs inside the garage or a utility room – these too should have the hoses disconnected and be drained, or have the water supply shut off and drained before winter arrives.

Winter

  • Check the attic for leaks or blocked vents, inspect the insulation, and make sure there is no daylight coming in through the roof or around chimneys (which can indicate a leak or hole).
  • Replace furnace filters.
  • Have a technician check the furnace fan belt and lubricate the motor if needed
  • Clean and test all smoke alarms, and check or replace the batteries.
  • Test all ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) and all panel breakers.
  • Remove ice and snow from porches and concrete stairs as soon as possible – avoid salts or other melting chemicals that can damage the concrete.
  • Never pile snow against the side of your home.
  • In freezing or snow conditions, check for ice dams on the overhangs of your roof.
  • Avoid overloading circuits with heaters, appliances or seasonal lights.
  • If you have an in-ground sprinkler system, make sure it is properly drained and winterized before freezing temperatures arrive.
  • Check your faucets and make sure they’re not leaking – a simple solution that can save you money!
  • Inspect all carbon monoxide detectors and make sure they’re in good working order.




Spring

  • Test all ground fault circuit interrupters in your washrooms, kitchens, outside recep-tacles and on the electrical panel.
  • Replace furnace filters
  • Have a technician inspect the furnace fan belt
  • Inspect the roof visually from the ground if possible – if you have to go onto the roof, wear a safety harness or hire a contractor.
  • Clean gutters and down-pipes, and make sure downspouts and splash pads drain away from walls and foundation.
  • Inspect caulking inside and out, and touch-up or replace where needed with products designed for the job.
  • Clean windows and window tracks, and make sure weep holes are not blocked (including sliding door tracks – lubricate openers and track rollers with silicone spray).
  • Review flashing for damage or staining.
  • Remember to turn on the interior water supply to hose bibs and exterior faucets, and check for leaks.




Summer

  • Remove debris from gutters, eaves troughs and down-pipes – hose them out and ensure good drainage flow.
  • Examine window and door seals and repair as needed – a great way to cut down on energy costs!
  • Examine, seal and repair grout in bathrooms and tile floors to prevent moisture dam-age, as it may contract and shrink in hot weather.
  • Inspect and lubricate garage door roller shafts – but call in a professional to adjust the door springs.
  • Lubricate locks on doors and windows with silicone spray.
  • Check window screens and screen doors for tears.
  • Check the condition of concrete slabs, sidewalks and asphalt driveways – repair any cracks or damage.
  • Make sure sprinklers and hoses are not directed towards the outside of the house.
  • Ensure plants and bushes do not grow against the outside of the house, as they can trap moisture and cause damage.
  • Check all landscaping and outdoor features to ensure good drainage away from the house, if the ground has settled or if water is running back toward the house.
  • Make sure all your drainage systems are working properly and that water drains away from your home. If it does not, take corrective actions immediately.
  • Check to ensure there are no signs of insects or vermin getting into your home.