7 Home maintenance tips

Fixing all of the little things that can go wrong with your home can be a challenge, especially time wise. But maintaining your home is an essential part of home ownership.

hammer in belt

Taking care of business

Here’s our list of the top eight things you should always do to ensure your home stays in tip-top shape.

Clean out gutters and downspouts

This is one of the most important things you should do every season. Leaves, dirt and branches can clog gutters and downspouts, preventing the free flow of water through them. The result could be water damage to your roof, walls or even minor flooding.

Clear your kitchen of grease and grime

Set your oven to self-clean. Wash out air filters. Empty grease traps. This will not only extend the life of your stove and oven, it will also decrease the risk of fires [grease stokes them].

Replace your furnace filter

Not only will this increase the efficiency of your home’s cooling/heating system, it will also help decrease your electricity bill. Some filters can be reused too. All you have to do is rinse them off with water then re-insert, but new ones can be purchased at your home hardware store.

4Inspect your air conditioner

Air conditioners can always use a bit of maintenance, especially after a blast of cold weather. So clean the air conditioner and grill. Lubricate the fan and motor and tighten or change the belt if it looks warn. Also check to make sure there are no cracks in the machine’s tubing.

5Change your home’s batteries and check fire detectors

During spring forward and fall back [the bi-annual time change most Canadians go through], it’s important to check and replace, as necessary, the batteries in important electrical devices [think clocks and flashlights]. While you’re at it, test your fire and carbon monoxide detectors to ensure they still work.

6Check your electrical system

To prevent fires, it’s important to pay close attention to any circuit breakers you have in your home. Look for burn marks, which could be a sign of a loose connection in the panel itself. Reset any circuits. Clear combustible materials from the area. Ensure all plugs fit into the panel tightly. And install safety gear so little fingers can’t reach the system itself.

7Do a home walk-around

Do you notice any cracks in the foundation? Are there loose grates or pipes? Is the roof rotting in some spots? Are your windows in need of caulking? If so, get on fixing these problems… fast. They may seem small now, but down the road when flooding or water damage becomes an issue, you’ll wish you had fixed them sooner.

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