Home Maintenance Tips For The Most Grueling Season - Winter

November 21, 2013 - Updated: November 21, 2013

Your house is an important investment that you want to keep in tip top shape, especially if you are planning to be there for the foreseeable future.  It’s also your home, which means regular maintenance is necessary to ensure your family’s safety and ongoing enjoyment.

Winter can be the most grueling season for your home. CMHC (Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation) has compiled this general maintenance checklist to help you keep your home in top shape:
 

  • Check and clean or replace furnace air filters each month during the heating season. Ventilation system, such as heat recovery ventilator, filters should be checked every two months.
     
  • After consulting 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 two or three times during the winter season.
     
  • Vacuum bathroom fan grille.
     
  • Vacuum fire and smoke detectors, as dust or spider webs can prevent them from functioning.
     
  • Vacuum radiator grilles on back of refrigerators and freezers, and empty and clean drip trays.
     
  • Check pressure gauge on all fire extinguishers; recharge or replace if necessary.
     
  • Check fire escape routes, door and window locks and hardware, and lighting around outside of house; ensure family has good security habits.
     
  • Check the basement floor drain to ensure the trap contains water; refill with water if necessary.
     
  • Monitor your home for excessive moisture levels — for example, condensation on your windows, which can cause significant damage over time and pose serious health problems — and take corrective action if necessary.
     
  • Check all faucets for signs of dripping and change washers as needed. Faucets requiring frequent replacement of washers may be in need of repair.
     
  • If you have a plumbing fixture that is not used frequently, such as a laundry tub or spare bathroom sink, tub or shower stall, run some water briefly to keep water in the trap.
     
  • Clean drains in dishwasher, sinks, bathtubs and shower stalls.
     
  • Test plumbing shut-off valves to ensure they are working and to prevent them from seizing.
     
  • 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.
     
  • Keep snow clear of gas meters, gas appliance vents, exhaust vents and basement windows.
     
  • Monitor outdoor vents, gas meters and chimneys for ice and snow buildup. Consult with an appropriate contractor or your gas utility for information on how to safely deal with any ice problems you may discover.
     
  • Check electrical cords, plugs and outlets for all indoor and outdoor seasonal lights to ensure fire safety; if worn, or if plugs or cords feel warm to the touch, replace immediately

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