Home Maintenance Checklist

Information c/o www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca 

Spring

  • After consulting your hot water tank owner’s manual, carefully test the temperature and pressure relief valve to ensure it is not stuck. Caution: This test may release hot water that can cause burns. 
  • 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. 
  • Shut down, drain and clean furnace humidifier, and close the furnace humidifier damper on units with central air conditioning. 
  • Switch on power to air conditioning and check system. Have it serviced every two or three years. 
  • Clean or replace air-conditioning filter, if applicable. 
  • Turn OFF gas furnace and fireplace pilot lights where possible. 
  • Check smoke, carbon monoxide and security alarms, and replace batteries. 
  • Clean windows, screens and hardware.
  • Open valve to outside hose connection after all danger of frost has passed. 
  • Examine the foundation walls for cracks, leaks or signs of moisture, and repair as required. 
  • Ensure sump pump is operating properly before the spring thaw sets in. Ensure discharge pipe is connected and allows water to drain away from the foundation. 
  • Re-level any exterior steps or decks that moved as a result of frost or settling. 
  • Check for and seal off any holes in exterior cladding that could be an entry point for 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. 
  • Check attic.
  • Clean humidifier.
  • Remove snow and ice from overhang and vents.
  • Check and reset ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI).
  • Inspect basement or crawl spaces.
  • Check driveways and walks for frost damage.
  • Check roof for loose or cracked shingles.
  • Check water heater for leaks.
  • Turn on exterior water supply.
  • Plan landscaping to avoid soil settlement and water ponding.
  • Check septic system (if installed).
  • Inspect fences.
  • Check caulking for air and water leaks.
  • Lubricate weatherstripping.
  • Check exterior finishes.
  • Check windows and screens are operating properly.

Summer

  • Monitor basement humidity and avoid relative humidity levels above 45 per cent. Use a dehumidifier to maintain relative humidity below 45 per cent. 
  • Clean or replace all filters
  • Check basement pipes for condensation or dripping and, if necessary, take corrective action; for example, reduce humidity and/or insulate cold water pipes. 
  • Check the basement floor drain to ensure the trap contains water; refill with water if necessary. 
  • If you have a plumbing fixture that is not used frequently, for example, a laundry tub or spare bathroom sink, tub or shower stall, run some water briefly to keep water in the trap. 
  • Vacuum grilles. 
  • Disconnect the duct connected to your clothes dryer, and vacuum lint from duct, the areas surrounding your dryer and your dryer’s vent hood outside. 
  • Check security of all guardrails and handrails. 
  • Check smooth functioning of all windows, and lubricate as required. 
  • Inspect windows
  • Check for and replace damaged caulking and weatherstripping around mechanical and electrical services, windows and doorways, including the doorway between the garage and the house. 
  • Lubricate automatic garage door opener motor, chain and other moving parts, and ensure that the autoreverse mechanism is properly adjusted. 
  • Inspect electrical service lines for secure attachment where they enter your house, and make sure there is no water leakage into the house along the electrical conduit. Check for overhanging tree branches that may need to be removed. 
  • Remove any plants that contact — and roots that penetrate — the siding or brick. 
  • From the ground, check the general condition of the roof and note any sagging that could indicate structural problems requiring further investigation from inside the attic. Note the condition of shingles for possible repair or replacement, and examine roof flashings, such as at roof joints, for any signs of cracking or leakage. 
  • Repair driveway and walkways as needed. 
  • Repair any damaged steps.
  • Test smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.
  • Check and reset ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI).
  • Check garages.
  • Air out damp basements on dry, sunny day.
  • Check exhaust fans.
  • Fertilize lawn.
  • Check water heater.
  • Check exhaust fans.
  • Inspect doors and locks.
  • Have eavestrough cleared of leaves/debris.

Fall

  • If you have central air conditioning, make sure the drain pan under the cooling coil mounted in the furnace plenum is draining properly and is clean. 
  • Lubricate circulating pump on hot water heating system. 
  • Disconnect the power to the furnace and examine the forced-air furnace fan belt, if installed, for wear, looseness or noise; clean fan blades of any dirt buildup. 
  • Remove the grilles on forced-air systems and vacuum inside the ducts. 
  • 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 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. 
  • Check to see that the ductwork leading to and from the heat recovery ventilator is in good shape, the joints are tightly sealed (aluminum tape or mastic) and any duct insulation and plastic duct wrap is free of tears and holes. 
  • Check movement of garage doors & lubricate moving parts as needed.
  • If the heat recovery ventilator has been shut off for the summer, clean the filters and the core, and pour water down the condensate drain to test it. 
  • Check smoke, carbon monoxide and security alarms, and replace batteries. 
  • Check sump pump and line to ensure proper operation, and to ascertain that there are no line obstructions or visible leaks. 
  • Ensure windows and skylights close tightly; repair or replace weatherstripping, as needed. 
  • Ensure all doors to the outside shut tightly, and check other doors for ease of use. Replace door weatherstripping if required. 
  • Cover outside of air-conditioning units and shut off power. 
  • Ensure that the ground around your home slopes away from the foundation wall, so that water does not drain into your basement. 
  • Clean leaves from eavestroughs and roof, and test downspouts to ensure proper drainage from the roof. 
  • Drain and store outdoor hoses. Close interior valve to outdoor hose connection and drain the hose bib (exterior faucet), unless your house has frost-proof hose bibs.
  • Check exterior finishes [siding, trim] & eavestroughs to ensure they are secure; check exterior brick mortar joint & voids [repoint if necessary.]
  • Test smoke alarms & carbon monoxide detectors.
  • Check caulking for soundness, cracking, detachment & signs of water or air penetration [remove & replace with appropriate type of caulking if necessary.]
  • Check fireplace & chimney dampers; service or clean if needed.
  • Check sump pump, float & discharge line & test overall operation.
  • Check clothes dryer vent & remove lint & obstructions
  • Check roofing & flashing for signs of wear or damage
  • Check septic tank system fluid/solid levels & pump out if needed; check for erosion/water pooling around septic field
  • Winterize landscaping & plant new lawn if necessary
  • Check & reset ground fault circuit interrupter [GFCI] (e.g. exterior outlets, bathrooms or at main electrical panel)
  • Check attic for signs of moisture & even distribution of insulation.
  • Inspect floor drains to ensure traps are filled with water.
  • Clean the mechanisms of the humidifiers. 
  • Check for condensation & humidity.
  • Check basement or crawl spaces

Winter

  • Make sure your hose bibs are properly shut off and drained.
  • ​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 and cleaned every two months. 
  • Vacuum bathroom fan grille. 
  • Vacuum fire and smoke detectors, as dust or spider webs can prevent them from functioning. 
  • Test smoke alarms & carbon monoxide detectors.
  • Vacuum radiator grilles on back of refrigerators and freezers, and empty and clean drip trays. 
  • Check the basement floor drain to ensure the trap contains water; refill with water if necessary. 
  • Monitor your home for excessive moisture levels and take corrective action if necessary.
  • Check all faucets for signs of dripping. 
  • 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. 
  • 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, intake vents and basement windows. 
  • Monitor outdoor vents and gas meters 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.
  • Check air ducts, remove covers & vacuum dust from vents.
  • If possible, carefully remove snow/ice from roof overhangs/vents.
  • Check & reset ground fault circuit interrupter [GFCI] (e.g. exterior outlets, bathrooms or at main electrical panel).
Updated on April 25, 2016