Make sure to add these areas to a regular maintenance schedule to identify problems before they become serious.
Pipes, plumbing and appliances
- Listen for unusual sounds, which may indicate leaks in water lines or pipes.
- Repair leaky faucets and dripping toilets.
- Inspect your hot water tank, under sinks and behind washing machines.
- Check washing machine hoses for damage. Replace cracked or worn hoses.
- Replace wax toilet ring if there is evidence of leaking.
- Install a water level monitoring device.
Sump pump and sewers
- To prevent sewer water backup, install a sewer backflow valve that closes automatically if the main sewer water gets backed up.
- Check the sump pump and the backflow valves and have a plumber inspect them at least once a year.
- Listen for strange noises coming from the sump pump motor.
- If you notice oil on the surface of the water in your sump pit, verify the oil seal. Leaking oil can cause the motor to burn out.
- Replace the battery on your sump pump regularly.
- Look for bubbling paint or stains on ceilings, which can indicate a leaking pipe or water dripping from the roof.
- Look for water stains, which can indicate a leaking pipe.
- Feel your basement walls for evidence of flaking, dampness, stains or mould.
- Check your floors for water stains, particularly near dishwashers and sinks.
- To maintain easy access, do not cover floor drains.
- Use a dehumidifier, if necessary, in damp areas such as basements
- Be sure the air in your bathroom and kitchen is well vented to avoid condensation.
- Check that your dryer is properly vented-clear out lint build up in the exhaust hose and external vent to prevent obstructions that can lead to moisture build up.
- Have your roof inspected for cracks, breaks, and loose or missing shingles.
- Look for leaks and holes in rain gutters, downspouts and extensions.
- Clear gutters and downspouts of debris such as leaves and dirt.
- Make sure your downspouts are directed away from your home.
- Make sure screw heads and fasteners are properly sealed.
- Inspect and seal around chimneys, roof stacks and vents.
Outside walls, doors and windows
- Assess glazing, weather-stripping, door and window seals, and other exterior elements for damage.
- Look for cracks on outside walls and foundations and repair them, if any are found.
- Repair or replace, caulking around windows and doors to make watertight.
- Check that exterior siding is securely fastened, as missing screws can create openings for water.
- Keep any source of water, such as snow away from your home's exterior walls.
- Shut off water supply to exterior water faucets during the winter to prevent pipes from freezing.