Too many homeowners make home maintenance an annual event. They often use spring cleaning as the only excuse to get things done around the house. In reality, proper home maintenance should be done year-round – even for a brand new home. The Fall in particular offers some essential maintenance tasks that you should consider to keep your new home healthy and ensure that your warranty rights are protected. All new homes in Ontario come with a warranty that lasts up to seven years from the date of possession and is guaranteed by Tarion Warranty Corporation. It covers almost everything inside and outside, from defects in workmanship to Ontario Building Code violations and major structural defects.
If issues arise in your home that can be attributed to the lack of proper maintenance, they won't be covered under the warranty. So to help ensure your home and your home warranty remain protected, plan on regular maintenance. With the warm weather giving away slowly to winter, here's a short checklist of key things to watch.
• Take a walk around the outside of your home and check all windows and doors for cracks around the framing. Re-caulk if you notice any cracks or separations. (Tip: for windows on second stories or above take digital photos and zoom in. It could save multiple trips up a ladder.)
• Check the weather stripping on exterior doors. Make sure they are not damaged or worn and will keep that warm air inside your home come December.
• Have your roof inspected professionally to ensure shingles, flashing and chimney caps are in place and sealed properly.
• Clear leaves from eavestroughs and downspouts and repair any cracks or seam separations with caulking. Check all downspouts for damage. (Note: If you're having a professional roofing company check the roof they can check the eaves and downspouts at the same time.)
• Shut off your home's exterior water supply and drain exterior water lines. Leave the taps open a bit to ensure any trapped or remaining water will not freeze and damage the water supply line. (This should also be done with any irrigation systems or water features like ponds or fountains.)
• Test all smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.
• Clean and test all exhaust fans (this includes dryer vents, stove vents and furnace vents).
• Check your sump-pump float and discharge line and test overall operation.
• If recommended by the manufacturer, install a protective winter cover on your air conditioning unit.
• Clean or replace your furnace filter.
• If your home has one, clean and turn off the humidifier and the Heat Recovery Ventilator (HRV).
• Have your furnace serviced in preparation for winter.
• Inspect your fireplace and chimney dampers and service or clean if necessary. (This applies to gas and wood burning fireplaces.)
• Winterize your landscape by storing outdoor furniture and covering plants.
A year-round home maintenance checklist can be found online at tarion.com.