Ultimate Maintenance Checklist: Edmonton Homeowners’ Edition

Ultimate Maintenance Checklist Edmonton Homeowners’ Edition

Home maintenance is absolutely necessary for every kind of home, big or small. A properly maintained home:

  • Tends to be more attractive and comfortable
  • Saves you from nuisances like pests
  • Keeps you safe and secure
  • Is more cost-effective by avoiding unexpected repair expenses due to neglect

Tackling home maintenance tasks may seem intimidating at first, and we get it. That’s why we put together this little guide.

We’ll go over how to DIY a tonne of things. We’ll also mention when we think it may be better to call in the experts, due to risks or complexity.

We’ve also separated these tasks into seasonal, monthly, and yearly increments, so ticking them off your checklist will be much simpler.

Spring Maintenance Tasks

Spring Maintenance Tasks

With the coming of new life and warmer weather, spring is often considered a time for deep cleaning and extensive home overhauls.

This makes sense, since the previous winter months may have brought in a number of things to fix or clean up.

On top of the usual spring cleaning done inside, most springtime maintenance tasks involve a lot of outdoor work too. Here’s a list of what you should do.

Check for mold growth

Because the previous season has brought in copious amounts of moisture, mold is inevitable. It is thus important to get rid of it before it spreads further and causes respiratory problems.

Check those spots constantly exposed to moisture such as sink cabinets, bathroom tiles, sealant. If you discover that you do have a mold problem, call in some experts in mold removal as soon as possible.

Clean up around your property

Rake up any fallen leaves left over during the winter. You can then use them as mulch for your flower beds and beneath your hedges.

And while you’re in your yard, be sure to check for damage to your outside faucets. Turn them on to see if the harsh winter has been hard on the pipes.

Take care of your lawn maintenance

It’s no secret: spring is the time to rejuvenate that lawn.

As such, you should reseed, fertilize and regularly mow your lawn during this season. You should take advantage of the weather before the summer heat sets in.

You can fertilize your lawn later in the spring once the grass turns bright green, by the way. Anyhow, accomplishing all of these tasks now will give the grass enough time to regrow the patches lost in the winter.

There are also lawn care services you can hire to give your yard expert care.

Check the trees

If there are trees on your property, see if there are long branches extending over the house or other structures. Trim trees as needed so as to protect the structures on your property.

It is crucial to maintain tree health and to manage their growth. Weakened trees with heavy branches may fall and cause problems during storms.

You can consult an arborist to have your trees checked for any signs of illness.

Look for cracks

Survey your interior and exterior walls, keeping your eye open for any unsightly cracks. Check for peeling paint as well.

If you do find any of these problems, paint over them immediately to prevent any further damage. This can be a DIY job, but for wider damage it may be best to call some painters.

Inspect HVAC units

Each spring, you must have your air conditioning units checked by professionals. Their services may include changing or cleaning out the filters.

Technicians may also need to check the ductwork for any damage.

Inspect plumbing

Plumbing is easily overlooked. But the inconveniences caused by its neglect can set you back a hefty sum on top of the many nuisances it brings. 

Check for leaks under your sinks. Check for water stains on your ceilings as well, as this is a sign of a leak in the upstairs walls.

Also, make sure that the flapper valve in the toilet tank is still in good condition, otherwise the toilet may run more frequently. The toilet may be consuming more water than needed.

While some simple plumbing problems can easily be fixed on your own, know when it is best to call plumbing contractors instead. Fortunately, we’ve already reviewed the top plumbers in Edmonton, so you can just refer to that list for help finding a contractor.

Check smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors

These two must work perfectly, year round, to give you the assurance that your family is safe at all times. You should change the batteries at least once a year.

Wash home exteriors

Get rid of the dirt buildup that has accumulated over the winter months. You can either use a regular garden hose or a power washer to do so.

Before washing the exterior of your house, remember to cover the ground and hedges with plastic sheeting so as to protect them.

Close all doors and windows in order to prevent water from entering and causing a mess inside. 

Always be careful of using power washers, though, as the pressure may be enough to damage siding and masonry. Use detergent sparingly as well, as it may harm surrounding plants.

You should also include your deck in your washing as well. Wooden decks should be treated with borate for algae to stave off wood rot.

Ready the pool for summer

With summer around the corner, you must begin preparing the pool. If you have one, make sure that the water is treated.

Check the valves and filters. All equipment must be in order before anyone gets into the water. 

Summer Maintenance Tasks

Summer Maintenance Tasks

Summer may be the best season to lounge around in the house to escape the heat. However, there are still a bunch of household maintenance chores that should not be overlooked.

Follow them and you can enjoy your home for even longer.

Clean the garage

Sweep out any accumulated dirt in your garage. Hail storms are common here in the summer, so you should clear out a space for your car to shelter it, just in case.

Inspect sump pump

Ensure that your sump pump efficiently pumps water away in the summer. 

A properly working sump pump will prevent moisture from accumulating, which can lead to you harboring mold and damaging your home or basement that way.

Do some gardening

By now, you should be using your mower a lot. To take better care of your lawn, use the highest setting on your mower.

Using the highest setting will prevent the grass from being cut too short, which can make it susceptible to drought or weeds.

Speaking of weeds, you should dig them up at least weekly to keep them from spreading.

With the summer heat, take note of the plants in your garden and tend to their independent watering needs.

There are a bunch of irrigation specialists out there who can give your garden customized and automatic watering schedules based on the weather, so check them out. 

Keep your pool clean

The summer heat will make you want to jump in the pool a lot. As such, it is important that the water’s surface be skimmed frequently to keep fallen leaves and other debris out of the pool.

The strong sun provides the best conditions for algal growth. Hence, the sides of the pool should be scrubbed once to twice a month to control algae growth. 

Work on exterior repairs

Painting the facade of your home and other external features is ideally done in the summer. If you’re not up to the task, there are a lot of good house painters out there to choose from.

You can also do some repairs on your porch too, a task that can be done by these contractors.

Clean out air conditioning units

Air conditioning units are most likely to be used all the time in the summer. Keep your AC units working perfectly in the middle of a hot day by cleaning the filters once a month.

In the event of your air conditioning unit breaking down, call in some help immediately. 

Check weatherstrips 

Look for any holes or tears in your weatherstrips, and have them replaced if necessary. These will keep insects and other elements from getting in your home by sealing it.

This also keeps any heating or air conditioning from seeping out, which could drive your electricity consumption up.

Drape your windows

Windows and other openings that let in morning and afternoon light should be covered with drapes to filter out too much sun. 

Put together disaster supply kit

Each home must have one. Check if it’s still fully stocked with canned food, batteries for flashlights and radio, drinking water, medicine, and a first aid kit. 

Manage pests

Termites, ants, carpenter bees, mice, and other pests may make their way into your home seeking shade. Such problems are best left to pest control or animal control.

If you have a continuing pest problem, you should check with your pest control services for annual plans to keep the problem at bay.

Check for holes that may serve as entries for these unwanted visitors and seal them shut.

Consider home improvement projects

Since a lot of contractors may already be booked for outdoor projects, summer could be the perfect chance to book them for indoor projects instead, such as carpentry or bathtub refinishing.

Fall maintenance tasks

Fall maintenance tasks

With temperatures starting to drop, fall is the time to cozy up. Fall is also the time everybody is encouraged to make the necessary preparations for the cold months ahead.

Accomplish these tasks and you should not only have plenty of time for a cup of chocolate by the fire, but also enough preparations for the extreme winter weather coming your way.

Clean the chimney

Expect to use the fireplace more often. Look for a good chimney sweep to get rid of any leftover debris before having to use the fireplace again for the winter.

Remember that all smoke produced by the fireplace must go straight through the chimney. If not, some smoke may enter your home and pose risks for your respiratory system.

Make sure that your fireplace is in good condition. If you suspect that it needs repairs, call in some experts right away to avoid having to call them in the middle of a cold winter night.

Insulate exposed pipes

Start covering exterior plumbing features with insulation. This should prevent any standing water from freezing, which may cause the pipe to burst.

Inspect radiator

If your heating system is powered by a boiler, make sure that the radiator and the thermostat are functioning properly.

You can always call a plumber to have it checked. However, you can get rid of sediment buildup in the tank by yourself by draining it out.

Before turning it back on, make sure that the boiler is refilled. A water level that is too low can cause damage.

Do some garden maintenance

While most homeowners may be wary of starting some gardening this late in the year, fall is a great season for perennials.

Go for peonies, columbines, and hydrangeas to enjoy their blooms the following year right when it gets warmer.

Reseeding your lawn is also ideal at this point. Take note of the watering needs of the different plants in your garden, making sure that they get the right amount before they go into dormancy.

Rake leaves

It shouldn’t come as a surprise, but fall means raking, raking, and raking. All leaves must be raked to prevent smothering the lawn, thus encouraging mold growth.

However, you can leave a small layer of leaves in order to form natural mulch. This will protect the roots of trees from the coming cold.

Clean and inspect gutters

Enlist the help of a gutter cleaning company once leaves start falling. It’s always best to schedule the cleaning before heavy snowfall so that you don’t end up with frozen leaves or debris in the gutters.

Drain faucets and hoses

Start shutting off the water for outdoor faucets. You should also drain your hoses before storing them for the winter.

Winterize your irrigation systems

Because sprinkler systems are fed by underground pipes, you must shut them off for the winter. Winterizing your irrigation system will ensure that it survives the harsh winter months. 

It is best to check with your existing irrigation contractor if their winterization services are covered by the warranty. 

However, there are also irrigation specialists who offer these services to those with existing systems in place.

Stock up on firewood

If you have a fireplace and you plan on using it, stock up on firewood as early as you can. Here are some suppliers to cover your needs.

When it comes to storing your firewood, keep them stacked on pallets without touching the moist ground. This will inhibit growth of fungus.

Avoid keeping them inside the house as well. Doing so may attract insects into your home.

Instead, keep your firewood in an unheated garage.

Close up the pool

Before covering the pool, make sure that it is properly cleaned.

Seal windows and doors

Walk around your house to see if windows or doors have any sizable gaps that will let drafts in. Caulk windows and door frames as needed.

You can also install storm doors and windows to help the house retain heat while keeping the cold out.

Inspect and clean dryer vents

Since excess lint can cause fires in clothes dryers, have HVAC experts come in to inspect and clean dryer vents.

Winter Maintenance Tasks

Winter Maintenance Tasks

The weather most likely wouldn’t permit much outdoor activity. Hence, winter home maintenance can be dedicated to finishing remaining indoor projects instead.

However, there are still a few tasks that should be done outside to prevent damage to your home and your property.

Get rid of ice buildup

Check for ice dams and icicles. If you find some, which you most definitely will, use warm water or de-icer to get rid of the buildup.

It’s important to get rid of ice dams as they may damage your gutters, shingles, and siding if unchecked.

As they melt, the water may leak into your home and cause problems for the paint, flooring, or insulation.

A roof rake may come in handy, as it removes fresh snow from the roof after a storm. If unchecked, it may build up and harden into ice, which is a much bigger problem.

Remember not to hack away at any hard ice, since it may cause injury and damage to your property.

Check for leaks

Warm periods during the winter should allow you to survey your house for any leaks, particularly in the basement. Patch them up as soon as possible before they lead to any further damage.

Get rid of snow build up

Bring out the snow blower to get rid of snow build up where people frequently pass through. Make sure that even before snow days arrive, your snow blower has been checked.

Stock up on supplies

As mentioned above, ice melt (de-icer) is an important resource. You should stock up on it early.

However, be careful of leaving it around, as it is harmful if ingested both by pets or humans. It can also damage foliage if it seeps into the ground.

If you already have a snow blower, having a snow shovel around is still important. You can use it to dig out snow from narrow pathways or stairways.

Keep pipes from freezing

When standing water in pipes freezes, it expands and damages the pipes. Upon melting, the pipes can burst, which is considered a plumbing emergency

To avoid such a dilemma, keep water dripping slowly from faucets fed by outdoor pipes. This keeps water moving, making it less likely to freeze over.

You must also shut off outdoor faucets even before the cold hits. Insulate exposed pipes as well.

Keep a generator handy

A functional generator will be your lifesaver in the event of a blackout. Power it up every three months and have it serviced twice a year.

This should keep the engine in perfect working condition, which is extremely important especially in emergencies. 

Always have fuel and motor oil ready, but don’t let the fuel stand idle in the tank.

Prepare for a winter storm

The likelihood of a storm increases in the winter, and everyone must do the necessary preparations. 

Ensure that you have plenty of firewood stored if you use a fireplace often. 

Also, make sure that your emergency supply kit is always ready. You must have enough canned food and drinking water in case a storm hits and you are unable to leave the house for days.

Monthly Maintenance Tasks

Monthly Maintenance Tasks

Here’s a set of unique tasks that are ideally done on a monthly basis. 

They require a particular amount of attention. These include preventive measures such as making sure there are fire extinguishers on hand, and that carbon monoxide sensors are functional.

All this extra work is necessary to keep your home in top condition even for the long haul.

  • Clean the dishwasher filter, alongside your monthly kitchen cleaning.
  • Clean the kitchen disposal by feeding it some bleach and ice cubes to sharpen and disinfect at the same time.
  • Keep fire extinguishers handy and have their locations to all members of the family. Make sure they aren’t expired.

Quarterly Home Maintenance Tasks

Quarterly Home Maintenance Tasks

The nature of these tasks makes them more complex than those mentioned in the monthly maintenance tasks.

However, you’ll be glad you accomplished them. These tasks will offset the normal wear and tear of your house and the various appliances in it.

Clean your coffee machine by following the descaling instructions in the manual. This gets rid of mineral buildup that could ruin the flavor of each brew.

Check the water softener to ensure that salt levels in the brine tank are normal. This will prevent water damage to items regularly washed such as clothes and dishes.

Clean the range hood vent by rinsing thoroughly to ensure proper airflow, thus avoiding indoor air pollution.

Run water in unused toilets and sinks to prevent pipes from idling and collecting grime. Flush rarely used toilets and run hot water through sinks and shower drains.

Clean your windows and screens to get rid of dust or any trapped bugs. Remove the screens and rinse them thoroughly. 

Long-term Maintenance Tasks

Long-term Maintenance Tasks

These tasks are preventative care measures that don’t need to be addressed as frequently, but still contribute greatly to the overall functioning of your home.

Due to their extent and complexity, you should always consider cost and risk factors. Determine whether it is safer or more cost-effective to hire contractors instead of doing things yourself.

Yearly

Check for pests

The areas that members of the household seldom go to should be checked for signs of termite or other bug infestations.

These places include the basement or the attic. Generally, treating these areas should be left up to the experts.

Dust refrigerator coils

The coils behind your refrigerator are prone to neglect, this collecting dust over time. This can cause it to consume more power.

Vacuum them and the surrounding area at the back of the refrigerator to prevent this from happening.

Every Five to Ten Years

Seal cracks

Repair minor cracks in paved areas around the property such as your driveway using sealant and asphalt. Hire professionals for larger cracks though, as they have the necessary training for such issues. 

Inspect your home

It is important to call in experts to inspect aspects of your home such as the electrical wiring, foundation, and the overall structure

You’ll get an overview of the integrity of your home and any potential repairs which can sometimes only be foreseen by the trained eye.

Repaint exteriors

Due to changes in weather that damage the paint over time, it may be necessary to refresh your home with a new coat every few years. 

Here are some of the top painters out there to give you the best paint job ever.

To Sum It Up

Keep in mind that all homes have unique needs. However, all homes need the right amount of care to protect each of them from challenges brought about by the different seasons. 

The work may seem overbearing and costly, but trust us in saying that these will pay off. You’ll get to enjoy your home for longer, and you’ll also avoid unexpected expenses from repairs or injury.