It is very important to do some preventative maintenance in order to extend
the life of certain components and avoid repairs. Preventative maintenance can
also help reduce energy costs. The following items should be included in your
preventative maintenance schedule.
Eaves troughs and downspouts should be checked regularly to make sure
they are not clogged with leaves or other debris. Downspout extensions directing
roof water away from the house walls should be in place at the bottom of the
downspouts. The more trees and foliage that are near the building, the more
often these items need to be checked and cleaned out.
Exterior walls should be routinely checked for damaged brick, cracked
stucco or rot in wood siding. Areas with paint bubbling or blistering should
be regularly touched up or repainted.
Windows and doors should be re-caulked as needed and the weather stripping
replaced when it is required. Window frames should be cleaned regularly to make
opening and closing them easier. Window wells should be cleaned out when they
Air filters should be checked on furnaces at least quarterly and cleaned
or replaced as necessary. Make sure that the filter is installed with the arrow
pointing in the proper direction.
The humidifier water level should be checked monthly and water added
as required. If the system has an air conditioner, the damper should be closed
during the summer months.
Care should be taken with electric baseboard heaters so that they are
not too close to combustibles, such as curtains.
Electrical service wires from the hydro pole should be inspected annually
for clearance from tree branches. Caution: cutting back branches should not
be attempted by the homeowner. Call your local hydro company or contact a qualified
tree cutting professional.
Extension cords should not be used as permanent wiring and should not
be stapled to walls or floors. They should not go through doors or windows and
they should not be run under carpets.
Wood stoves should be cleaned annually to prevent the build up of creosote.
Outdoor faucets should be shut off from the inside of the house before
winter and drained to prevent the pipes from freezing.
Missing cover plates on junction boxes and switches do not provide protection
from live wiring. All fixtures, outlets, junction boxes and switches should
be covered. These cover plates may be purchased at most hardware stores.
Wood burning fireplaces and chimneys should be checked by a qualified
technician annually depending on how often they are used.
It is a good idea to identify the main water shut off valve and to tag
it so that every member of the family can locate it easily and shut it off if
there is a plumbing leak.
Clearance in the front and both sides of the electrical panel
should always be provided in case of an emergency if you have to shut off the
main power quickly. Three feet clearance in all directions is recommended.
Most air conditioners should have the power turned on for as much as
24 hours before running the unit. Window air conditioners should be brought
inside each winter.
Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors should be tested monthly to make
sure they are in proper working condition. The batteries should be replaced
once a year. A good time to do this is in the fall when the clocks are changed.
AHIT Certified Home Inspector
Registered Home Inspector of the Ontario
Association of Home Inspectors (OAHI)
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