Are you one of the many homeowners who procrastinates maintenance tasks? Or are you simply not sure about everything that needs to be done in order to maintain your home?

There are small problems all around your home that can be fixed quite easily, if caught in time. Those same issues, if neglected, can turn disastrous and expensive in a matter of months. Clogged gutters could turn into water-damaged walls, chipped paint can lead to wood rot, and dirty filters will shorten the lifespan of your furnace. Fortunately, we've put together a list of common home maintenance tasks that are often overlooked to help you protect your largest investment with a routine maintenance schedule!

A header image of a 2D wooden house surrounded by various tools, paint swatches  and measuring tapes.




1) Regrout and Recaulk Bathroom Fixtures 

Whether your bathroom tiles are filled with grout or caulk, it's entirely normal for them to develop wear and tear over time. However, if you see any peeling, crumbling, or mildew, it's time for a touch-up. To easily take care of moldy grout or caulk, mix together a bleach and water solution to kill off the nasty bacteria. Plan to regrout or recaulk the tiles about once every five years.


2) Clean Exhaust Fans

Fans are a tool for ventilation. If they aren't able to perform their job efficiently, you could end up with mold growing in your home. Every year, take the time to remove and clean the exhaust fans throughout your home. This will not only keep the hardware running smoothly, but will also help to control the moisture levels.


3) Change the Direction of Ceiling Fans

Did you know that you should be changing the direction of your ceiling fans' rotations twice a year? This helps to increase energy efficiency while also putting less strain on your furnace and air conditioning systems. By changing the direction of the fan, you are changing the direction of air flow, helping to heat or cool the room respectively! In the summer, a counter-clockwise rotation pulls the low-lying cool air to the ceiling, and pushes it down. In winter, a clockwise rotation will push the naturally rising warm air to the walls and back down to the floor (low/gentle setting works best). If you have a vaulted ceiling, leave it on the counter-clockwise setting year round.  

4) Flush Out Your Water Heater

Every year, your water heater needs to be drained. This can either be done yourself, or by a professional plumber. By draining your water heater, you'll flush out any mineral or debris buildup in the system, allowing it to run more efficiently.


5) Track Water Consumption to Catch Leaks

It can be hard to detect a water leak until the stains appear on the walls or ceiling. But, did you know that by simply keeping track of your water bill you can catch the telltale excess of water usage early on? Every month, take a look at your water bill and compare it to past bills. If the number is higher than expected, consider calling in a plumber to investigate.


6) Test Your Sump Pump

If you have a sump pump in your home, it should be tested twice a year. A sump pump's lifespan is typically about ten years. With proper maintenance, it can be longer! Every six months, check the pump's water levels—if it's overflowing, it's probably not working properly. In this case, clean the pump of any surrounding debris to ensure that it can do its job efficiently. While you're at it, restart your sump pump by unplugging it, then plugging it back in. This will let you know whether its energy source is working properly.


7) Check For Early Signs of Foundation Damage

When the weather warms up in spring, take the time to do a thorough inspection of the exterior foundation of your home. Cracks in the foundation can reduce value by as much as 15% if you plan on selling your home. But, by taking care of these issues as you see them, you can prevent costly repairs in the future. Remember to always have any cracks in your foundation inspected and addressed properly by a structural engineer.


8) Clean Off Outdoor A/C Units

When you're doing your yard work this fall, and once again in spring, take a few minutes to clean off your outdoor air conditioning system. Gently remove large chunks of debris on the fins by hand and by using the soft-brush attachment on your vacuum. Loose debris can be sprayed with the hose. A clean unit will use less energy, and may lengthen its lifespan.


9) Change HVAC Filters

Changing air filters can prolong the life of your air conditioning unit. Plus, it just helps to maintain a higher air quality in your home.


10) Clean Out Fridge Coils

To keep your refrigerator running smoothly, vacuum out the coils every six months. Simply remove the cover on the back of the fridge and vacuum away!


11) Wash Your Washing Machine

Sounds silly at first, but that constant influx of dirt can build up. It can lead to mould and mildew that transfers onto your "clean" clothing. If you notice any foul odours or signs of mould/mildew when doing the laundry, it's time to give your machine a clean. This can be every month, or it can be every 4-6 months, depending on your water and dirty laundry levels. This step by step guide is handy if you've never washed your washing machine. You'll also need to clean your washing machine's filter every three months. This water inlet filter prevents minerals and debris from getting into the machine and damaging it, but that can all build up and cause problems later. To clean, just turn off the water, remove the filter and rinse in warm, soapy water.


12) Inspect Seals on Doors & Windows

Once every 6 to 12 months, take time to inspect the sealing around windows and doors. Small cracks and fissures can cause the warm and cold air meant to heat and cool your home to leak out, leaving your furnace and A/C systems working harder, for longer.


13) Clean the Dryer Ducts

You're dutiful to clean the lint catcher in your dryer, but what about the ducts? Every three months, disconnect the dryer and vacuum the ducts to clear away any lint buildup.

Remember, home maintenance tasks don't all have to be done in one day! Use a home maintenance calendar, or create a spreadsheet of tasks to complete month by month. The key is to not wait until there's an issue to do something! Prevention now means no issues (or less expensive issues) later!

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