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home maintenance tips

HOME MAINTENANCE TIPS by Mike Holmes

Anyone with a home knows they are a lot of work, but they also bring a lot of pleasure. A well-maintained home is a happy home. If you look after it, your home will return the favour for many years. The same philosophy goes for property management professionals; keeping your properties well-maintained is the best way to keep maintenance costs down and your properties looking great!

I always recommend homeowners do their renovations starting with the outside of the home and then concentrating on the inside. It’s the same for these home maintenance tips.

There’s no point in making everything inside your home perfect before ensuring the exterior is in good shape. I’m talking about the roof, window, siding and foundation being in good shape – ensure there are no leaks, cracks, or signs of water damage.

CHECK YOUR FOUNDATION FOR LEAKS

Your home’s #1 enemy is water, and you need to ensure it is not entering your home through foundation cracks or compromised grading. No one wants a flooded basement, especially if you’ve just remodelled it as a new rental apartment or additional living space for your growing family. Even small leaks can lead to damage and mold. The fix may be an easy epoxy injection into the cracks or require something more invasive, like exterior waterproofing or weeping system.

KEEP YOUR EAVES CLEAN OF DEBRIS

Clogged eavestroughs are a common issue – and prevent water from safely draining away from your home. Check them regularly to ensure they drain properly and extend at least 4 feet from your home. Also, if you are seeing a large amount of granules, this may indicate that your shingles are degrading and need attention.

CHECK FOR DRAFTS AROUND WINDOWS AND DOORS

Approximately 30% of heat loss is from drafts around windows and doors, and this can lead to higher utility bills in the winter months. Prevent drafts by replacing exterior caulking when it’s old and cracked. Remember to use exterior silicon caulking –  specially made to expand and contract, and perform in extreme temperatures.

DO A VISUAL CHECK OF YOUR ROOF

I always recommend homeowners walk across the street and look at their home’s exterior. Pay special attention to the roof, and look for missing or loose shingles, especially with our weather becoming increasingly severe and unpredictable – our roofs can take a beating. If you notice any signs of moisture in your attic – get it checked out by a pro before it does more damage.

So, now your home’s exterior is in good shape, you can concentrate on the interior.

CHANGE YOUR FILTERS REGULARLY – ALL FILTERS

You’d be surprised to know you can have several filters in your home that need regular maintenance. There’s the furnace filter -which needs to be changed every 3 months, and sometimes more especially in the winter and summer months. But don’t forget about the filters in your HRV, ERV, whole house humidifiers, dehumidifier, dryer, water heater, range vents and water dispenser in your fridge. These all need to be maintained to perform optimally. I always recommend you follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for maintenance.

TEST, TEST, TEST!

There are simple things you can do to keep your family safe, and we don’t need the news headlines to remind us. It’s essential to regularly test your smoke alarms, CO2 detectors, fire extinguishers and all GFCI outlets. Test them once a month and replace the batteries twice a year – I like to change them when we change the clocks in the fall and spring.

CHECK FOR HUMIDITY LEVELS

High humidity levels can have a serious impact on your home and health. Levels above 50% can compromise the indoor air quality in your home and become a breeding ground for dust mites, allergens and bacteria growth. Run your bathroom fan for 30 minutes after showering, and keep the door or window open to increase flow. Also, adjust your humidifier and regularly monitor the humidity levels depending on the outside temperature. Humidity doesn’t just come from showers and baths, cooking can also contribute to increased humidity levels – remember to run your range vents when cooking.

CHECK INDOOR AIR QUALITY AND RADON

Did you know the air inside your home can be 2-5 times more polluted than the outdoors? Protect your home from volatile organic compounds (VOCs), radon, mold, and formaldehyde, and get your indoor air quality tested for a healthier home. Mechanical ventilation systems, like an ERV, or an energy recovery ventilator, help reduce airborne contaminants and improve humidity levels in your home.

FOR MORE HOME MAINTENANCE TIPS, CHECK OUT  MAKEITRIGHT.CA 

Mike Holmes will be the Keynote Speaker at the inaugural Property Meld MX Maintenance Summit, Sep 13 -15, 2023. For event information and to purchase tickets, go to MX Maintenance Summit.