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Maintaining Your Home

Home maintenance is easy to forget or put off. But following a preventive maintenance routine extends the life of your home, helps avoid costly repairs later and can mean a better price when you eventually sell. In many cases, we even explain how to do a task.

October

Air conditioner

A little TLC now means you’ll have plenty of cool air when next summer’s first heat wave rolls in. More info.

Caulking

Inspect caulking around windows and doors, replacing if necessary. Here’s how to caulk like a pro.

Coffee maker

You need to clean it regularly. Here’s how.

Fire extinguishers

Check for expiration date and have extinguishers tested if necessary. More info.

GFCIs

Ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlets are used in the bathroom, outside and other areas where water could cause a severe, even fatal, electric shock. They should be checked once a month. Find out more.

Gutter time

Make sure your gutters and downspouts are free of debris and in good repair before winter to reduce the chances of snow and ice buildup. Gutter cleaning tips.

Indoor air quality

Winter means we spend more time in our homes, where everything from cooking to pets can reduce air quality. Here’s how to ensure good inside air this winter.

Organizing your home

Just 20 minutes a day can clear clutter and help get your home organized. Find out how. 

Outdoor faucets

Drain outdoor water lines before they freeze and put away hoses. Here’s what to do.

Plumbing traps

If you have a sink or tub that’s rarely used, turn on the tap for a couple of minutes. That will replenish the water in the trap, which has likely evaporated, and reduce the likelihood of sewer gases entering the space.

Reusable grocery bags

It’s important to properly clean them at least once a month. Here’s why and how.

Smoke detectors

A monthly test keeps your home and family safe. Learn more.

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November

Gutter time

Make sure your gutters and downspouts are free of debris and in good repair before winter to reduce the chances of snow and ice buildup. Gutter cleaning tips.

Range hood

Now’s the time to clean or replace your range hood filter to keep your home fresh and safe. Here’s why it’s important.

Refrigerator coils

Vacuum condenser coils to keep your fridge operating efficiently. Not sure how? The video in this article shows what to do.

Dryer check

Clean lint from your dryer to prevent build-up and a potential fire. Learn how here.

Smoke detectors

A monthly test keeps your home and family safe. Learn more.

Coffee maker

You need to clean it regularly. Here’s how.

GFCIs

Ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlets are used in the bathroom, outside and other areas where water could cause a severe, even fatal, electric shock. They should be checked once a month. Find out more.

Reusable grocery bags

It’s important to properly clean them at least once a month. Here’s why and how.

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December

Medicine cabinet

Regularly purging your medicine cabinet of expired products keeps your family safe. Dispose of medications properly.

Vent safety

Check all the air intake and exhaust vents on the outside of your home for snow or ice blockage.

Furnace and HRV filters

Check and clean/replace as necessary. Your owner’s manual will tell you how. More information here.

Dryer check

Clean lint from your dryer prevent build-up and a potential fire. Learn how here.

Smoke detectors

A monthly test keeps your home and family safe. Learn more.

Coffee maker

You need to clean it regularly. Here’s how.

GFCIs

Ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlets are used in the bathroom, outside and other areas where water could cause a severe, even fatal, electric shock. They should be checked once a month. Find out more.

Condensation

Cold weather can bring condensation problems on windows and skylights, leading to mould growth and other issues. Check these handy hints for warding off condensation and dealing with mould if it occurs.

Plumbing traps

If you have a sink or tub that’s rarely used, turn on the tap for a couple of minutes. That will replenish the water in the trap, which has likely evaporated, and reduce the likelihood of sewer gases entering the space.

Reusable grocery bags

It’s important to properly clean them at least once a month. Here’s why and how.

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January

Vent safety

Check all the air intake and exhaust vents on the outside of your home for snow or ice blockage.

Roof check

Snow and ice can build up quickly at this time of year and damage your roof. Find out how to protect your roof in winter.

Purging the pantry

You’d be surprised at what’s been forgotten (and has expired) in your cupboards. Here’s how to keep on top of the situation.

Exhaust fans

If you haven’t done it lately, clean your exhaust fans. Often, a quick vacuuming will do the trick. How to clean a bathroom exhaust fan properly.

Dryer check

Clean lint from your dryer t0 prevent build-up and a potential fire. Learn how here.

Smoke detectors

A monthly test keeps your home and family safe. Learn more.

Coffee maker

You need to clean it regularly. Here’s how.

GFCIs

Ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlets are used in the bathroom, outside and other areas where water could cause a severe, even fatal, electric shock. They should be checked once a month. Find out more.

Heating ducts

Make sure heat is going where it’s supposed to go by checking your ductwork for holes, leaks and other problems. More info.

Reusable grocery bags

It’s important to properly clean them at least once a month. Here’s why and how.

Washing pillows

Washing your pillows twice a year helps keep them hygienic and fresh.  Learn how. 

Caring for houseplants

Here’s how to keep your houseplants in tip-top condition all winter.

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February

Check those hoses

Avoid indoor flooding by inspecting hoses on the washer, dehumidifier, dishwasher and other appliances. Don’t forget the flexible hoses that feed water into your toilet tanks. If you spot leaks, cracking or brittleness, replace the hose immediately.

Range hood

Now’s the time to clean or replace your range hood filter to keep your home fresh and safe. Here’s why it’s important.

Electrical outlet safety

Check all your electrical outlets to ensure any not being used are fitted with safety plugs.

Vent safety

Check all the air intake and exhaust vents on the outside of your home for snow or ice blockage.

Hazard check

Do a home walk-through, watching for and correcting indoor and outdoor dangers like loose handrails, toxic chemicals stored where children can get them and so on.

Dryer check

Clean lint from your dryer to prevent build-up and a potential fire. Learn how here.

Smoke detectors

A monthly test keeps your home and family safe. Learn more.

Coffee maker

You need to clean it regularly. Here’s how.

GFCIs

Ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlets are used in the bathroom, outside and other areas where water could cause a severe, even fatal, electric shock. They should be checked once a month. Find out more.

Plumbing traps

If you have a sink or tub that’s rarely used, turn on the tap for a couple of minutes. That will replenish the water in the trap, which has likely evaporated, and reduce the likelihood of sewer gases entering the space.

Reusable grocery bags

It’s important to properly clean them at least once a month. Here’s why and how.

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March

Foundation

If you haven’t yet cleared the snow away from your foundation, now’s the time to do it to reduce the risk of water pooling around your home and seeping into your basement.

Sump pump check

If you have a sump pump, check the pump, float & discharge line and test that it’s working. You don’t want to discover there’s a problem after water has started coming in.

Furnace and HRV filters

Check and clean/replace as necessary. Your owner’s manual will tell you how. More information here.

Clean your appliances

Do you know how frequently your appliances should be cleaned? Find out here.

Water safety

Locate the main water shut-off valve and ensure it’s working smoothly to prevent flooding if a pipe breaks.

Dryer check

Clean lint from your dryer to prevent build-up and a potential fire. Learn how here.

Smoke detectors

A monthly test keeps your home and family safe. Learn more.

Coffee maker

You need to clean it regularly. Here’s how.

GFCIs

Ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlets are used in the bathroom, outside and other areas where water could cause a severe, even fatal, electric shock. They should be checked once a month. Find out more.

Exhaust fans

Check and clean your exhaust fans. Often, giving them a quick vacuum is enough. If your exhaust fan does not have enough power to hold a tissue in place, it needs cleaning.

Reusable grocery bags

It’s important to properly clean them at least once a month. Here’s why and how.

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April

Range hood

Now’s the time to clean or replace your range hood filter to keep your home fresh and safe. Here’s why it’s important.

Flowing smoothly

Clean faucet aerators and check under all sinks to ensure there are no leaking pipes. How to clean aerators.

Home inventory

Update the inventory of all the items in your home you’d need to report in case of a fire or burglary. If you don’t have an inventory, here’s what you need to know.

Garage cleanup

This is the month to tidy up your garage. Neither too hot nor too cold to work out there, spring is perfect for making your home safer and more functional by turning that neglected space from scary to welcoming. Some tips on doing it.

Dryer check

Clean lint from your dryer to prevent build-up and a potential fire. Learn how here.

Smoke detectors

A monthly test keeps your home and family safe. Learn more.

Refrigerator coils

Vacuum condenser coils to keep your fridge operating efficiently. Not sure how? The video in this article shows what to do.

Coffee maker

You need to clean it regularly. Here’s how.

GFCIs

Ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlets are used in the bathroom, outside and other areas where water could cause a severe, even fatal, electric shock. They should be checked once a month. Find out more.

Plumbing traps

If you have a sink or tub that’s rarely used, turn on the tap for a couple of minutes. That will replenish the water in the trap, which has likely evaporated, and reduce the likelihood of sewer gases entering the space.

Reusable grocery bags

It’s important to properly clean them at least once a month. Here’s why and how.

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May

Caulking

Inspect caulking around windows and doors, replacing if necessary. Here’s how to caulk like a pro.

Ceiling fans

Switching fan direction is a twice-yearly task. Learn more.

Coffee maker

You need to clean it regularly. Here’s how.

Dryer check

Clean lint from your dryer to prevent build-up and a potential fire. Learn how here.

Fireplace maintenance

Maintenance now means a problem-free fireplace in the fall. What you need to know.

GFCIs

Ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlets are used in the bathroom, outside and other areas where water could cause a severe, even fatal, electric shock. They should be checked once a month. Find out more.

Gutter time

Make sure your gutters and downspouts are free of debris and in good repair. At the same time, check the grading around your foundation to ensure water flows away from your home. Gutter cleaning tips.

Lawn mower prep

Tune up your lawn mower now for trouble-free operation all summer. What you need to do.

Reusable grocery bags

It’s important to properly clean them at least once a month. Here’s why and how.

Roof inspection

A semi-annual roof inspection helps your home watertight and repair costs down. Here’s how to do it.

Smoke detectors

A monthly test keeps your home and family safe. Learn more.

Springtime maintenance routine

Barbecue care and other top maintenance tips for May. Find out more.

Window cleaning

Clear off winter’s grime. Some tips on best practices.

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June

Air conditioner

Clear debris from around the unit and change filters or perform other maintenance as necessary. More info.

Coffee maker

You need to clean it regularly. Here’s how.

Dryer check

Clean lint from your dryer to prevent build-up and a potential fire. Learn how here.

Early summer maintenance tasks

These easy home maintenance tasks will help keep your home in tip-top shape so you can relax this summer. Find out more.

GFCIs

Ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlets are used in the bathroom, outside and other areas where water could cause a severe, even fatal, electric shock. They should be checked once a month. Find out more in this fall round-up.

Hot water heater

To lengthen its life, drain sediment from the bottom of your tank. Check your owner’s manual (it should also be available online) for instructions. More info.

Medicine cabinet

Regularly purging your medicine cabinet of expired products keeps your family safe. Dispose of medications properly.

Musty carpet smell

Summer weather can lead to stinky carpets. Here is what to do about it.

Outdoor watering systems

Optimal operation of automatic sprinkler and drip irrigation systems depends on regular maintenance. Here’s how to do it.

Plumbing traps

If you have a sink or tub that’s rarely used, turn on the tap for a couple of minutes. That will replenish the water in the trap, which has likely evaporated, and reduce the likelihood of sewer gases entering the space.

Reusable grocery bags

It’s important to properly clean them at least once a month. Here’s why and how.

Smoke detectors

A monthly test keeps your home and family safe. Learn more.

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July

Coffee maker

You need to clean it regularly. Here’s how.

Driveway sealing

A freshly sealed driveway not only looks great, it may also protect the surface. Discover how to do it.

Dryer check

Clean lint from your dryer to prevent build-up and a potential fire. Learn how here.

Foundation

Prevent water infiltration by checking for cracks or bulges. Do the same for brick or stone work.

GFCIs

Ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlets are used in the bathroom, outside and other areas where water could cause a severe, even fatal, electric shock. They should be checked once a month. Find out more.

Gutter guards

Gutter guards are meant to prevent leaves and other debris from blocking your gutters and allowing rain to overflow, potentially damaging your home. How do they work and are they worth the investment? Find out here.

Mid-summer maintenance tasks

Humidity control, window well checks and more. Nine DIY mid-summer tasks.

Porch lights and more

Cleaning porch lights, early-summer safety check of decks and other wooden structures, water conservation, and more. Here’s what you need to know.

Purging the pantry

You’d be surprised at what’s been forgotten (and has expired) in your cupboards. Here’s how to keep on top of the situation.

Reusable grocery bags

It’s important to properly clean them at least once a month. Here’s why and how.

Siding inspection

Check vinyl siding for gaps, cracks and holes that could allow water penetration and damage.  Tips on cleaning and replacing.

Smoke detectors

A monthly test keeps your home and family safe. Learn more.

Trees and shrubs

Check for anything growing too close to your home that could damage your roof or other areas. Call a professional if trees need trimming.

Washing pillows

Washing your pillows twice a year helps keep them hygienic and fresh.  Learn how. 

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August

7 mid-August tips

From cleaning patio stones to getting the mudroom ready for the return to school, here are 7 easy mid-August to-dos.

Basement airing and check-up

You’ve likely kept your basement windows closed during the hot, humid summer. Now is the time to give it an airing. Wait for a sunny, dry day, then open the windows for several hours. While you’re airing out the space, check it over for unusual dampness that could indicate a water leak or moisture penetrating from outside. If you notice anything unusual, investigate it and call a plumber or foundation professional if necessary — ignoring the problem won’t make it go away.

Check those hoses

Avoid indoor flooding by inspecting hoses on the washer, dehumidifier, dishwasher and other appliances. Don’t forget the flexible hoses that feed water into your toilet tanks. If you spot leaks, cracking or brittleness, replace the hose immediately.

Coffee maker

You need to clean it regularly. Here’s how.

Decks and porches

Inspect thoroughly for rot or weak members. August is a good time to refinish outdoor wooden surfaces.

Dryer check

Clean lint from your dryer to prevent build-up and a potential fire. Learn how here.

Easy maintenance tasks for a long weekend

Get these five DIY tasks done and you can still relax over the long weekend.

GFCIs

Ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlets are used in the bathroom, outside and other areas where water could cause a severe, even fatal, electric shock. They should be checked once a month. Find out more.

Hazard check

Do a home walk-through, watching for and correcting indoor and outdoor dangers like loose handrails, toxic chemicals stored where children can get them and so on.

Heating system

It might seem early, but to beat the fall rush book your annual furnace cleaning and inspection now. Here’s why it’s important.

Plumbing system check-up

Keep drains running smoothly, catch leaks before they get worse and other must-do maintenance for your home’s plumbing system.

Range hood

Now’s the time to clean or replace your range hood filter to keep your home fresh and safe. Here’s why it’s important.

Reusable grocery bags

It’s important to properly clean them at least once a month. Here’s why and how.

Smoke detectors

A monthly test keeps your home and family safe. Learn more. 

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September

Clean your appliances

Do you know how frequently your appliances should be cleaned? Find out here.

Coffee maker

You need to clean it regularly. Here’s how.

Dryer check

Clean lint from your dryer to prevent build-up and a potential fire. Learn how here.

Early fall maintenance

Three DIY tasks to get you started on your fall maintenance routine.

Exterior paint

If you have peeling or blistered exterior surfaces, now is the time to scrape and repaint them.

Furnace and HRV filters

Check and clean/replace as necessary. Your owner’s manual will tell you how. More information here.

Garage door

Make sure your garage door is working properly. Lubricate moving parts, check safety features like the auto reverse, tighten bolts and other parts, and ensure weatherstripping is intact. More information.

GFCIs

Ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlets are used in the bathroom, outside and other areas where water could cause a severe, even fatal, electric shock. They should be checked once a month. Find out more.

Mouse control

How to keep mice out of your home and how to deal with them if they’re already inside.

Oven gasket

Checking your oven gasket now will help ensure your stove is in tip-top shape for that Thanksgiving dinner.

Reusable grocery bags

It’s important to properly clean them at least once a month. Here’s why and how.

Smoke detectors

A monthly test keeps your home and family safe. Learn more.

Window cleaning

Before winter hits, clean your windows to remove the summer’s accumulation of dust and grime. Some tips on best practices.

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