The Ultimate Seasonal Maintenance Checklist for your Home
The Ultimate Seasonal Maintenance Checklist
Spring. It marks the end of an often dreary and cold winter season and fills us with the urge to open our windows and bring out the duster. With spring around the corner, it is also the perfect time for seasonal maintenance and household check-ups.
You may be thinking, “I own a condo and have a strata for that.” And, you would be correct- although strata associations are not responsible for everything. Before we dive into the ultimate in spring maintenance and tips, let’s take a brief look at a few different scenarios.
You are a condo owner and have a strata or condo association
Strata types vary and each multi-unit dwelling’s strata or condo association will be slightly different from others. Strata property management companies are often hired by your strata and offer a range of services. Monthly strata fees cover several things and can include; maintenance and repairs to the exterior building and common grounds, common areas and building amenities such as fitness facilities or swimming pools. Check with your strata corporation to verify what is included in the management of your building.
The interior of your home is generally your responsibility. **Verify with your strata what is shared and what is owner responsibility.
You own a home and have a renter but also have a property manager
While you are responsible for ensuring both the exterior and interior of your home are maintained, this will vary depending on the type of property that you own. As with the above, if you own a condo, loft or attached home in a strata corporation then a portion of the maintenance will be already taken care of. The interior, however, is your responsibility. If you have hired a professional property management company, you will be awarded with their expertise and they can either ensure maintenance is completed or advise you as per your agreement. Find out what maintenance your tenant is responsible for here and what forms to use if you have a property with a strata here.
You own your primary residence and it is a detached property
You are responsible for maintaining everything from the interior to the exterior of the property. Areas including sidewalks in front of your property are also the responsibility of the homeowner to maintain, which means you will need to clear the area from potential hazards such as debris, snow and ice.
The Ultimate Seasonal Maintenance Checklist
Every property can benefit from having a seasonal check up and regular maintenance. With wear and tear or damage that can occur as a result of a tenant, weather or other factors, there are innumerable things that can wrong if left without the proper maintenance. Things that are seemingly small, like checking for working smoke alarms or cleaning out bathroom air vents can go a long way to preventing build up or worse yet, be at center of a disaster. Some of the maintenance and inspection you may be able to perform yourself, while other inspections and repairs will require the experience of a professional.
- Test and dust all smoke/carbon monoxide detectors and replace batteries.
- Inspect bathroom and kitchen caulk; re-caulk as needed.
- Vacuum refrigerator coils (refer to your manufacture manual for how to do this).
- Schedule air conditioning inspection.
- Check fire extinguishers.
- Clean kitchen stove exhaust hood and filter.
- Clean bathroom vents.
- Clean and seal deck (if needed)
- Inspect exterior paint and touch up as needed.
- Inspect siding and masonry for damage.
- Remove storm windows and install screens.
- Repair or replace damaged window screens.
- Inspect roof for damage and repair as soon as possible.
- Inspect attic for leaks, repair as necessary.
- Inspect any outdoor play equipment or outdoor structures on your property, including fencing, sheds and garages.
- Clean gutters to allow for proper drainage.
- Have fireplaces swept and cleaned.
- Vacuum the lint from the hose of your clothes dryer.
- If you have a sump pump, test it to make sure it’s working properly. There are several ways to do this, including taking off the lid and pouring in water to see if the pump kicks on or hire a plumber to test this for you.
- Test any GFCI outlets: plug in a lamp, hit the test button and then the reset button to see if it turns the light off and then on again (GFCI stands for Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter. These types of outlets are designed to protect you from severe or fatal electric shocks. They’re often found in the kitchen and bathroom, or any place near a water source).
- Check trees around the house to make sure they’re not threatening wires or power lines. If they are, call a tree service to safely trim back branches.
- Clean or replace furnace and air conditioner filters as needed.
- Flush out your kitchen drain with a commercial product or a homemade solution of baking soda and vinegar.
- Clean faucet aerators and shower-heads to remove mineral deposits.
- Inspect tub and sink drains for debris; unclog with either a household solution of baking soda and vinegar or a store-bought agent.
- Test smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors, fire extinguishers, and all ground-fault circuit interrupters. If you are not comfortable doing this, contact a licensed electrician.
- Inspect electrical cords for wear and replace as necessary.
- Vacuum heat registers and heat vents to remove excessive dust collection.
- Check that indoor and outdoor air vents are not blocked.
Reminders for landlords
When you are a landlord it is important to follow the proper protocol if entering the residence or property for maintenance, repairs or for other reasons. Ensure that you follow the proper notice of entry requirements and notifications and give your tenant time to respond.
If the thought of seasonal maintenance is daunting, consider hiring the right professionals to assist you in your maintenance routine. Seasonal maintenance will go a long way to ensuring that wear and tear is repaired and prevent major issues from developing by having them dealt with before becoming problematic. If you have a property with a tenant and would prefer the expertise and convenience of someone else to maintain things, consider hiring a reputable property management company and discussing your unique needs with them.