The following is a document that we provide to our
customers which contains information on maintaining your new home.
Please feel free to print this document for your own use.
- Upon Taking Ownership
After taking possession of a new home, there are some maintenance
and safety issues that should be addressed immediately. The
following checklist should help you undertake these improvements:
- Change the locks on
all exterior entrances, for improved security.
- Check that all
windows and doors are secure. Improve window hardware as
necessary. Security rods can be added to sliding windows and
doors. Consideration could also be given to a security system.
- Install smoke
detectors on each level of the home. Ensure that there is a smoke
detector outside all sleeping areas. Replace batteries on any
existing smoke detectors and test them. Make a note to replace
batteries again in one year.
- Create a plan of
action in the event of a fire in your home. Ensure that there is
an operable window or door in every room of the house. Consult
with your local fire department regarding fire safety issues and
what to do in the event of fire.
- Examine driveways
and walkways for trip hazards. Undertake repairs where necessary.
- Examine the interior
of the home for trip hazards. Loose or torn carpeting and
flooring should be repaired.
improvements to all stairways, decks, porches and landings where
there is a risk of falling or stumbling.
- Review your home
inspection report for any items that require immediate
improvement or further investigation. Address these areas as
- Install rain caps
and vermin screens on all chimney flues, as necessary.
- Investigate the
location of the main shut-offs for the plumbing, heating and electrical
systems. If you attended the home inspection, these items would
have been pointed out to you.
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- Every Month
- Check that fire
extinguisher(s) are fully charged. Re-charge if necessary.
heating/cooling air filters and replace or clean as necessary.
- Inspect and clean
humidifiers and electronic air cleaners.
- If the house has hot
water heating, bleed radiator valves.
- Clean gutters and
downspouts. Ensure that downspouts are secure, and that the
discharge of the downspouts is appropriate. Remove debris from
- Carefully inspect
the condition of shower enclosures. Repair or replace
deteriorated grout and caulk. Ensure that water is not escaping
the enclosure during showering. Check below all plumbing fixtures
for evidence of leakage.
- Repair or replace
leaking faucets or shower heads.
- Secure loose
toilets, or repair flush mechanisms that become troublesome.
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- Spring and Fall
- Examine the roof for
evidence of damage to roof coverings, flashings and chimneys.
- Look in the attic
(if accessible) to ensure that roof vents are not obstructed.
Check for evidence of leakage, condensation or vermin activity.
Level out insulation if needed.
- Trim back tree
branches and shrubs to ensure that they are not in contact with
- Inspect the exterior
walls and foundation for evidence of damage, cracking or
movement. Watch for bird nests or other vermin or insect
- Survey the basement
and/or crawl space walls for evidence of moisture seepage.
- Look at overhead
wires coming to the house. They should be secure and clear of
trees or other obstructions.
- Ensure that the
grade of the land around the house encourages water to flow away from
- Inspect all
driveways, walkways, decks, porches, and landscape components for
evidence of deterioration, movement or safety hazards.
- Clean windows and
test their operation. Improve caulking and weather-stripping as
necessary. Watch for evidence of rot in wood window frames. Paint
and repair window sills and frames as necessary.
- Test all ground
fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) devices, as identified in the
- Shut off isolating
valves for exterior hose bibs in the fall, if below freezing
temperatures are anticipated.
- Test the Temperature
and Pressure Relief (TPR) Valve on water heaters.
- Inspect for evidence
of wood boring insect activity. Eliminate any wood/soil contact
around the perimeter of the home.
- Test the overhead
garage door opener, to ensure that the auto-reverse mechanism is
responding properly. Clean and lubricate hinges, rollers and
tracks on overhead doors.
- Replace or clean
exhaust hood filters.
- Clean, inspect
and/or service all appliances as per the manufacturer's
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- Replace smoke
- Have the heating,
cooling and water heater systems cleaned and serviced.
- Have chimneys
inspected and cleaned. Ensure that rain caps and vermin screens
- Examine the
electrical panels, wiring and electrical components for evidence
of overheating. Ensure that all components are secure. Flip the
breakers on and off to ensure that they are not sticky.
- If the house
utilizes a well, check and service the pump and holding tank.
Have the water quality tested. If the property has a septic
system, have the tank inspected (and pumped as needed).
- If your home is in
an area prone to wood destroying insects (termites, carpenter
ants, etc.), have the home inspected by a licensed specialist.
Preventative treatments may be recommended in some cases.
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prevention is the best approach!