The Calgarian Homeowners’ Guide to Basic Home Maintenance

The Calgarian Homeowners' Guide to Basic Home Maintenance

Featured Image Source: Pixabay

By Grayson Bennett

Being a homeowner is already a huge responsibility all on its own. You have to take care of everything, from paying the bills to maintaining the safe space that your home should be. 

At times, it can get overwhelming and stressful. But that’s why we made this ultimate home maintenance guide for every Calgarian, where you can find everything from home maintenance tips. Let’s start!

1. Check for water leaks and clogs

1. Check for water leaks and clogs
Source: Music4life via Pixabay

In time, water supply and water drainage pipes may leak due to wear and tear and loosening of connections. Water damage repair can be costly, which is why you need to check for leaks once in a while.

You can check for leaks by turning on the faucet and inspecting the connecting pipes. Here are some of the areas you could focus on during your search:

  • Sinks
  • Toilets
  • Water heaters
  • Drain pipes
  • Faucets
  • Tubs
  • Showers
  • Appliance connections

Check leak-prone areas and caulk them from time to time as this can reduce your chances of leaks. If you don’t regularly do this, you may need repairs from water damage repair experts.

Addressing leaks early on can also help prevent more dangerous mould growth. But should the worst happen, you can still call mould removal services for help.

You should also regularly check your sump pump to make sure water is kept out of your basement.

Additionally, you should check for clogs at least once a month. Clean out the garbage disposal and remove clumps of hair on drains to avoid blockages.

It also pays to know where your main water shutoff valve is and how to turn it off. This way, you can easily cut off the water supply while you wait for professional plumbers in the event of emergencies.

2. Take care of your HVAC units

Calgary experiences a wide range of weathers and temperatures, so your HVAC system always seems to be running. Given that it’s one of the most overused systems in your home, you should also take care of it.

Furnaces, especially those that use gas as fuel, need professional check-ups from HVAC contractors at least once a year. Your hired furnace expert should take a look at the burners, blowers, and motors to make sure everything is working properly and safely.

Your air conditioning unit’s condenser coils, fins, and drains also need cleaning and checking every 6 months for optimum operation. 

Clean or change your filters at least once a month, especially if you live in an area with high traffic or if you live with pets.

Aside from your HVAC appliances, your air ducts also need proper maintenance. The best air duct cleaning will result not only in proper air circulation but also in healthier air.

Every year or so, check out for leaks in your air ducts and seal them. You can also seal and clean up the chimney to prevent the inflow of cold air while still allowing exhaust of flue gases and smoke to improve your system’s energy efficiency.

The more efficient your HVAC system is, the lower will be your electric bill.

3. Check out your appliances

3. Check out your appliances
Source: Curtis Adams via Pexels

HVAC systems aside, kitchen and laundry appliances, whether big or small, also deserve maintenance. Here are the major appliances every Calgarian likely has and how you can better take care of them:

  • Refrigerator: for every 3-4 months, clean the interior trays, water dispenser, and door seals and exterior coils and base grills.
  • Dishwasher: clean the filter every month to remove food buildup and flush out hard mineral deposits.
  • Oven: leave a paste of cleaning solution or a homemade mixture of baking soda and water on the interiors overnight. Spray a bit of vinegar and wipe with a damp cloth.
  • Gas range: wipe out spills and bits every time you cook to avoid food build-up.
  • Washing machine: clean out its filter at least biweekly. Avoid overloading it and leave the door open after every wash.
  • Dryer: clean the exhaust vent at least once a year.

These will keep your appliances in top shape and prolong their lives. If at some point you find malfunctioning parts during your routine cleaning or maintenance, try calling up appliance repair technicians for help.

For appliances with connections, like dryers, washers, and dishwashers, check out the junctions to make sure there are no leaks. You can use pipe sealants to tighten these connections when they’re already a bit loose.

However, if these connections are already beyond your DIY repair, it’s time you call plumbers for help. 

4. Invest in weatherproofing extras

When it comes to making a comfortable home, maintaining your HVAC units is one thing, but investing in weatherproofing and insulation is another.

Insulation contractors in Calgary can install insulation units for your roof, ceiling, walls, crawl spaces, and garages to keep the heat in and the cold out. Insulation also offers soundproofing, which is perfect for special rooms like home theatres or your personal recording studios.

If you can’t afford it, for now, you can at least caulk your windows and doors to prevent air leaks.

You can also install heating pads beneath your floors, though they can be very costly. You can still achieve warm floors with heavy carpets and rugs. 

Just know that these add-ons also require maintenance as you’ll need carpet deep cleaning every 12 months to prolong their lives.

Another thing you can do to keep the warmth in is to opt for heavy night curtains. Once you pair these with energy-efficient windows, you no longer have to worry about leaking heat outside your home or cold drafts coming inside. 

In addition to insulation, you should also consider waterproofing as one of your essentials. You’ll still need yearly maintenance to check if these systems work but you’ll be on the safer end of water damage if you have this installed.

5. Clean off dust and declutter once in a while

Dusting may not seem like such an impactful home maintenance step. But believe us when we tell you that dust accumulation can be harmful to both your family and your house’s health.

And did you know that dust accumulation can also damage appliances and electronics? Well, it does and it can be easily prevented with routine cleaning.

Dusting off surfaces at least once a week prevents the accumulation of dirt, bacteria, and other harmful microorganisms.

Shelves, fireplaces, countertops, tabletops, and upholstered furniture can easily be dusted off with a damp cloth or a vacuum. As much as possible, avoid feather dusters as these cleaning materials only move dust from one point to another.

When cleaning, make sure you wear a mask, especially if you’re allergic to dust. You can also hire cleaners to do all this routine cleaning work for you.

Better yet, you can follow these simple tips to keep dust out of your home as much as you possibly can:

  • Leave your shoes by the door
  • Use a welcome mat that you’ll change every other month
  • Change your HVAC filters and clean ducts
  • Humidify your indoor air with air purifiers or humidifiers

6. Flush water from the heater tank and humidifier

6. Flush water from the heater tank and humidifier
Source: Roman Koval via Pexels

Much like HVAC systems, water heaters are also present in almost every Calgarian home.

If you have water heater tanks, then you should flush out its stored water at least once every 6 months. This way, you can easily remove mineral deposits before they accumulate and harden at the bottom of the water tank.

To reduce the number of minerals in your water supply, you can opt for water softening services.

Another thing to flush out regularly is a humidifier. Drain it completely and then mix equal parts of white vinegar and water.

Leave this solution inside the humidifier for about an hour before rinsing it with water. Then, you can start using your humidifier again without the fear of bacteria being mixed with your indoor mist.

7. Clean gutters and inspect roofs

You should also check out exterior furnishings, which include everything from the roofs to pavements. Before and after harsh rainfalls and hailstorms, check out your roofs to make sure all shingles are still in place and without any holes or leaks.

Make sure your roofs and eavestroughs are still perfectly connected to ensure that all rainwater is caught and delivered to the ground as properly as possible. Should you find any problem, call up the best roof contractors in town.

And since eavestroughs and gutters are designed to catch things, they can also catch large debris like leaves and twigs. So, you need gutter cleaning every 6 months to avoid blockages.

The more trees you have around you, the heavier the foliage, and thus, the more frequent you need to call your gutter cleaning services. So, make sure you get your eavestroughs cleaned routinely.

8. Give your exterior walls some love

8. Give your exterior walls some love
Source: Jessica Bryant via Pexels

Aside from roofs and gutters, you also need to take care of other exterior elements of your home. That includes your walls, windows, doors, and pavements. 

Windows and doors that are already older than 20 years old may already need replacement. But if your windows and doors are still young, you can simply wash and clean them to improve aesthetics and caulk them to improve energy efficiency.

For those of you who have garage doors, make sure you lubricate rollers and chains. This will prolong your garage door’s life, which is helpful especially since garage door replacements and repairs can be expensive.

If your house is mostly made out of concrete walls, then you should opt for power washing every 6-12 months to keep the dust and grime away. 

The best power washing services can help you prolong the life of your house exterior by priming the surfaces, removing dirt, and preventing other damages to your walls.

Besides, power washing can also apply to windows, making windows clearer. Besides, all these maintenance tips won’t just give you a well-maintained home, but also one with high curbside appeal and property value.

If you find that power washing your exterior walls isn’t enough to raise your home’s value, you can still go for other popular methods in Calgary such as vinyl siding installations and wall repainting.

9. Maintain your grounds yards and lawns

Now that you’ve taken care of your actual house, you should also maintain other areas of your home, particularly your back yard and front lawn. 

Weekly to biweekly mowing is essential in keeping your lawn as green and crisp as ever.

Seasonal clean-ups during the spring and fall are also a need. And to get ready for a blooming and lush yard for spring and summer, you should also consider aerating, fertilizing, and overseeding your lawns.

While these steps sound like a lot of work, they’ll pay off in the end. Lucky for you, there are also lots of prestigious lawn care experts in Calgary to do the work for you.

For good measure, you can also contact arborists to trim your trees. Pruning and trimming can also help keep your house safe from branches during storms.

But if you don’t have much time for routine lawn maintenance, then you can get artificial turf instead. This way, you can retain your curbside appeal without spending too much time, money, and effort on your lawn.

And in the winter, you can best take care of your yard by getting snow plowed. We suggest routine snow removal services because snowfall in Calgary can get pretty heavy frequently.

You can also add structures to your outdoor property to increase your property’s value. The best deck contractors can build just about any exterior property, from standard decks to fancy pergolas.

Like taking care of your house’s exterior, cleaning your yard can also help increase your home valuation.

10. Stay on top of pest control treatments

10. Stay on top of pest control treatments
Source: Skitterphoto via Pexels

Wherever you are in the world, you can’t entirely be safe from pests. But different geographies also result in different kinds of pests.

Here are the common pests in Calgary:

  • Insects
    • Ants (carpenter ants, cornfield ants, Pharoah ants, pavement ants)
    • Bed bugs
    • Bees 
    • Beetles (flour beetles, grain beetles, carpet beetles
    • Cockroaches 
    • Flies
    • Mosquitoes
    • Wasps
  • Weeds
    • Dandelions
    • Lawn mushrooms
    • Hogweed
    • Salt cedar
    • Toadflax
    • Creeping bellflower
  • Animals
    • Raccoons
    • Pigeons
    • Voles
    • Mice
    • Geese

For larger pests, like animals, you can simply set traps for them then release them into the wild.

As for the weeds, you can stay pest-free by owning and learning how to operate a weed puller. For persistent weeds, try calling lawn care experts with weed removal programs.

However, if your main problem involves insect pests, then you should contact the best pest control companies. These experts can fully eradicate whatever pest may be bothering your home.

But just because you no longer see these pests doesn’t mean they’re coming back. So, if you have a high risk of pest infestations, then make sure you’ve scheduled routine pest control treatments with the company of your choice.

11. Sign up for a home warranty or home insurance

If you haven’t already, consider signing up for a home warranty plan. With such a program, you can easily schedule annual inspections to stay on top of necessary adjustments and avoid costly repairs.

And if you want more safeguards, then you can also sign up for home insurance plans. These plans can protect you not only from unfortunate incidents like burglaries or fires but also from accidental damages like chronic leaks or mould overgrowth.

However, home insurance plans won’t cover damages brought upon by your negligence. So, make sure to be a responsible homeowner and consider these tips and hacks.

These plans can be costly, though. So, if you don’t want to sign up for programs, you can instead schedule annual check-ups and call your preferred plumber, electrician, handyman, or any other expert you deem necessary for your home maintenance.

Just make sure you’re hiring experts with a good track record and professional service. Hiring service providers with subpar work will not just double your expenses, but also increase stress in difficult and urgent home improvement projects.

Home Maintenance Checklist

Have trouble remembering all those tips we’ve mentioned above? Well, you no longer have to worry because we’ve already gone ahead and made a quick checklist according to how frequent these maintenance steps are.

Routine checklist

Monthly

  • Change HVAC filters
  • Clean dishwasher filter
  • Deep clean your home
  • Test smoke detectors and fire extinguishers
  • Clean garbage disposal

Weekly 

  • Dust off furniture and surfaces
  • Clean oven, gas range, and other kitchen appliances
  • Sweep and mop floors
  • Unclog bathroom drains

Seasonal checklist

Spring checklist

  • Inspect and clean airconditioning units and sump pumps
  • Do spring cleaning
  • Aerate, overseed, and fertilize the lawn 
  • Check for mould or water damage
  • Power wash or paint your house walls
  • Clean gutters
  • Check house exteriors for damage
  • Clean exterior structures like decks and pools
  • Clean air ducts
  • Check or change smoke detector and alarm batteries

Summer checklist

  • Test irrigation or sprinkler system
  • Prune trees and shrubs
  • Reinforce and maintain windows and doors (including garage doors)
  • Clean and declutter your home and garage
  • Examine sump pump
  • Spray for insects and other pests
  • Schedule home improvement inspections and replacement
  • Clean carpet

Fall checklist

  • Rake leaves and other foliage
  • Winterize water sprinkler system
  • Protect exterior pipelines
  • Inspect radiators, furnaces, and other heating equipment
  • Flush water heater tanks and check tankless heaters
  • Cover your air conditioner’s outdoor part
  • Clean air ducts
  • Seal and clean chimney
  • Clean gutters
  • Stock up on heating fuel (ie. firewood)
  • Caulk doors and windows 
  • Check or change smoke detector and alarm batteries
  • Power wash or paint house walls

Winter checklist

  • Check for ice build-up or leaks
  • Inspect roof, eavestroughs, and other exterior parts
  • Shovel snow
  • Stock up on supplies
  • Cover AC units
  • Clean fridge coils, drains, and trays
  • Clean carpet

With that, we end our ultimate home maintenance guide for all types of Calgarian homeowners. We sure hope our tips and lists can make your job a tad bit easier.

If you already have a checklist and find that we’re missing out on some important things, feel free to tell us so! We’d love to hear from you so we can improve this list and further help our fellow Calgarians.

We made this list as comprehensive yet brief as possible. So, if you’re looking for a more detailed article, then you can check out our article on common plumbing issues.

Leave a Comment