Your Spring Home Maintenance Checklist

Home School Care & Maintenance

Green grass and chirping birds are sure signs that spring has arrived in Alberta. Now is a great time to make sure your home is in shape for the warm summer months ahead. Basic home maintenance doesn’t require a lot of specialized skills or know-how. And it’s a cost-effective way to protect your big investment. Here’s a checklist for what should be part of an annual home maintenance routine.

Exterior Inspection
It’s good to do a walk-around of your property. Here are some things to look out for:

  • Roof. Shingles can be visually inspected for any damage from the ground. If you suspect of any damage, contact your warranty coordinator if you recently built a new home through a builder registered in the Alberta New Home Warranty program and your home is in the warranty period. Otherwise, contact a qualified roof contractor.
  • Gutters. Remove any leaves, shingle fragments or other blockages. Look for signs of bending or damage. Wear gloves and long sleeved shirts to help avoid cuts and abrasions. Ensure your ladder is properly positioned using a 1:4 ration (If your ladder is 20 feet high at the top, it should be extended 5 feet out on the bottom). Never stand on the top rung of a ladder.
  • Exterior Walls. Whether you have vinyl siding, cement based siding, or stucco, look for trouble spots, especially under eaves and near gutter downspouts. Water stains normally indicate that your gutters are not adequately containing roof runoff from rain and snow. Inspect and repair all exterior caulking’s. For vinyl siding, use soap and water, a brush and rinse with your garden hose for annual cleaning.
  • Foundation. Clean all debris from your lot drainage system and make sure your down spouts are pointed down and away from the foundation. Improper drainage can lead water into the basement and may cause cracks in the foundation walls.
  • Windows. Leakage around windows will admit warm air in the summer and cold air in the winter. Be sure to check that all weather stripping has remained intact. Clean your windows—inside and out—with a store-bought or homemade window cleaner (one cup water and a tablespoon of white wine vinegar will work just fine) and use either a squeegee or a soft cloth. If screens were on all winter, remove and clean them with mild detergent. Remember not to power-wash screens.

Interior Maintenance

  • General Cleaning. Spring is a good time to clean areas of the house that often go neglected. Dust or vacuum window casings, tops of cabinets and ceiling fans. Launder or dry-clean fabric draperies and use a damp cloth to clean wood and vinyl blinds. Vacuum upholstered furniture and mattresses and consider renting a carpet cleaner. Anything you can do to remove settled dust, mites, and allergens will make for a cleaner, and healthier, home.
    In the bathroom, soap residue and changes in heat and humidity can combine to create the perfect breeding ground for mildew. Wear protective gloves if you are cleaning with an abrasive cleaning solution. Never mix chemicals together to avoid a potential adverse reaction. For example, mixing bleach and ammonia together creates a toxic gas that causes chemical pneumonia.
    Ensure dryer vents are clear of lint and debris. Clogged dry vents have been known to be a contributing factor to house fires.
  • Basement. It is recommended every 3 months to check your drip style humidifier for rust or calcium deposits. Turn off the furnace fan switch and replace the filter if necessary. The same applies for your furnace, as they should be kept clean and free of obstruction to keep air flowing. Filters must be changed regularly for maximum performance. Review your owner’s manual for proper maintenance.
    If your home is equipped with a sump pump, test for proper operation. This will ensure peace of mind in case of water pools due to weather conditions or unforeseen leaks.
  • Leaks. Check under the kitchen and bathroom sinks to make sure connections on pipes and hoses are properly sealed. Look for any wetness around the dishwasher that could signal a problem. Check your washing machine hoses for cracks, bulges or dampness. And your hot water heater, which may show signs of corrosion and leaks.


  • Decks and Patios. Look for warped, loose or splintered boards. Sweep to remove any leaves and debris accumulated in the space between boards. If the finish on your wood deck is faded or worn, now is the time to clean, stain, and reseal it. Wear respiratory protection to avoid breathing in toxic fumes from the stain and lacquer as well as dust when sweeping.
  • Outdoor Furniture. If you stored your lawn furniture for the winter, bring it outdoors and give it a hose rinse, or wash it with a mild detergent.
  • Grills. If your gas grill has remained idle over the winter months, check burner jets for clogs and obstructions, and be sure that gas hoses and connections are sound and secure. When taking propane tanks in for refill, ensure they are upright and not on their side as propane expands when the tanks on their side!

Now that your house is clean inside and out, you can turn your attention to other things — like the garden.