LIVING

Staying on top of regular home maintenance can help avoid future problems

04/10/2014 07:00 EDT | Updated 06/10/2014 05:59 EDT
VICTORIA - There's no getting around it: home maintenance is a chore. But the reality is that regular tasks can help extend the longevity of a house and may even defer the need for major repair projects.

Marty Erletz, owner and operator of Victoria's Pillar to Post home inspections, says it's important to take the time to inspect and monitor your home for signs of deterioration.

"A big thing people don't do is inspect their crawl spaces enough," says Erletz. "It isn't a lot of fun going down in a crawl space, but if a homeowner has one, they have to go down there and make sure there is no moisture problems or leaking plumbing."

Similarly, he says attics need to be looked at for signs of potential roof leaks and moisture around bathroom fan vents.

With the snow melting and weather improving, Erletz says homeowners should be looking at the exterior of their house for peeling paint and sealant.

"It is important to look for any exposed wood," he says. "Especially for places on the West Coast, where we get a lot of rain, it is very important that wood has proper weather protection."

Monitoring the quality and integrity of the sealant around doors and windows, and around the fixtures in bathrooms and kitchens is also necessary to avoid any potential moisture buildup and leakages.

Even though there are some maintenance projects that can be done annually, like checking smoke detector batteries, other tasks need to be accomplished throughout the year.

"A lot of times people aren't up-to-date on the smaller things in their home, such as furnace filters are ignored," Erletz says. "Homeowners don't realize that in the heating season furnace filters need to be changed every month to keep the furnace working properly and efficiently but also for air quality in the home."

Throughout the year, and life of a home, weather and the people who live in a house can cause a lot of wear and tear.

According to John Davis, owner of Edmonton's Cabin to Castle Property Inspections, homeowners need to be aware of their home and respond to any potential damage or problems.

Davis says during the winter window screens often get damaged. It's best to replace torn screens before the hot summer months come.

Like Erletz, Davis says there are a lot of small things owners should be aware of to keep the home in the best shape possible.

"Front-load washing machines should be aired out in between washes," says Davis. "If this is not done consistently, mildew and mould can accumulate."

While the list of projects may seem overwhelming, Davis says doing small things once or twice a year can prevent them from building into big problems.

"It is important to take necessary steps to guard homes from the elements," he says. "Keeping all appliances clean and repaired can help you get the most out of them and add to their longevity. All the small maintenance tasks can help you avoid big problems in the future. Certain types of homes will require more maintenance than others."

Davis says roofs with wooden shakes require regular care and maintenance to be effective at shedding water.

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