Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

November 30, 2011 11:48 ET

CMHC: Home Maintenance Tips for Fall and Winter

Protect Your Home - and Your Investment - In Every Season

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Nov. 30, 2011) - If you're like most Canadians, your home is probably your most important investment. The best way to protect that investment is by taking a few minutes each month to inspect your home, and carry out a regular schedule of maintenance and repairs. With a little simple seasonal maintenance, you can prolong the life of your home, and put a stop to some of the most common - and costly - problems, before they occur.

To help you make sure your home stays healthy, safe and comfortable in every season, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) offers a number of practical tips, tools and resources, such as the About Your House series of fact sheets covering a wide range of topics related to owning and maintaining a home.

To prepare your home for the fall and winter, for example, clean leaves, nests and other obstructions from your eavestroughs, roof and chimney, and test the downspouts to ensure there is adequate drainage away from your home.

Make sure the ground around your home slopes away from the foundation. This will help keep water and melting snow away from your house, and out of your basement. Also, make sure all your windows and skylights close tightly, and test your plumbing shut-off valves to be sure they're working properly.

Clean or replace your furnace air filters every month, and have your furnace serviced by a qualified technician every two years if you use gas, or once a year if you have an oil furnace. During the winter months, monitor your home for condensation on the windows or other signs of excessive moisture. Too much moisture indoors can cause damage over time, and may even pose a health risk to you and your family.

Check your attic regularly for frost accumulation, and inspect your roof for ice dams or icicles. If you find excessive frost inside, or icicles and ice dams on the roof surface, consult CMHC's About Your House fact sheet: Attic Venting, Attic Moisture and Ice Dams for advice.

Through regular home maintenance, you can often prevent larger and more costly home repair expenses in the future. It's also a good idea to put aside a little in your budget each month for an "emergency fund" for your home. An emergency fund allows you to handle any repairs or maintenance issues that might come up, without sacrificing your financial well-being or peace of mind.

For more tips, get a free copy of CMHC's About Your House fact sheets or sign up for a free monthly home maintenance newsletter at www.cmhc.ca/enewsletters. For more than 65 years, CMHC has shared a wealth of knowledge and housing expertise, as well as useful tools and guidance, to help Canadians enjoy an informed and assured housing experience. To consult or download copies of any of CMHC's tools and resources, visit www.cmhc.ca.

November is the first ever Financial Literacy Month. This is the final article in a series of four, focusing on creating awareness of the various tools and resources that are available to help Canadians make informed and responsible housing decisions.

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