Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

August 11, 2011 10:48 ET

Home Maintenance Tips for Fall

Protect your home-and your investment!

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Aug. 11, 2011) - Fall is the time to get your home ready for the coming winter, which can be the most gruelling season for your home. Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) suggests you perform a variety of tasks which will help you to avoid the most common— and costly—problems before they occur. Some of these tasks are:

  • Ensure leaves and other debris are removed from eavestroughs and downspouts for proper drainage from the roof. Ensure that downspouts direct water away from the house foundation.

  • If you have a gas, oil, or other non-electric heating system, have it serviced by a qualified company (every two years for a gas furnace and every year for an oil furnace or in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions). Have the chimneys or combustion vents checked for nests or other obstructions before turning on your heating system.

  • If you have a furnace, check and clean or replace filters on a monthly basis during the heating season.

  • Gently vacuum in and around hot water baseboard and electric baseboard heaters to remove dust. Remove the grilles on forced-air heating systems and vacuum inside the ducts. Ensure airflow dampers are open.

  • If you have a heat recovery ventilator (HRV), ensure the air intake grille—located on the outside of the house—is clean, the filters and core within the unit are clean, the condensate drains properly (test by pouring water into the drain pan under the core and watching the flow through the drain tube), and the HRV is turned on and is set at the right speed.

  • If you have a well, test the water quality.

  • If you have a sump pump, ensure it is operating properly, with no obstructions or leaks in the drain line.

  • If you have a septic tank, have it checked to determine if it needs to be emptied before the winter starts.

  • Remove and store window screens, install storm windows, and ensure all windows, doors and skylights shut tightly, including the door between your house and garage; repair or replace weatherstripping, as needed.

  • Ensure that the ground around your home slopes away from the foundation wall to decrease the likelihood of water draining into the basement.

  • Cover the outside of the air conditioner, and drain and store outdoor hoses. Close the valve to the outdoor hose connection and drain the faucet.

  • Winterize landscaping by storing outdoor furniture, preparing gardens and, if necessary, protecting young trees or bushes.

For a free copy of the "About Your House" fact sheet Home Maintenance Schedule, or for information on any other aspect of owning, maintaining or buying a home, visit our website at or call CMHC at 1-800-668-2642. CMHC is Canada's national housing agency and a source of objective, reliable housing information.

Contact Information

  • For story ideas or to access CMHC information
    CMHC Media Relations - National Office
    (613) 748-2799