Maintenance Tips

We've compiled some helpful home maintenance tips to ensure the best care for your new or existing home.

Drainage & Grading

All landscaping around your property should maintain the grade. Leaves and debris should be cleared away from basement windows to maintain proper drainage at those points.

If you are planning to build a fence, install a swimming pool, or plant trees, call or click before you dig (Manitoba Hydro). They will advise the location of any buried cable on your property so that excavation may be planned accordingly.

Driveways, Landscaping & Sidewalks

Poured in place concrete or concrete block sidewalks may settle. In the spring, as required, place sand beneath settled concrete in order to re-level. Salt and other chemicals can cause early deterioration of concrete. To remove ice, use a product that will not harm the concrete surface.

Basement & Foundation

Movement of the basement floor slab is not unusual and is a fact of life in owning a home in Winnipeg. Usually the upwards movement or heaving of the basement floor slab and interior foundation stabilizes within the first three years of the home’s life. During this period you should adjust the interior telepost supports to minimize the effect of the movement on the floors above.

All downspouts should have run away leads (extensions) that discharge roof drainage away from the basement wall. Since the above systems add moisture to the clay soils, basement floor slab heaving and adverse foundation movement can result if they malfunction.

Dampness of Basement or Foundation

New concrete holds moisture for 1 or 2 years. During winter months the moisture can freeze and form ice or frost. During warmer temperatures this will melt causing water to run down the wall onto the basement floor. Keep personal belongings away from the foundations walls. Installing a dehumidier can reduce the effect from this.

Telepost Adjustments

Do not over-adjust the telepost. Teleposts should never be adjusted by more than small amounts at a time, especially on newer homes. If this is done too quickly or improperly, large cracks may suddenly appear in walls in the home or flooring may become loose or squeaky. A rule of thumb is to do adjustments no more than one half a turn at a time. This slow adjustment will move the teleposts only millimeters, so several adjustments may be required to achieve the desired height.

Interior Finishing

Interior Passage and Closet Doors

Interior doors that are tight-fitting or warped are usually the result of high humidity. Before deciding whether doors require adjustments, wait until the level of humidity returns to normal. The return of drier air may solve the problem. If the door is warped it should not exceed 3/8-inch, provided proper humidity levels are maintained in the home.

Paint

New paint should have at least three months to cure properly before washing. If you have to wash new paint, use a soft cloth and baking soda and be careful not to scrub. Always rinse thoroughly.

Exterior Finishing

To keep rain water flowing through the gutters and downspouts, be sure they are clear of leaves and debris.

Garage Walls

It is not uncommon to experience frost or ice on the garage walls during the winter months as well as the formation of mildew spots in the spring. This is due to high humidity within the garage during the winter or spring. Installation of a ceiling fan or an oscillating fan in the garage to promote air movement may help eliminate the moisture that is present.

Leaking from bathroom fans or ceiling fixtures

After an incident of blowing snow, check the attic. If snow has entered, remove it before it has the chance to melt to avoid possible damage to the ceilings.

During prolonged cold spells, ice build-up at the eaves and on plumbing stacks and fans is common. The condition occurs when snow and ice accumulate, and gutters and down-spouts freeze. As part of your regular maintenance, remove the build-up of ice or snow once it is noticed.

Exterior Doors

As part of regular maintenance adjust bottom door sweep on exterior doors. Ensure that weather stripping is properly fitted. Avoid slamming of doors as this can cause damage to both the door and the jamb of the door. Do not use a hair dryer to de-ice dead bolts - the heat causes more ice as it freezes.

Exterior Steps

When using a product to melt ice on your concrete step, ensure that the product is not corrosive. Corrosive products, like salt, deteriorate the concrete by causing flaking and chipping.

Exterior Paint

Exterior paintable finishes should be maintained on a regular basis. Should you choose to touch up an area, be sure that the paint colour matches closely.

Kitchens & Cabinets

Clean cabinets and countertops as needed with mild detergent or soap & water (sparingly.) Use a lint-free cloth for both washing & drying. Wipe up spills, splatters & watermarks as they occur, keeping cabinets & countertop surfaces dry. Give special attention to areas near sink and dishwasher that come in contact with moisture.

Flooring – Carpets & Vinyls

Cleaning your carpet/Professional carpet cleaning

Despite daily care, particles of dirt and soil inevitably become embedded in the carpeting, gradually causing it to turn dull. This underfoot grit may also cut the fibres and cause excessive wear. While home cleaning methods will brighten the carpet surface, professional cleaning is necessary to remove embedded dirt.

Home Carpet Cleaning

The following information should help you get better results when cleaning your carpets. Always read and follow the directions of the cleaner and machine maker. Mix all solutions as per directions - more is not better. Remove all furniture if possible.

Use only recommended carpet shampoos. Unsuitable shampoos can cause immediate and long term problems. Pretest for dye fastness or colour change on a hidden area of carpet. Should you notice any colour change or bleeding, choose another shampoo or get professional advice.

Ceramic Tile

Repair caulking around your tub as part of regular maintenance. Over time it does break down and may cause leaks into the walls. Grouting will also shrink and crack over time, and must be repaired or replaced.