For most Canadians, their home is their largest and most important investment. A regular schedule of seasonal maintenance and repairs can help you protect your investment by putting a stop to the most common and costly problems before they occur.
Some maintenance work should not be performed by homeowners, but rather by trained professionals to ensure continued safety for the home and those who live in it. Because of the potential for increased dangers related to incorrect adjustments and parts replacement, furnace repair and maintenance tune-ups should only be performed by a qualified furnace technician to ensure continued safety and efficient operating performance.
View YHC's seasonal maintenance schedule
View CMHC's fact sheets on how to maintain your home
Some do-it-yourself projects may require a permit and follow-up inspection to confirm the job was completed properly; its best to check before commencing work on your maintenance project for any important related information. City of Whitehorse Bylaw and Yukon government Building Safety Branch will advise when permits are required.
Have a Plan
Know all the steps to completing a project before beginning it. If you are unsure of how to undertake a certain project, seek advice on the proper way to do the work. Home building supply stores will normally offer good advice on how to best use the products they sell and how to perform most home maintenance projects.
Whatever maintenance work you perform on or in your home; make safety a priority. Each year many people injure themselves while working to improve their homes. All of these injuries are preventable.
Wear the Safety Gear
Safety glasses, hardhats, safety footwear, gloves and hearing protection are used by professional tradespeople for a good reason - they prevent injuries. Also make sure your First Aid kit is stocked and a fully-charged ABC fire extinguisher is at the ready.
Know the materials you are working with
Chemical compounds are becoming more commonplace in home maintenance in the form of glues/adhesives, solvents, paints and cleaning solutions. Read the labels carefully and follow manufacture’s recommended procedures and safety tips. Always ensure there is adequate ventilation when using chemical compounds. And always use the correct type of gloves and eye protection when directed. Be sure to dispose of empty material containers as recommended by the manufacturer and local environmental regulations.
Power tools and their safe use
If you are unsure of how to properly use a certain power tool ask the retailer or rental outlet for information about it before use. Read all the instructions thoroughly and make a couple practise rounds before applying it to your project. Be sure to use all the safety equipment recommended for it by the manufacturer. Keep all saw guards and similar safety apparatus in place as designed by the manufacturer. Ensure extension cords are the correct gauge for the lengths used, and the cable is without physical defects and the plug ends are securely fastened and isolated to prevent shocks. Be sure to wear safety glasses and hearing protection as well.
Slips, Trips and Falls
Keep your workspace clean and uncluttered, and be sure to dispose of waste materials periodically. Tie off ladders and/or have an assistant holding the ladder to prevent tipping.
For information about the design and maintenance of septic systems, view Health and Social Services' publication Design Specifications for Sewage Disposal Systems.
Facts about drinking water in Yukon, including well water, disinfecting water guidelines and drinking water regulations, visit Health and Social Services' drinking water page.