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Now that it’s spring, the weather in many parts of Canada is starting to warm up. Just like spring cleaning, spring maintenance is an important part of homeownership.

These ideas will not only protect what is likely your most costly investment, but will also make your humble abode look its best.

Inspect and repair. If you’re like most Canadians, you likely live in an area where the winters can be brutal. Have a walk around your home to check the foundation for any damage. Low-lying areas could mean there is water trapped somewhere and that would need to be rectified. Also, inspect the driveway and look for cracks and pits. Ideally, your drive should be recoated every five years or so.

Downspouts and gutters. Winter ice buildup in eavestroughs can be damaging. Checking for leaks and damage after icy months can extend their life. Use your hose to flush out any debris and you can watch for water pooling and leaking at the same time. Making sure any downspout extensions are attached correctly is also a must since water could seep into the foundation if they’re not, leading to a damp basement.

Moisture. Water and cold air mixing is the perfect climate for creating moisture and that is something you don’t want in your home. An overly-humid house can cause a number of issues. Keeping the basement dry is crucial and you can do that by making sure your driveway, landscaping and walkways are sloping away from the house. Proper ventilation and air circulation can also help, especially in the bathroom.

Ventilation system. To ensure a clean, healthy environment in your home, the ventilation system has to be working properly. The manual for your system will explain how to clean the core of the heat exchange. Vacuuming the filters and cleaning with soap and water will get rid of the dust which could inhibit the system from doing its job properly. Bathroom fans should also be kept free of dust and debris.

Roof shingles. Maybe those brisk, northern winds took it upon themselves to take some of your roof shingles along for the ride. They will obviously need to be replaced, as will those that are cracked, loose or buckled.

Check outdoor faucets. Look for damage from freezing and any signs of dry rot in the hose. If you can’t stop the water from flowing, chances are the indoor pipe has some damage any might need replacing.

A look at landscaping. Once the ice and snow have gone, you might want to think about spring landscaping. The time is right for doing things like adding fertilizer to trees, lawns and soil beds to get a head start on the late spring/summer planting season.