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Seasonal home maintenance checklist & Tips

As the seasons change, there are home maintenance tas​ks you can do to protect your home. We've put together a seasonal home maintenance checklist; discover what to do in the spring to protect against summer storms, and fall tasks to help you prepare for winter.

Our checklist will help you schedule your yearly home maintenance to take care of your property and tips to help you do so safely.

You'll also find information on the space our crews need to work safely on equipment in your community throughout the seasons. Awareness can help protect your home and keep your family and our team safe.

 

​​ In and around your home​

Below are things you can do in and around your home to help protect your property throughout the year. Our annual home maintenance checklist covers all four seasons including tasks to winterize your home and what you should know before planting this summer.

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​Backwater valves    

Check your backwater valve in spring and fall. Maintaining your backwater valve is key to helping protect your home from sewer backups. ​Learn more about how to mai​ntain your backwater valve.

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​Frozen water lines​   

Outside water lines can freeze when frost goes below the waterline and water lines inside your home can freeze in extreme cold. As part of your fall home maintenance, help prepare your home for winter; turn off outside taps, remove connected hoses, and check to ensure pipes are insulated. During the winter months check your pipes when temperatures get really low.​ Learn more about how to prevent your pipes from freezing.

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​Tree and shrub maintenance       

If you have a tree or shrub that has grown too close to power lines, do not prune them without getting help first. If trees are near the overhead service line to your home, call us. We can shut off your power so you can work safely. We do this free-of-charge.

If your tree is growing close to the power lines that run from pole-to-​​pole, stay 7 metres away and hire a professional arborist to trim it for you. An arborist will have the experience and tools to do it safely.​ Learn more about how to safely​ prune your trees or how to request a tree trimming.

​Planting and digging     

If you are planting anything in your yard, contact Utility Safety Partners before you dig. This free service will mark your utility lines to help prevent damage to underground lines and possible injury. You should call before you dig for any project, like building a fence or deck.

Do not dig near power poles, transformers, and switching cubicles. There are grids installed underground up to one metre from transformers and cubicles - digging near them is not safe. As trees and plants grow, they can get too close to power lines and cause a safety risk​. Our crews also need space to work on this equipment safely. ​ Learn more about clearance requirements​​ around safety equipment.

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​Maintenance and safe storage of rain barrels     

In Fall, ensure you store your rain barrel safely for the winter months to protect your home from flooding in the spring. Drain your barrel and store it upside down so it does not collect snow over the winter months. Ideally you should keep your barrel in a shed or garage as barrels left outside in the winter may crack.

Learn more about maintaining your rain barrel​ over the spring and summer.

​Clean eavestroughs / downspouts  

Gutter cleaning is important in the fall. Leaves and debris can collect in the eavestroughs and clog them. If water can't run through your gutters and downspouts, it can spill over, causing pooling next to your foundation. This may lead to basement flooding. Plan to clean your eavestroughs in spring and fall. If you notice leaks or damage, repair or replace them as soon as possible.

When cleaning out your gutters, be mindful of nearby overhead power lines. Al​ways make sure you have safe clearance for your ladder​ before you start the job.

​Clean window wells     

Window well maintenance​ is important to protect your basement from flooding. ​Just like your gutters, you want to clear out leaves, dirt and debris from your window wells that may prevent your window wells from properly draining​. This should be done as part of your spring and fall home maintenance and after major weather events in the summer.

​Water shut off valve and leaks on your property        

Check for any water leaks on your property ​as part of your regular maintenance. Homeowner responsibilities include fixing problems with water fixtures, plumbing and lines within your home and property, including the pipe connected to the water meter. Your water utility company is responsible for the water meter itself and pipes leading up to your property line.

If there's a problem with your plumbing, you might need to shut off the water coming to your home. Get familiar with the water pipes on your property, know how to use your water shut off valve and contact us if you need to shut the water off at your property line.

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Safety tips

A few safety tips to help you keep safe while working to maintain your property.

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Digging in your yard

You should contact Utility Safety Partners before you dig for any project, from planting to building a fence or deck. This free service will come and mark your utility lines before you dig. Marking the lines will help prevent damaging water, electricity, drainage, and natural gas lines. Learn more about safety and clearance requirements around power equipment.

Be careful using ladders around power lines

If you're using a ladder to tackle your home maintenance checklist, be extra careful around overhead power lines. Ladder safety is always important but working around power lines creates another hazard. When cleaning gutters, trimming trees, or putting up Christmas lights, look for overhead lines first.  Know how to identify types of power lines & clearance requirements. Never work too close to power lines.

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Around your neighborho​od

We've included a list of things you can do around your neighborhood to help protect your property and keep people working in your community safe.

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​Catch basins​   

Catch basins are curbside drains that move stormwater and snowmelt into the city drainage system. Without them, the streets would flood. Help keep water moving and clear debris, ice, and snow from the catch basin near your house. In the winter, dig a little trench through the snow to the basin to help snowmelt drain. ​If your catch basin isn't d​raining, it could be frozen or damaged. Call our 24/7 emergency line.

​Keep space around transformers       

Transformers are those green or grey boxes on some front yards next to the sidewalk. They help route power to your home. If you have one on your property, you must make sure it's not blocked. If the power is out, our crews may need to access it to get power back on in your neighborhood. To work safely, our crews need room and solid footing. The area needs to be clear of trees, shrubs, decorative rock, or other landscaping features. The easier they can do their work, the sooner they can get the electricity back on.​

​Keep space for fire hydrants       

A fire hydrant on property is one of your homeowner responsibilities. Fire hydrants need space around them for fire crews to work. Do not park in front of a fire hydrant. Ensure there aren't trees, plants, fences, or other landscaping features too close to it. Fire hydrants need to be inspected each year to make sure they're working properly. Learn how EPCOR can help you with hydrant maintenance programs.​

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Report trees on powerlines

If you see any downed trees on power lines in your community report it to EPCOR immediately, and if you're worried about a tree growing too close to a power line, you can request a tree trimming​. Stay at least 7 metres away from the power lines because electricity can arc.

​Make sure water meters are accessible 

Water meter readers need a clear path to the water meter​ on your property so they can read it safely. In the winter, clearing a snow path for the meter readers is one of your homeowner responsibilities. That includes keeping your driveway and walkways cleared of ice and snow and making a path through the snowy yard. Don't block the meter with a fence, deck, shed, or other landscaping.​

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Call our 24/7 emergency line if your infrastructure is broken or damagedCall (780) 412-4500