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Maintenance

Discover tips and resources for maintaining your property and enhancing the quality of your tenants' housing.

Maintenance planning

Determining the amount of maintenance individual building components need is the goal of maintenance planning. Here are some common categories for you to consider:

  • Regular maintenance – All building components can last longer if you have a preventative maintenance plan in place.
  • Safety of your tenants – Make sure that your property and building is free of hazards. Take care of any problems right away.
  • Regular inspections – Spot small problems and take care of them before they become big and expensive.

Regular unit inspections – Plan for future repairs and take care of any immediate repairs that are needed without delay.

Maintenance resources

Maintenance is a combination of technical and administrative tasks intended to keep building components working well. In Chapter 2 of the Managing Housing Assets Guide, you’ll find valuable information to guide your maintenance planning. Chapter 2 also includes information on regular, cyclical and emergency maintenance and how you can prepare for each. The following table highlights some of the common components that need maintenance in today’s more complex buildings.

Building System Action Frequency
Building controls Review any programmed controls or time clocks to ensure they’re working properly Monthly
Common cleaning products Consider using only environmentally friendly cleaning products | GreenSeal labels Always
Domestic hot water
  • Inspect system components
  • Drain and descale tank
  • Reduce water heater set point temperature
Annually

Heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC)

  • Clean coils
  • Change filters
  • Oil motors
  • Check heat exchangers for water leaks and corrosion
  • Check for excessive heat due to pump overuse or strain
  • Check for soot or corrosion (signs of incomplete combustion or poor venting of combustion gases)
Quarterly
Heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC)
  • Arrange professional inspection
  • Lubricate pumps
  • Clean ducts
  • Locate and seal duct leaks
Annually
Laundry
  • Check and clean dryer exhaust ductwork
Semi-annually
Laundry
  • Check and clean dryer filter
Daily
Lighting
  • Replace incandescent bulbs with CFLs (or LEDs as they become more readily available)
  • Consider installing occupancy and/or daylight sensors
  • When changing lamps, inspect ballasts and clean fixtures
  • Learn and use the correct disposal and safe handling instructions for CFLs
As-needed
Plug loads
  • Use power bars to switch common space electrical equipment off when unneeded (avoid phantom power charges)
Always
Renewable energy
  • Wash off solar panels with warm, soapy water and a soft brush
Quarterly
Replacement product selection
  • Ensure replacement appliances are Energy Star labelled (refrigerators, washing machines, dishwashers, bathroom ventilation fans)
  • Ensure replacement carpet is low volatile organic compound (VOC) and meets CRI Green Label testing
  • Ensure interior paint and coatings are low VOC and meet the Green Seal GC_11 Standard and minimum VOC limits in accordance with LEED® Canada
  • Install aerated low-flow bathroom fixtures, including bath faucets (max. 5.7 LPM/1.5 GPM) and kitchen faucets and showerheads (max. 7.6 LPM/2.0 GPM) in accordance with LEED® Canada and WaterSense
  • Install low-flush or dual-flush toilets that comply with the latest edition Maximum Performance (MaP) testing rated at 1,000 gram of waste per flush
As-needed
Water
  • Check for leaks (toilets, faucets, tanks, etc.)
  • Install faucet aerators in bathroom and kitchen faucets and showerheads (see max flow rates in Replacement Product Selection above)
  • Remove and clean the wire screens or aerators of sediment and buildup
As-needed

Common issues

Bed bugs

Bed bug infestation is a major problem for tenants and operators. Health and mental well-being can be seriously affected by prolonged exposure to bed bugs and other insects, such as cockroaches and mites. Low-barrier and hard-to-house facilities are more vulnerable to infestation.

Bed bugs can be difficult to eradicate once they appear. View the Bed Bug Information for Emergency Shelters fact sheet for general advice for managing a bed bug infestation.

Bed bug treatment options

There are a variety of different methods to eradicate bed bugs, including:

  • Chemical sprays
  • Steam
  • Cold treatment
  • Heat treatment (including both portable and heat treatment rooms)
  • Diatomaceous earth

Talk to a local pest control provider to determine the best methods for each situation.

Mould management

Mould is a fact of life. Moulds will grow practically everywhere people live and work. Mould is recognized as an occupational hazard for indoor workers as well as outdoor workers who work in warm and humid environments. All moulds are not harmful. However, certain types of moulds can cause adverse health effects.

You can read more information on mould management in Chapter 6.3 of the .

Our Mould Management Guide is a helpful resource that provides tips on cleaning mould from many areas of the home.