BC Housing, Licensing and Consumer Services Branch

BC Housing, Licensing and Consumer Services Branch is responsible for:

  • licensing residential builders and building envelope renovators province-wide
  • administering owner builder authorizations, and
  • carrying out research and education which benefits the residential construction industry and consumers.

1. Maintenance Matters

Owning a home is a big investment – perhaps the largest financial investment you’ll ever make. Following good maintenance practices is one of the best ways that you can protect your investment.

BC Housing’s free Maintenance Matters bulletins provide practical information on maintaining multi-unit residential buildings, including townhouses, low and high-rise residential buildings. The bulletins are helpful online resources for homeowners, strata councils, maintenance managers, housing co-operatives and building owners. They explain why maintenance needs to be performed on a regular basis and what needs to be maintained. You’ll also find practical tips and checklists to help you stay on track with important maintenance requirements that can affect the lifespan of the building components.

Visit the BC Housing website to view the 19 bulletins and select videos in the Maintenance Matters series:
https://www.bchousing.org/research-centre/library/consumer-maintenance-renewals:

No. 1: Paints, Stains and Coatings – This bulletin provides information about types of paints, stains and coatings and how they should be applied and maintained.

No. 2: Maintaining Your Roof – Read about the types of roofs, their maintenance requirements and how to identify and address common issues.

No. 3: Avoiding Condensation Problems – Learn why condensation forms, why it is a concern, how to address existing problems and how to avoid future problems.

No. 4: Residential Windows and Exterior Doors – This bulletin provides information on inspection and maintenance to ensure long-term performance of windows and exterior doors.

No. 5: Sealants – Sealants protect your building envelope from water and air. Learn about the types of sealants and their maintenance requirements.

No. 6: Decks and Balconies – This bulletin provides practical information on steps to take for proper inspection, maintenance, and long-term performance of decks and balconies.

No. 7: Building Envelope Maintenance and Renewals Planning – Learn the function of the building envelope, how maintenance affects its service life, and what to consider when planning for maintenance and replacement.

No. 8: Cladding – This bulletin explores various types of cladding and its function, and offers a checklist of common cladding maintenance items.

No. 9: Exposed Wood Structures – This bulletin outlines preventative maintenance and improvements for exposed wood structures, including wood walkways and decks, and includes an annual inspection checklist.

No. 10: At-Grade and Below-Grade Assemblies – Learn more about these assemblies and why they must be maintained. Below-grade assemblies are typically used for car and bicycle parking and storage.

No. 11: Creating and Implementing a Building Envelope Maintenance and Renewals Program – Plan for the maintenance and renewal of the physical components of your building. This bulletin looks at how to create and implement a maintenance and renewals program that will protect your building’s assets and the owners’ investment.

No. 12: Reducing Energy Use in Multi-Unit Residential Buildings – This bulletin provides an overview of where energy is consumed, and what can be done to reduce the energy consumption and lower monthly energy bills for owners, occupants and strata corporations.

No. 13: Window and Door Replacement – This bulletin addresses the key issues you should consider when replacing windows and doors, from preparing for the initial conversation with replacement contractors to selecting products, understanding installation options, and maintaining windows and doors.

No. 14: Avoiding Exhaust Duct Problems – Exhaust ducts help regulate indoor humidity by removing moist air from the home or suite to the outside. However, ducts that are not well maintained can lead to interior damage from condensation build up. This bulletin helps homeowners to identify if there are problems with their ducting, and what can be done to avoid or fix the problems.

No. 15: The Impact of Delayed Maintenance and Renewals on Buildings – Keeping up with maintenance and renewals will help ensure that you can live comfortably in your home without undue stress or unexpected expenses for many years to come. Deciding what work is required, when and how it will be implemented, who will implement it, and how it will be paid for is all part of the renewals planning process.

No. 16: Maintaining Your Heat Recovery Ventilation System – This bulletin explains the basics of Heat Recovery Ventilation based systems along with operation and maintenance guidelines to help ensure they operate as intended.

No. 17: Replacing Podium Waterproofing – Annual maintenance and inspections of podiums and perimeter drainage are important obligations for owners of multi-unit residential buildings. This bulletin informs stratas, co-operative boards, and other types of building owners on how to find the signs of water leakage, when to consider replacing podium waterproofing, and what to plan for during the replacement process.

No. 18: Repairing and Replacing Window Wall Systems – This bulletin explains when to repair or when to consider replacing the window wall system, which has become the main cladding system on many buildings in British Columbia.

No. 19: Make-Up Air Units and Corridor Pressurization – All buildings need fresh outdoor air to help control odours, humidity, and the build-up of other potentially harmful gases. In multi-unit residential buildings, fresh air, or make-up air for hallways and corridors is typically provided by a corridor pressurization system. This bulletin provides information on operating, maintaining, and replacing make-up air units and corridor pressurization systems.

2. Consumer Guides

Two new BC Housing publications have been added to the Research Centre Library.

Consumer Guide – Energy Efficient Lighting Technologies for Multi-Unit Residential Buildings
Lighting technologies and controls are changing rapidly, providing options for lighting retrofits that reduce maintenance costs associated with lamp replacement, improve safety and security, reduce energy costs and contribute to a better lifestyle and environment. This guide addresses the key issues when replacing the lighting system in multi-unit residential buildings in B.C.

Consumer Guide – Solar Photovoltaic Systems for Multi-Unit Residential Buildings
Solar photovoltaic (PV) system prices have dropped considerably. Low and mid-rise multi-unit residential buildings typically have larger roofing areas for the installation of a PV system, and the energy benefits may offset some of the buildings’ common electricity consumption. This guide provides comprehensive information on installing a PV system.

Produced in collaboration with the Condominium Home Owner’s Association (CHOA) these publications contain information useful to strata and co-operative boards, non-profit housing property managers and other type of building owners.

For more information please visit:
Licensing and Consumer Services
BC Housing