A home is a major investment, and while a home inspection is an obvious step when you go to purchase a home, most homeowners stop thinking about the value of this task after they move in. This is a big mistake. A home needs regular repairs and maintenance, and many of the issues will go unaddressed if you do not take the time to look for them.
As a homeowner, you should inspect the home at least once a year, and fall makes for the perfect opportunity. Hiring Howson Inspections every year to do this would be great because it would help to ensure that you don’t miss a single thing, but you do not even need to lay out this expense every fall. With a few tips, you can do your annual home inspection on your own, and then contact professionals like us every five years or so for a more thorough inspection.
Check the HVAC System
With the fall coming, you want to check your HVAC system to make sure that everything is working. You should definitely change the filter on your furnace and check the ductwork in the places that it is accessible. Look at the furnace and the ducts to see if there is any rusting or if any of the sections of duct have come loose. Check all of the registers and the intakes to see if they are loose or in need of repair. You may also want to consider hiring an HVAC technician to come give the system a full inspection and tune-up.
Gutters and Roof
With leaves getting ready to fall and heavy rains on the way, you should also check and clean your gutters. While you are up there, you can also take a look at the roof. Start by cleaning all of the debris from the gutter system and then flushing them out with hose. Once you have them clean, you can then look for signs of damage.
If you are comfortable getting on the roof, get up there and look for any obvious leaks or loose shingles. It is important to catch any problems with the roof or the gutters before the fall weather starts. The harsh weather that comes with fall can turn a small problem with the roof into a major issue, and if your gutters are not working, the water can damage the structure or foundation of the home.
When you inspect the exterior portions of the property, there are a lot of things that you may need to look for. You are going to want to have a look at the foundation to see if there are any cracks, check driveways and walkways for cracks and bulges, is you have a deck or any outdoor steps, you are also going to want to give them good looking over.
On the exterior of the house itself, you should look at any brickwork that you may have and check any siding or stucco. If you have a chimney, you can give this a self-inspection, but it is recommended that you get your fireplace inspected and cleaned by a professional once a year.
Around the property, you are going to want to inspect the grade. The grade should be sloping away from the foundation. If you have retaining walls, you should inspect them to make sure that they are still sound. You should also inspect any drainage system that you have on the property. If water is not being properly channeled away from the structure, it can damage the foundation.
In inspecting your house, you can also do a basic check of the electrical system. Go to all of the switches and receptacles to check for loose plates or to see if any of the boxes have come loose. While you are at the plugs, you will also want to look for signs of scorch marks. Test all of the GFCI protected outlets to ensure that they are still working. You can also look inside the panel to see if there are any loose wires. While you have the panel open, look to see if there is any scorching around breakers or wires.
Plumbing and Water
Next, you can move on to checking the plumbing and water. Inspect all of the pipes that are exposed to look for any leaks. Check all of your drains to ensure that they are working properly. Flush all of the toilets and check inside the tank to ensure that all of the parts are still in good shape. Have a look at the water heater to see if there are any signs of rust and to ensure that the pilot flame is still operating correctly. Check the hoses that connect to your washing machine. As these hoses age, they can start to deteriorate, so look for things like cracks that are starting to form.
Check to make sure that you still have good water pressure. If the pressure is low, it could be a sign that there is a problem with the line. If you have a sump pump in your basement, you may also want to check this out. Get a bucket of water and pour it in the basin. If the sump pump turns on, then you are okay. If the sump pump does not turn on, then you need to get it repaired as soon as you can.
Windows and Doors
Finally, you can do some quick checking around the interior of your home. Check to make sure that all of your doors and windows are working well. Do any of the doors or windows stick? Do you feel a draft by any of the doors or windows? Check the caulk and weather stripping, look for damage to frames and make any repairs that may be necessary. Also, make sure to check the doorknobs, hinges and the hardware on the windows.
This is just a simple inspection that a homeowner can do on their own. However, it is understandable if a person is uncomfortable performing some of these jobs. If there is anything that you do not feel capable of, it is always better to call in a professional. Even if you can do this inspection on your own, it is still a good idea to call in a professional once every few years.
If you need professional inspection services in California, contact Howson Inspections. We can inspect your house from top to bottom and we will find any issue that you should know about. Our detailed reports will include all of our findings and we can recommend solutions to help solve any problems that we may find.