Your home is a long-term investment, so you should do your best to take care of it. Most homeowners understand the importance of basic maintenance, so I won’t get into that in this particular post. They will have their roofs and foundation inspected every few years, the gutters cleaned once a year and the basement inspected for mold once every couple of years. However, routine maintenance can sometimes miss the signs of damage that could force you to spend a lot of money on repairs.
A thorough home inspection can find the problem areas in your home. It will also allow you to act quickly to prevent further damage. Here are a few things to look for during your own maintenance and inspections at home.
Water Spots in the Attic or ceiling
This is a sign that the roof is leaking, but the damage might not be too bad. In some cases, a few damaged tiles or shingles could be the cause. On the other hand, if the roof is old, this could be a sign that it is nearing the end of its life. If you notice dampness in the walls or ceiling in the attic, it is time to call a certified roofer for repairs.
Dampness in the Basement or Crawl Space
The basement is one area of the home that should never be ignored. Excess moisture will lead to the growth of mold, which can cause serious health problems for everyone in the home. Check the walls for flaking paint as this is a sure indicator of moisture. Downspouts must be properly positioned so that they take rain water away from your foundation, and they must be kept clean and free of debris to ensure that they are working properly year-round.
If exterior walls start to develop cracks or the paint starts to peel and flake, there is a reason. In most cases, this could be due to water damage. Sometimes it could be due to rotting board or even insect infestation depending on the type of material. These are problems that a simple paint job won’t cover. Some areas may need to be caulked or replaced, but you won’t know the extent of the damage without an inspection by a home inspector or a general contractor.
If you have high energy bills the caulk around the windows may be loose or cracked. Even a small space is enough to allow air to escape. Failing to deal with the problem right away will lead to a higher repair bill. Spaces in windows can also allow water inside, which can cause damage to the walls leading to other problems that require immediate attention.
Your Walk-Through Should Include
As the homeowner, your personal inspection and walk-through should cover every area of your home including the HVAC system, the plumbing, roofing and the electrical system. Even minor problems can diminish the value of your home so you need to know exactly where they are. Call me any time for advice on performing your own inspection or to hire me for a professional inspection. With my help you will know if there are hard-to-spot problems that will lead to big expenses later on.