Home inspections often reveal issues that arise due to overlooked routine maintenance. Most often, these items can be avoided by these very simple proactive steps that can be taken by the home owner.
1. Grading, gutters and downspouts: Check for areas around the house where water does not drain away adequately and inspect the gutters and downspouts for ineffectiveness. This is best done immediately following a downpour or during a heavy rain, if it is safe to do so.
2. Walkways, driveways, patios: Check for cracking, mortar joint damage, frost heaving and other problems. You should never see a space between the soil and the underside of a flat concrete surface.
3. Windows: Check for leaks, wood rot and moisture build-up.
4. Roof: Check for debris and any damaged roofing materials on the roof and trim tree branches away from the house where needed.
5. Exterior walls: Check for cracks in the foundation, brick or stone finishes. Inspect mortar joints and caulking between the brick and other sidings.
6. Exterior siding: Check for deterioration and repair, scrape, paint and re-caulk where necessary. Look for insect activity, such as carpenter bee holes.
7. Ductwork: Adjust dampers to optimize the effectiveness of the air conditioning system.
8. Air conditioning: Check to see that the outdoor air coil is level and remove debris from inside the coil. Clean the coil by spraying with a garden hose, preferably from inside to out. Better yet, have your entire HVAC system serviced professionally. Check drain holes on window units.
9. Deck: Inspect the deck for deterioration of the floor planks, stairs and railings. Look for loose nails and bolts.
10. Washer and dryer: Clean out the clothes dryer vent and check the supply hoses to the clothes washer for wear.
Special Tip: Check for any signs of roof leaks from inside the house.