PRIORITY MAINTENANCE FOR HOMEOWNERS
There are so many home maintenance and repair items that are important, it can be confusing trying to establish which are the most critical. To simplify things, we have compiled a short list of our favorites. These are by no means all-inclusive, nor do they replace any of the information in a home inspection report. They should, however, help you get started on the right foot. Remember, any items marked as priority or safety issues on your home inspection report need immediate attention.
ONE TIME TASKS
- Install smoke detectors as necessary (usually one on each level of the home, near any sleeping areas).
- Make any electrical improvements recommended in the home inspection report.
- Remove any wood/soil contact to prevent rot and insect damage.
- Change the locks on all doors.
- Remove or correct trip hazards such as broken or uneven walks, patios and driveways. Loose or torn carpet or flooring should also be repaired promptly.
- Correct unsafe stairways and landings. (Treads uneven, too narrow, sloped, loose; risers irregular or too high; landings missing, poorly lit or too small; railings missing, loose, too low, et cetera).
- Have all chimneys inspected and serviced before operating any of these appliances.
- Locate and mark the shut-offs for the heating, electrical and plumbing systems.
- If there is a septic system, have the tank inspected, and pumped if necessary. If the house is on a private water supply (well), set up a regular testing procedure for check-ing water quality.
- If the house has a basement or crawl space, read Section 10.0, Basement Leakage in the Interior Section of the Home Reference Book.
REGULAR MAINTENANCE ITEMS
- Clean the gutters in the spring and fall.
- Check for damaged roofing and flashing materials twice a year.
- Cut back trees and shrubs from the house walls, roof and air conditioning system as needed.
- Clean the tracks on horizontal sliding windows annually, and ensure the drain holes are clear.
- Test ground fault circuit interrupters using the test button, monthly.
- Service furnace or boiler yearly.
- Check furnace filters, humidifiers and electronic air cleaners monthly.
- Check the bathtub and shower caulking monthly and improve promptly as needed.
- If you are in a climate where freezing occurs, shut off outdoor water faucets in the fall.
- Install and re-secure door stops as needed.
- Check attics for evidence of leaks and condensation and make sure vents are not
- obstructed, at least twice a year. (Provide access into all attics and crawl spaces.)