If you are are current or prospective homeowner, you probably understand that there are many factors you need to take into account when maintaining your home. As a licensed home inspector, there are several issues that I notice many property owners forget about or just don’t know that they need to maintain. The following are six home maintenance tips that I think all homeowners should keep in mind:
- Make sure all your roof penetrations (i.e. vents, skylights, chimneys, and fans) are properly sealed and caulked roughly every 3-5 years. When homeowners neglect to maintain this aspect of their home, they may get leaks in the roof and not notice until it becomes a much bigger problem.
- Keep all gutters and downspouts clean and clear, free of debris, and ensure they are in good shape. If your gutters and downspouts are not attended to regularly, water can build up around the foundation and cause erosion around the perimeter of the home.
- Have your dryer vent cleaned. When dryer vents get clogged, they become a safety hazard and can even cause a fire.
- Make sure your HVAC condensation drip line is clean and free of debris. The drip line gets built up with algae and water backs up when it is not maintained. If it gets backed up, it can caused flooding in your HVAC system. I recommend pouring 1/2 cup vinegar down it every 6 months or so to keep it clean.
- Check smoke alarms frequently. Check that your smoke alarm is properly installed, and every 6 months or so check the batteries and test if the alarm is functioning.
- Test GFCI-protected outlets every 6 months. Don’t know what a GFCI outlet is? Read about them here. GFCI outlets can go bad and stop working, so they should be checked regularly by testing with the built-in test button. If it trips and shuts the breaker off when you push the test button, then it is working.
I would go further to recommend that if your house does not have them, replace your outlets with GFCI outlets anywhere within 6 feet of water, in the garage, all exterior outlets, all bathroom outlets, and all kitchen outlets. These outlets are an important improvement in the safety of home electrical outlets, and I recommend that homebuyers install them whenever I do home inspections.
Contact Dustin Hunt at (352) 453-9218 or firstname.lastname@example.org for your home inspection needs, or visit his website at fullscopeinspections.com.