One of the often-overlooked benefits of having a home inspection is gaining valuable knowledge that can help a prospective homeowner keep the home in top shape for years to come. In addition to providing a complete visual/operational roof-to-foundation inspection, certified home inspectors, like those at A-Pro Home Inspection, are filled with insights about what it takes to maintain a home—helping homeowners save money by enabling them to get the maximum number of years out of various systems and components.
Home maintenance recommendations will appear in the home inspection report. If you choose to accompany the home inspector while they are going through the home, it’s a good opportunity to ask questions and get immediate answers from an individual with years of experience inspecting properties of all kinds. Even one smart maintenance tip could save you thousands—and best of all, most home maintenance actions are simple to do and won’t put a dent in your wallet, unlike a major repair or replacement that results from neglect.
Received a Good Home Inspection Report? That’s Just the Beginning.
Here’s something critical to remember about a home inspection—the inspector will be assessing the condition of the home “at the time” of the inspection. Once you move in, you’ll need to take charge by putting into place monthly, quarterly, annual, and seasonal measures to keep up with maintenance as the house changes over time. This will help prevent minor issues from blossoming into expensive ones.
First, come up with a home maintenance plan and stick to it. Like regularly changing oil in your car, your home requires the same level of vigilance. And just like an automobile suffers from wear, so does your home as time goes on.
At the top of your home maintenance plan should be hiring an inspector from A-Pro to perform a Home Maintenance Inspection. This includes checking components that show signs of delayed maintenance or pose a threat to personal safety. A-Pro works with homeowners to access areas that are not examined during a visual-only inspection. The goal is to detect potential system failures or other issues to allow the homeowner to make informed and prioritized repairs while hopefully avoiding major home repair costs. Here are some of the checkups included in a Home Maintenance Inspection:
Roof: Roof coverings; gutters and downspouts; vents, flashing, skylights, chimneys, and roof penetrations.
Exterior: Siding, flashing, and trim; exterior doors, windows, decks, stoops, steps, stairs, porches, railings, eaves, soffits, and fascias; potentially hazardous spacing between intermediate balusters, spindles, or rails for steps, stairways, balconies, and railings.
Basement, Foundation, and Crawlspaces: The inspector will check visible structural components for cracks, moisture, and other issues.
Heating and Cooling: This inspection determines if the systems turn on as they should when operated.
Plumbing: Water heater; check interior water supply, drain, vent, and waste systems for active leaks; drainage sump pumps; deficiencies in the installation of hot and cold water supplies; main shut-off valves.
Electrical: Service drop; meter socket enclosures; means for connecting the service main; panel boards and overcurrent devices; unused circuit breaker openings; AFCI-protected receptacles; GFCI receptacles and circuit breakers; receptacles that display no power, incorrect polarity, no cover, evidence of arcing or excessive heat, or lack of grounding; absence of smoke detectors.
Fireplace: Inspect the fireplace; open and close the damper door if possible.
Attic, Ventilation, and Insulation: Check the insulation in unfinished spaces, lack of insulation, and attic ventilation.
Doors, Windows, and Interior: Walls, ceilings, steps, stairways and railings; baluster, spindle, and rail spacing; garage door, garage door openers, and sensors.
In addition to having a home inspector perform a Home Maintenance Inspection, there are a number of steps you should personally take to prevent problems, such as clearing dead plants and shrubs from the house, trimming branches overhanging the roof, regularly changing furnace filters, checking to see if fire extinguishers are accessible and have not expired, replacing smoke detector batteries, cleaning gutters, and hiring a contractor for an annual cleaning/tune-up of your furnace before winter and air conditioning system before summer.
Finally, consider additional inspections available from A-Pro that are beyond the scope of the traditional Home Maintenance Inspection. A-Pro specializes in inspections for radon, termites, and other wood-destroying insects, mold, carbon monoxide, lead paint, and more. Bottom line: A conscientious home inspection company like A-Pro can stand with you throughout the life of your home, helping you protect your investment and save you money.