House inspection checklist: 6 things you should check annually

House inspection checklist: 6 things you should check annually
Photo: Yastremska, Bigstock

Problems like loose tiles or damp may not seem like a big issue at the time but they can cause serious damage if you ignore it or don’t notice it for a long time. That’s why you should have a regular house inspection to identify potential problems in time and keep your home in a good shape and make it safe.

1. Check your drains and gutters in spring

As the snow starts to melt, it’s a good time to inspect the drainage system around your home. If you notice puddles that remain near your foundation for more than 24 hours, it could indicate a problem.
The first thing is to check the gutters for any stoppages, lose parts or leaks. If you can’t find anything wrong there, you may need to do regarding or even installing French drains. Even if you don’t notice any problems with the puddles, you still should check the gutters in your house inspection, as a lot of debris and leaves pile up there during cold months. You need the drainage system to be clear when the spring rains start.

2. Damage to walls

Exterior walls need to be regularly checked so that you can attend to the problem before it gets really serious. Take a walk around the base of the home exterior and take special attention to spots where trees and shrubs could have made damage. It’s a simple thing to trim the trees if they are too big or to dig out drainage to get rid of the excess water in the yard due to heavy rains.
You should also pay attention to any loose or damaged bricks and plaster during your house inspection. Maybe the paint is peeling or bubbling somewhere, too. There are certain products you can apply on the damp spot and professionals you can hire to replace the damaged plaster.

3. Inspect all windows and doors

Every window and door should be inspected for rust and rot, no matter if it’s wooden or metal. Windows often get forgotten, especially in houses with two floors where it isn’t easy to check them. If you annually maintain steel and wooden window frames, it will spare you the trouble of having to replace them later on.
Also, check the frames for any loose panes or cracked glass putty. Next, check if there are gaps in the plaster or bricks surrounding the frame. Lastly, check for any signs of insect infestation in case you have wooden frames.

4. Roof repairs

Don’t rush it when you’re inspecting your roof. A quick look won’t reveal a problem, so use a stepladder to really be thorough. A cracked roof tile or even a tile that’s out of place can cause some serious damage. No matter what type of roof you have, it’s crucial to spot changes on time. In case you have an IBR roof, check flashings around the edge and the quality of wear on roof washers. If you have a flat roof, you should know it’s more prone to leaks so respond immediately if you notice any loose material during your house inspection.
If the damage is significant or you simply feel it’s time for bigger changes and improvements, the smartest move is to opt for quality roof restoration and painting to be sure the whole roof is secured and free of potential issues. Additionally, if you have an older home, you should inspect flashings along the roof junction, chimneys and skylights. The mortar there is susceptible to crumbling.

5. Inspect the ductwork connections

Ducts in crawl spaces and the attic usually sag over time, making the connections very loose. This may force you to spend more money on utility costs over time, as warmth will escape through the loose parts. So, the sooner you identify this problem, the lower costs you’ll have.

6. Clean the dryer vent duct

The back of your dryer is connected to a vent, which comes out of the house. It can get buildup after some time, which increases your energy bills and, what’s worse, is a great fire risk. So, make sure you clean the vent duct properly.

Final words

If you are willing to do an annual house inspection, you will experience problems much less often. It will save you a lot of money and time, not to mention the amount of stress you will be spared from.