MAINTAINING YOUR HOME

American Society Of Home Inspectors, Inc.

The following is a list of items that need maintaining in all homes and the time of year to perform. 

 

P=Periodically     S=Spring     F=Fall     A=Annually

P

S

F

A

I

FOUNDATION & MASONRY: Basements, Exterior Walls: To prevent seepage and condensation problems.

 

 

 

 

a.

Check basement for dampness and leakage after wet weather.

X

 

 

 

b.

Check foundation walls, steps, retaining walls, walks, patios, driveways, garage floors, etc., for cracks, heaving, crumbling.

 

X

 

 

c.

Check chimneys, deteriorated chimney caps, loose and missing mortar.

 

X

X

 

d.

Maintain grading sloped away from foundation walls.

 

 

 

X

II

ROOFS & GUTTERS: To prevent roof leaks, condensation, seepage and decay problems.

 

 

 

 

a.

Check for damaged, loose or missing shingles, blisters.

 

X

X

 

b.

Check for leaking, misaligned or damaged gutters, downspouts (leaders) hangers (straps), gutter guards and strainers.

 

X

X

 

c.

Clean gutters, leaders, strainers, window wells, drains. Be sure downspouts direct water away from foundation.

X

 

 

 

d.

Cut back tree limbs growing on or over roof.

 

 

X

 

e.

Check antenna supports for sturdiness and possible source of leakage.

 

 

 

X

f.

Check flashings around roof stacks, vents, skylights, chimneys, as sources of leakage.

 

X

X

 

g.

Check vents, louvers and chimneys for birds nests, squirrels, insects.

 

X

X

 

h.

Check fascias and soffits for paint flaking, leakage and decay.

 

X

 

 

III

EXTERIOR WALLS To prevent paint failure, decay and moisture penetration problems.

 

 

 

 

a.

Check painted surface for paint flaking or paint failure.

 

X

 

 

b.

Check siding, shingles and trim for damage, looseness, warping and decay.

X

 

 

 

c.

Check exterior masonry walls for cracks, looseness, missing or broken mortar.

 

X

 

 

d.

Cut back and trim shrubbery against sidewalls.

 

X

X

 

IV

DOORS AND WINDOWS: To prevent air and weather penetration problems.

 

 

 

 

a.

Check for decay around doors, windows, corner boards, joints. Recaulk as needed.

 

 

X

 

b.

Check glazing putty around windows.

 

 

X

 

c.

Check weather-stripping.

 

 

X

 

V

ELECTRICAL: For safe electrical performance.

 

 

 

 

a.

Learn location of electrical panel box for breakers or fuses. Never overfuse.

X

 

 

 

b.

Trip circuit breakers every six months and ground circuit fault interrupters (GFCI), monthly.

X

 

 

 

c.

Mark and label each electrical panel box circuit.

X

 

 

 

d.

Check condition of lamp cords, extension cords and plugs. Replace at first sign of wear and damage.

X

 

 

 

e.

Check exposed wiring and cable for wear or damage.

 

 

 

X

f.

If fuses blow or breakers trip frequently, have a licensed electrician determine cause.

X

 

 

 

g.

If you experience slight tingling shock from handling or touching any appliance, disconnect the appliance and have it repaired. If lights flicker or dim, or if appliances go on and off unnecessarily, call a licensed electrician.

X

 

 

 

VI

PLUMBING: For preventive maintenance. -

 

 

 

 

a.

Check faucets, hose bibbs and valves for leakage.

X

 

 

 

b.

Drain exterior hose bibbs (water faucets), hose bibbs, sprinklers, pool equipment in the fall.

 

 

X

 

c.

Check for leaks at sinks, plumbing traps and sewer cleanouts.

X

 

 

 

d.

Draw off sediment in water heaters yearly or per manufacturer’s instructions.

X

 

 

 

e.

Have septic tank cleaned every 5 years.

 

 

 

 

VII

HEATING & COOLING: For comfort, efficiency, energy conservation and safety.

 

 

 

 

a.

Change or clean furnace filters, air conditioning filters, electronic filters as needed.

X

 

 

 

b.

Clean and service humidifier. Check periodically and annually.

X

 

 

X

c.

Have heating equipment serviced annually.

 

 

 

X

d.

Clean around heating and cooling equipment, removing leaves, dust, overgrown shrubbery, debris. Be sure power is off!

X

 

 

 

e.

On steam systems, ‘blow off" or drain low water cut-off per manufacturer’s instructions or instruction tag.

X

 

 

 

VIII

INTERIOR: General house maintenance.

 

 

 

 

a.

Check bathroom tile joints, tub grouting and caulking. Be sure all tile joints in bathrooms are kept sealed with tile grout to prevent damaged to walls, floors and ceilings below.

X

 

 

 

b.

To prevent freezing of water pipes, keep garage doors closed in winter. Exposed water lines and drains should be wrapped with insulation.

 

 

 

 

c.

Close crawl vents in winter and open in summer.

 

X

X

 

d.

Check underside of roof for water stains, leaks, dampness and condensation, particularly in attics and around chimneys.

 

 

 

X

e.

Keep attic louvers and vents open all year round. Check louver screening.

 

 

 

X

IX

Know the location of:

 

 

 

 

a.

The main water shut off valve.

 

 

 

 

b.

The main electrical disconnect or breaker.

 

 

 

 

c.

The main emergency shut off switch for the heating system.