Proper property maintenance is critical in making sure your home lasts your family a very long time. If you do an excellent job of taking care of your property, it will last several lifetimes. There are many things you need to check to ensure your home stays in tip-top shape.
Usually, home inspections are required only when one sells or purchases a home. To be on the safe side, conduct a personal investigation whenever the need arises. It is imperative to inspect your home when a natural disaster such as floods, earthquakes or even fire occurs.
Better yet to always keep an eye out for any telltale signs of structural damage such as small cracks or mould. Here is a complete list of what to keep an eye out for when observing any potential hazards for your home.
10 Structural Problems
This refers to any possible damage caused by excessive moisture and improper drainage. It is possible for water to seep into your home from the smallest crack or tiniest hole in your roof or walls.
Once moisture gets into your home, it will accumulate on the most sensitive parts of the foundation. Prolonged exposure to moisture will cause all sorts of water damage and even mould.
When water damage sets in; it will be expensive to have fixed.
Give all the visible pipes in your plumbing system a good once over every six months. It won’t hurt to double check each section to verify a leak-free plumbing system. To ensure your drains are always clear conduct a cleanse of the pipes maybe once a month.
That includes all the bathroom fixtures, bathtubs, sinks, taps, showers, laundry area and everything in between. Make sure they are all in good working order. Another thing to check on would be the trees around your property.
Some trees that are too close to your underground pipes can cause damage to them due to their roots. Overgrown roots could grow through various pipes, and they are known even to puncture septic tanks. To be safe and for some peace of mind, have your home surveyed by a professional to find out if there is any damage to your pipework.
Be careful where you position the trees around your property and replace the pipes that have been damaged.
Trees Causing Damage
The sight of tall, large trees in your property is something to behold, especially if you live in the city or suburbs. They are great to have around the borders of your property lot. However, having them too close to the house itself can be a bad thing as well.
Trees that are positioned too close to your home can end up causing structural damage to your house. A tree’s roots are extremely strong and can even puncture the cement and concrete foundation of your home.
Tree roots have also been known to puncture septic tanks if they are made from thin metal, hard plastic or concrete. A punctured septic tank is not very pleasant to say the least and will cost a substantial amount to fix or replace.
Another danger of having trees too close to your house are overhanging branches. Branches that are looming over your home’s roof pose a great danger to the integrity of your rooftop. A strong wind or thunderstorm holds the possibility of the branch crashing down into your home.
Pruning your trees with a loper or a saw to keep wayward branches from your rooftop is a must. Correct pruning will prevent any disastrous scenarios of falling branches and damaged rooftops. Be careful with over pruning as that can also lead to the death of your beloved tree.
Making sure you have a smooth running HVAC(Heating Ventilation & Air conditioning) system is also essential. There are six ways you can to keep your HVAC system running like brand new and free from any significant headaches.
Check on your HVAC system yourself. Usually the outside unit is left alone and sometimes forgotten until the day that the air conditioning stops working. Cleaning the outside unit is part of basic maintenance and it won’t take long to do. If you don’t want to do it yourself, schedule a service call.
When a HVAC system fails, more often than not it is due to a problem with the electrical system. The capacitor, contactor or condenser fan motor are the three parts most likely to give out due to lack of maintenance or overuse. Check on these to keep your system running well.
Change your HVAC air filter once every three months. Doing this simple task can save you up to fifteen percent on your electric bill. Regularly replacing your air filter will also keep your indoor air cleaner and will allow your HVAC system to work smoothly.
Keeping your indoor temperature at a comfortable level is also a good way to make sure your HVAC systems lasts a long time. If the temperature in your home is set to freezing during the summer and you never turn it off then that will put a lot of stress on the systems many parts.
Overloading may cause one of those pieces to break down which will merit an expensive service call to repair or replace the broken part.
Go around the empty room in your home and make sure the air vents to those rooms are closed. There really is no point in cooling or heating an empty room, you are just throwing money out the window.
The foundation of the house is one of the most Important focal points on the structural integrity of a home. If there is a lot of moisture getting into the foundation that can be one of the main reasons for a crack in the foundation.
It is best to always check the foundation for any horizontal, vertical and particularly stairway cracks on the foundation of your home. During a natural disaster such as an earthquake, it is vital to double check if your foundation was damaged in any way.
If your windows or doors are not closing as they should anymore, one possible reason could be a shifting foundation.
Uneven Flooring, Ceiling and Walls
An excellent way to quickly scan your ceiling, walls and flooring is to use a flashlight or torch. Using the powerful light beam of a flashlight will allow you to view the imperfections on these surfaces commonly not seen with the naked eye.
If there are unusual depressions on the surface, then that would indicate that there is something wrong which would prompt you to investigate further.
The driveway is a vital part of your house; this is where your expensive cars pass every single day. Even though it is finished in cement or concrete, it is still prone to wear and tear and can get damaged just like anything else.
If there are large trees near your driveway, then the roots of those trees can burrow under your driveway which may cause some damage. Fortunately fixing a driveway is fairly straightforward and can be quickly resolved.
Check with the neighbours or local community about any ongoing pest infestation and check to see if you are affected by the outbreak. An easy method to check if you have pests in your home is to test any exposed wood and try to observe for any hollow sounds.
Check if the piece of wood is soft or even spongy that is a good indication that you have a pest problem, which in this case would be termites. Check if the pieces of wood in your home are falling apart or if small holes are popping up that is another sure sign of a pest infestation. You can also check on
Go up to the attic to check on your insulation. If your roof incurred damage over the past several months without you noticing, then your insulation could be one of the first things affected. Replace any insulation that has been damaged to keep your home energy efficient.
This is the central shield of your home; the roof protects your house from all the elements. The blazing heat of the sun, tumultuous rains, heavy snow and maybe even hailstorms. Your roof takes a lot of beatings, and you need to make sure that it can handle what nature dishes out.
When you check and see there are damaged areas in your roof then go ahead and make the appropriate repairs as soon as you can. Your roof needs to always be in the best shape possible. The smallest crevice or hole can lead to a series of other structural problems.
Having a well-maintained roof will prevent any significant headaches like moisture or pests from getting inside your roof and rotting the wood.
Schedule a specific period for you to go around your home and conduct a personal inspection of all the vital parts of your house. It is essential to make sure that each separate system is in good working order.
Doing this task of personally inspecting everything once or twice a year will be all that is needed to keep your home maintained. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, in the case of home maintenance, these words have never been more accurate.
Guy is a home improvements and gardening blogger. When he purchased his first home – a fixer-upper – he had to learn a lot about doing renovations and various jobs around the home and garden himself. Now he passes his knowledge on via his blog Guy About Home.