We’ve enjoyed yet another wonderful summer, and as the kids return to school, we’re reminded that fall is right around the corner. Before you get ahead of yourself and begin packing up the grill for winter, let’s walk around our home or business building, identifying areas requiring maintenance or repair. While these are great tips as you move into a new season, it’s also helpful to follow these inspection tips before kicking off a home renovation project, as issues found can be addressed during construction.
Walk around the exterior of your building, paying close attention to any entryways, looking for signs of dry rot or other damage. A common place to find rot is around entryways, such as the threshold or door frame. If the rot is minor, you’ll likely be able to cut away the damaged portion, apply a treatment to kill any mold or mildew, and then patch it and re-seal (or paint) the wood.
Look at concrete work around entryways as well—a sinking slab can cause water to drain toward your structure, creating more problems for your door frames, and even your basement or crawl space. If you notice a section sinking, this is more challenging to repair, often requiring the help of a professional.
Inspect your soffits and siding or bricks. A hole in your siding or soffit can be a great entry point for critters to get into the walls and attic of your property. If you find any, patch them up and look in your attic for signs of animals such as nesting, droppings, or disturbed insulation.
Look at the sealant/caulking around windows and doors; if you see open gaps or cracks, fill them with a durable color-matched caulking available at most hardware stores. Common colors are bright white and cream, but bigger hardware warehouses will offer a rainbow of colors to closely match your home or trim exterior
How’s your HVAC system working? Check that both heat and air conditioning blow hot and cold respectively, and check and/or replace your filters for higher efficiency and reduce the number allergens circulated. At least once per year have your HVAC system serviced by a professional. The common areas they will service are sensors and burners (furnace), and the cooling fins (air conditioning unit).
Change your smoke and carbon monoxide sensor batteries, or if the units are 10 years or older, replace. Hint: if you don’t have the install/purchase date available, most times manufacturers will put the manufacture date on the inside or bottom of the unit. After replacing batteries, test the unit to ensure it functions properly.
Check your plumbing to ensure all drains are evacuating well, and faucets don’t drip and and have strong water flow when turned on. Depending on your community’s water supply, you should also check the mineral deposits in your hot water heater. Most modern water heaters have a hose bib with a shut-off valve near the bottom. A good practice for proper maintenance is to connect a common garden hose to this bib, run it out to a safe part of your property or a storm drain, and drain your water heater entirely, which should flush most of the sediment at the bottom of your water heater. This will help extend the lifespan of your water heater. NOTE: The water will be HOT, so don’t hold the hose as you drain it!
Visually inspect your electrical sockets to make sure none are cracked or loose. With the level of risk involved in limited training working with electricity, we recommend hiring a professional electrician to perform any repairs you identify in your inspection.
While this isn’t an exhaustive list of areas to inspect, the tips listed above should be a great starting point for inspecting your structure and key infrastructure components which are both helpful for preparing your home for another season, but also a great starting point before you embark on any home construction projects. As always, if you’re performing exterior construction or excavation, give us a call or fill out our rental fence quote form online for a fast and free project quote!