Time: 2 hours
You may be tempted to skip periodic home inspections, but don’t - they are vital to preserving the value of your home and keeping your family safe. What was once cracked caulk can quickly become a $5,000 repair when water seeps in and leads to rot or mold.
This spring home checkup can be completed by any observant homeowner, but you’ll want to hire a pro if you suspect a problem.
What’s in it for you?
- Problem prevention
- Increased home value
Pro Tip: If you discover any major winter damage, check in with your home insurance agent. Most standard homeowners insurance policies provide coverage for winter-related storm damage resulting from wind, snow, ice, freezing rain and severe temperatures.
Inspect your roof every spring and evaluate it again in the fall. You may want to consider hiring a pro every year to two for a certified inspection. Without regular inspections, small repairs can grow, causing your roof to fail prematurely and costing you thousands.
You don’t necessarily need to climb up onto the roof, but every inch of the roof should be inspected. You can usually detect problem areas with a pair of binoculars and a good view. If you do detect a problem, call a pro right away. Roofing contractors can get very busy during the summer, but water damage waits for no one.
- Breaks or cracks - when shingles reach the end of their life, they begin to disintegrate.
- Shingle shift and nail pops - if shingles have shifted, the fasteners may need to be replaced.
- Buckling, curling, or blistering - if your shingles look like they’ve been raised up from the flat shingle bed, or begin curling at the ends or corners, they need to be replaced.
- Loose material on the roof - shingles are covered with granules to add weight and to protect them from the elements. If granules are spread all over the roof, it’s a sign the shingles are falling apart. Also keep an eye out for granules in your gutters.
- Chimney flashing and skylight seal damage - these areas will often fail first, and can indicate future problems with your roof.
When inspecting your attic, keep your eyes out for critters, leaks, and proper ventilation.
- Make sure insulation is dry and keep your eyes peeled for leaks, water spots, signs of rot, or mildew. If you notice any water infiltration or damage, call a pro immediately.
- Turn off the lights and look for specks of sun shining in.
- Check for proper ventilation and make sure vents are unobstructed.
- Make sure your vent screens are intact and look for signs of insects or nesting. Squirrels, raccoons, birds, and other animals can enter your home through your attic air vents and take up residence.
Give your home the 360° treatment and inspect the perimeter of your home for trouble spots. Pay particular attention to the areas under eaves and near gutter downspouts. If you notice any damage, call a pro. Water damage can lead to expensive repairs or mold problems, and reduces the resale value of your home.
- Stucco - check for cracking or separating.
- Wood - check for rot, loose or damaged boards, openings, and wood-to-soil contact.
- Masonry - check for deteriorated brick and mortar.
- Siding - check for damage and pieces that may have come loose during winter storms.
- Paint - check for blistering or bubbling, which can indicate water on the home interior.
Check your foundation for signs of deterioration or movement.
- Hairline cracks aren’t automatically cause for alarm and can be the result of concrete curing or minor settling. Mark the crack with tape, snap a photo, and check it again in a couple of months. If it has worsened, call a structural engineer. If stable, fill the crack and monitor it for future movement.
- Large or gaping masonry cracks can mean potential failure. If you can slide a nickel into a crack in your concrete floor or foundation, call a pro immediately.
Check for dampness, cracks, and pests.
- Dampness can indicate higher than normal humidity, inadequate ventilation, and the need for a dehumidifier. It may also result in a musty or clammy smell.
- Cracks usually start bottom up, not top down. Check the base of poured-concrete walls for cracks and signs of water penetration.
- Exposed framing should be examined with a flashlight. You should call a pro if you see even a small amount of tunneling on wood.
Make sure water doesn’t accumulate under your home. Standing water can create structural problems for your foundation, and lead to mold and pest issues.
- Check for water - if you have a raised foundation, there is probably a small access panel to get underneath your home. You can also look through smaller vents for signs of standing water.
- Find out where it came from - water accumulation can be caused by heavy rains and poor grading, inadequate drainage, broken downspouts, or broken water lines.
- Get it fixed - preventing accumulation depends on the source, as each requires a different solution. If you find a problem, hire a pro to fix it and make sure it doesn’t happen again in the future.
Windows & Doors
A tight seal is your home’s first line of defense against air and water, and can protect your home interior from unwanted visitors.
- Caulking and weather stripping should be inspected for tears or deformities. Make sure it is intact and watertight.
- Condensation inside glass on double- or triple-glazed windows can be indicative of a compromised weather seal. If you experienced condensation, either the glass or window will need to be replaced.
- Replace broken, worn, or missing hardware.
- Securely fasten screens and frames, which can be ruined if allowed to flap in the wind.
- Tighten and lubricate door hinges and closers.
Driveway / Walkway
Uneven surfaces around the home can be dangerous. Make sure your driveway and walkways are in good repair to prevent accidents and save yourself from costly resurfacing projects.
- Frost heaving can rupture paved surfaces. Check to make sure your driveway and walkway have made it through winter unscathed.
- Patch cracks in driveways, sidewalks and steps to keep out water and prevent further deterioration. Don’t ignore small cracks, they will become larger.
It’s almost time to break out the BBQ. Make sure your deck is safe for your family and guests.
- Look for warped, loose, or splintered boards.
- Clean away debris, such as leaves, that may have accumulated in between boards.
- Check for dry rot by digging into the wood with a screwdriver on the underside of your deck. Soft, spongy wood that is easily gouged should be treated and replaced as necessary.
- Make sure handrails are sturdy. Sun, rain and other harsh elements can cause railings and posts to deteriorate and fail. Apply pressure to vertical posts, top and bottom side rails, balusters and the top rail to make sure connections are not loose.
- Wash, seal, and treat your deck every other year for a longer lifespan.
If you find a problem, call us at 844-99-SUPER and we’ll send a Pro ASAP.