Spring is here, the flowers are coming up and I am often asked, “So now that it’s spring, what should we check around our home to make sure everything is OK?”
One of the most frequent issues inspectors like Jerry Black encounter is what most people call “deferred maintenance.” These are usually things around your home for months or years that you are so used to seeing you don’t even recognize it.
One major issue is gutters or downspouts that drain water right along the foundation wall. It has been that way so long you don’t even notice it anymore. Water draining at the foundation will eventually make it into your crawlspace. Water in the crawlspace creates many other issues like fungal growth on floor joists, subflooring, insulation and ductwork. In addition, prolonged exposure to moisture can damage the foundation and could cause other significant structural issues. Something as simple as those black discharge tubes at the end of your downspout elbows diverting water away from your home could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars in the future.
Some other spring maintenance items include caulking around windows and doors to prevent moisture or air intrusion and repairing or replacing the weather strip at exterior doors so the doors seal tightly to prevent moisture, air and bugs from getting inside your home. It’s also a good idea to have your HVAC unit serviced by a licensed contractor to ensure it is running at its optimal efficiency.
Check for blistered and peeling paint on any exterior wooden surfaces. If you can see the wood through the paint, you need to scrape the loose paint, clean the surface, prime the wood and put a good coat of exterior paint on that surface. Two coats would be even better! If you can see the wood surface, it is going to rot, which means over time you will be replacing wood instead of just painting.
These are just a few helpful hints from a home inspector that sees these deferred maintenance items daily. If some if these items had been addressed earlier at many of the homes we have inspected, homeowners could have prevented thousands of dollars in repairs. Here’s to a great spring of taking care of the little things!
Jerry Black is the owner of Pillar To Post: The Jerry & Debbie Black Team, a franchise started in 1997. Jerry joined the company in 2001. Since 1997, Pillar To Post has conducted over 16,000 inspection in Middle TN.
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