Home Inspection – Maintenance Plan Information. As a certified home inspector in Mississauga, I’ve been trained to identify deficiencies in a home. The majority of deficiencies I observe are related to improper maintenance which, when left unattended too long, can lead to very expensive repairs.
Naturally, these types of deficiencies are generally left until such time that the owners are strongly motivated to act, such as when planning to buy or sell a home. At that point, my services are called upon to give their home a full and thorough inspection and the delayed maintenance can translate into a very expensive repair.
I believe a home maintenance plan should be created for every home; and even better, that it can be created with a minimum of effort. I’ve summarized some of the biggest culprits of home repair expense caused by improper maintenance, and I’ve outlined what you as a homeowner can do to inspect your homes, identify potential problem areas early, and act on the result before repairs become intensive and costly.
Keep moisture away from foundation wall:
- Ensure all downspouts extend to a minimum of 4ft away from the foundation wall.
- Do not plant flowerbeds, trees, bushes next to the foundation wall.
- Ensure proper grading of your property, sloping water away from the foundation.
Extend the life of your roof:
- Keep surrounding trees well-trimmed so they do not make contact with the roof.
- Check your roof a minimum of twice a year for missing, out of place, or curled roof. components. Use binoculars to inspect from the ground. Leave the roof walking to the professionals!
- Clean your gutters and downspouts twice a year.
- If water drains slowly from your sinks, bathtubs, or toilets, verify that the plumbing vents are working properly.
- Be sure thermostats on hot water heaters are set to a maximum of 125 degrees Fahrenheit to prevent scalding and save energy.
- Turn off non-“Freeze-Proof” external hose faucets from inside the house before the cold temperatures set in.
- Clean and service your furnace every year.
- Change your air filter regularly and as per the manufacturer’s specifications.
- Check the insulation on the refrigerant lines and replace any that is cracked or damaged.
- Keep shrubs well-trimmed and at least 2 ft from the outside of the air conditioning unit.
- Make sure the air conditioner fins are clear of all debris, leaves, etc.
- Do not add or change anything in your electrical panel unless you are a licensed electrician!
- Ensure you have proper GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter which prevents burns and electric shock injuries) and AFCI (arc-fault circuit interrupter which is a simple circuit breaker that was developed in response to an electrical problem causing home fires) where appropriate. If not, contact a qualified electrician to perform this work.
- Be careful not to overload your circuits and stay clear of “octopus” wiring schemes.
- Check all your smoke detectors and Carbon Monoxide detectors annually.
These represent some simple tasks that an average homeowner can perform to preserve and maintain the value of their home. A detailed maintenance plan can be viewed on the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation website or by contacting me. Time is a precious commodity, and many homeowners may simply not have enough to take action.
If you cannot take the time to inspect your home then contact a certified home inspector for assistance. Everyone knows how important communication is in all aspects of business, but a certified inspector that takes the time to empower you with knowledge about your home is worth his/her weight in gold. Be sure to request a properly trained, certified, and insured home inspector.
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