Waco Home Inspection Part Three

If you are about to sell your home, just bought a new home, or are even living in a home, here are a few suggestions that may interest you. Home maintenance is, or should be, a big item on your to-do list. Some of the things I have encountered during home inspections may help you with ideas for routine maintenance, so here goes:

Clean those roofs and gutters, or have it done, at least annually! So you have trees in the yard? How nice! On the other hand, if those trees are too close, or the branches have extended near the roof top, you may be susceptible to damage; many home insurers are now requiring pruning or tree removal before writing or renewing a homeowner's policy. Even when trees are well clear of your roof, you may get a build-up of leaves and organic debris on the roof and gutter, which is more than just an eyesore! Leaves on the roof top can slow water flow and will retain moisture, making an attractive home for mold, bugs, and other unsavory critters. It can also damage the roof cover, and lead to premature decay of shingles. Leaves and pine needles in gutters have a similar effect; not only can they clog downspouts, but they will also lead to premature rusting and failure of a gutter system. Time and the elements are destructive forces, and we must remain vigilant.

While you are outside mowing the lawn, carefully inspect the walls outside to see if the paint job looks good, the bricks are not cracking and that there are no bugs trying to nest near the foundation. Look for any signs of erosion once in a while too. If caught early and corrected, erosion patterns can be stopped before they do significant damage to your foundation.

Breakers and GFCI outlets should be "exercised" about once a year, believe it or not. It makes sense, because you would not want these components to fail in a time of need. Just turn them off and back on, or have your handyman do it. If you have AFCI breakers, they should be tested using the buttons that are with them.

TPR valves should also be "exercised" once a year, but you should have a licensed plumber do it; they will often get stuck, and may need immediate replacement. Since this is a major safety component, yes, it is important to do it.

If you like the comfort of heating and cooling, it is important to change those filters at least once per month! I always recommend annual service and maintenance of all heating and cooling equipment, because it is cheaper in the long run, and more convenient to do so. HVAC technicians have specialized tools and knowledge, and if you get regular annual maintenance, you can avoid some of the major system failures that make you sweat in the summer and freeze in the winter.

In conclusion, maintenance is not very romantic, but is a necessary evil. A well-maintained house will last longer, perform better, and sell more quickly. Have a nice day! 

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