We schedule annual check-ups for ourselves, our kids, our pets, our cars…what about our homes?
Giving your home an annual check-up, like visiting your doctor every year, is a great preventative measure to ward off future issues and problems. It’s a way to check vital signs, see what is working and what needs attention. It’s also a good thing to do if you are thinking of selling your home and want to get it in the best possible condition for an inspection that a potential buyer is likely to schedule.
Autumn is a great time to do this. Right before the holiday rush and when the weather here in Arizona is glorious. You can enlist help from family members or team up with a neighbor to examine your homes together. You won’t need a stethoscope; all you need is a few hours and a few tools to complete the check-up. Don’t forget a pen to check off the items from the list below.
Annual home check-up list:
• Make sure all plumbing fixtures are in proper working order with no leaks.
• Check that toilets are secured to the floor.
• Check that bathroom vents operate.
• Check all interior and exterior light fixtures to make sure they work.
• If you have halogen lights, make sure they are away from flammable drapes and low ceiling areas.
• Replace frayed or cracked electrical cords and don’t overload extension cords.
• Ensure all windows operate smoothly.
• Replace all damaged window screens.
• Tighten all doorknobs and tighten or repair all handrails, also check to be sure all interior and exterior doors latch.
• Be sure that there is a minimum of one smoke detector per floor and that it is in proper working condition.
• Divert all water away from the house, i.e. down spouts, sump pump, condensation drain, etc.
• Check under carpets and around windows for visible mold or mildew.
• Remove grade or mulch from contact with siding/stucco, preferably 6 or more inches of clearance.
• Clear away all dead vegetation around the home. Trim away all vegetation touching the house such as tree branches and leaves.
• Remove wood/firewood from contact with the house.
• Clean out dirty gutters or debris from the roof.
• Install window wells and covers where windows are at or below grade.
• Install GFCI receptacles near all water sources; check present GFCI receptacles for proper operation.
• If your house has a crawlspace, check to see if it is dry and properly vented.
• Ahwatukee Foothills resident Liz O’Neall is co-owner of AZ Property Inspections, a Valleywide home inspection company.