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.

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