As spring weather is approaching, there are chores around the house that need to be completed on a seasonal basis. With spring comes rain, wind, and storms. Follow this checklist to help keep your home in good working order:
Exposed wood siding and trim is susceptible to rot, so look for chipped or cracked paint along the exterior of your home. Scrape off any loose paint, sand the area, prime the bare wood surface, then paint it with a high quality paint.
- Trees and Shrubs
Trim overgrown trees and hedges away from your homes exterior to discourage the growth of mildew and moisture. Do not let branches hang over the roof as this could damaged the shingles.
- Lawn and Garden
Rake up any leaves that can suffocate your grass and stop it from growing. Pull up weeds and dead flowers in the garden and place new mulch.
- Power Wash
Concentrate on removing debris from the driveway, sidewalks, pavers or other outdoor space, and the exterior of your home.
Thoroughly cleaning your gutters every spring and fall will help keep water moving away from the home. Debris can build up and cause damage to your gutters and cause water damage to your roof and soffits. You will also want to make sure the gutters are extended out away from the foundation of the home.
- Sump Pumps Make sure your sump pump is in good working order before the spring rains arrive. Be proactive so you do not have a major flood due to a failing sump pump.
- Filters Change your furnace filter. Make sure to replace your filters on a regular basis. This is also a great time to have your A/C unit cleaned and serviced
- Home Inspection Great time of year to get your home inspected. This will help you determine how your home is operating and find trouble before it causes major damage to the home.
Just like with any home maintenance, make sure to hire a qualified professional if you are unsure about any of these items. New Start Inspections inspector is a Certified Master Inspector. You will be getting the best inspection available. Enjoy the spring weather…..If it ever gets here!
The holiday season can bring dangerous people and situations to your own home. Criminals are looking to turn a quick buck and the holiday are a perfect opportunity for them. As a home inspector, I have intimate knowledge of the inner workings of a home as well as peoples tendencies. I have outlined some small steps to help keep you and your family safe this holiday season.
- Install working motion lights around the home. Position them so windows and doors will be bright.
- Trim bushes and shrubs around windows and doors. This should work with the motion detectors so that criminals cannot hide around your windows and doors
- This next one will sound silly to most, but lock all your doors and windows. You would be surprised to know that the majority of homes I inspect have 1 or more windows left unlocked.
- Leave porch lights on through the night. If you are worried about your energy bill we recommend a new LED light bulb.
- Do not leave window shades open and do not leave expensive belongings in clear view.
- Alert your neighbors or someone you trust when going away for a few days. Have them check in periodically.
- When out, leave the impression that someone is home. Leave a light on a timer, leave a car locked in the driveway.
- Have a monitored alarm system and USE IT! Just having the alarm will not help if it is not armed!
- Make sure all exterior doors are secured with a secondary lock. For a main door this is usually a deadbolt. For a sliding door this could be a slide lock.
- Make sure you have 2 lines of communication in the home. This could be a home phone and a cell phone to dial 911.
Follow these tips to help keep you safe this holiday season. New Start Inspections wishes you and your family a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
As the fall season nears, protecting our homes from the cooler weather is an important step in home ownership. With the fall and winter comes more rain and cooler temperatures. Here are 8 maintenance tips that can be completed over the weekend. These tasks will prepare your home for the change of season as well as reduce the chance of needing a major repair.
- Heating System Tune up. For a minimal charge of $80-$100 an HVAC contractor can check your heating system to ensure optimal performance and discover minor problems before they turn into costly major repairs. It is also a great time to change your furnace filter. You may want to consider getting your ducts cleaned as well.
- Roof and Gutters. Gutters clogged with leaves can quickly damage a homes foundation. Clean gutters and make sure they drain completely. Also consider walking the roof to look for leaks or damaged shingles. Only do these tasks if you are comfortable on ladders and working on the roof, otherwise hire a professional.
- Caulking and Paint. Fall is a great time to check for cracked or damaged caulk around your windows and doors. Moisture can quickly leak into these cracks and reek havoc. Any chipped or damaged paint should be scraped, primed, and repainted.
- Downspout Extensions. Make sure your downspouts are extended to move water 4-5 Feet away from the foundation. This is an important step any time but especially the fall and spring as this tends to be the wettest part of the year.
- Trim Landscaping. Trim your bushes and shrubs so they are 1 foot away from the surface of the home. This allows for proper air flow and lets the area dry out. Also clean any leaves and debris from around the foundation.
- Disconnect Water Hose. This will help prevent your water line to the hose from freezing.
- Chimney. Great time of year to call a qualified chimney sweep to clean and inspect your chimney. This could prevent a dangerous and costly repair. Do not light your fireplace without an annual inspection to ensure your safety.
- Crawl Space. We tend to forget about the crawlspace because we hate getting in there. This time of year is a great time to get in the crawl space to make sure there is no trouble. Check your vapor barrier, sump pumps, look for water or insect damage.
Fall is a great time for an annual home inspection. Look to New Start Inspections to inspect your home this fall. We want to help you protect your home as it is your greatest investment.
Preparing your home ahead of the home inspection will make the selling of your home go much more smooth as well as prevent possible delays of your closing date. Follow these tips to speed up the process and get you top dollar for your home.
- Confirm all the utilities are on. This includes water, gas, and electric.
- Make sure any and all pets are secured or removed from the property. If they are left at the home put them in a cage or secured outside giving access to the entire home.
- Test your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors and replace any dead batteries.
- Replace dirty HVAC air filters and make sure they fit properly.
- Replace burnt out light bulbs as the inspector will not know if the light fixture is defective or just a bad bulb.
- Remove all items from around the electric breaker panel, HVAC equipment, water heater, attic, and crawlspace.
- Remove any wood stored near the foundation as this can be conducive conditions for termites and other wood destroying organisms.
- Make sure inspector has access to any locked areas. This could be Attic doors, garage door locks, or any exterior gates.
- Trim your trees back so the limbs do not hang over the roof. Please hire a professional as this can be difficult and dangerous.
- Repair or replace any items in the home you know to be defective. Examples would be cracked windows, broken door handles, or damaged screens.
Checking these things can be of great value and can reduce the stress of selling your home. New Start Inspections can come out and perform a pre-listing inspection to find any hidden trouble that may be found. This can prevent a delay to your closing or cost you the sale of your home.