Spring is great time to give your home some much needed attention. Use this checklist as a guide as you look around for leaks, cracks, breaks, wear, and every other conceivable problem that can develop over the year. Then make a repair list to keep up on maintenance in the coming months.
Check trees around the house to be sure they’re not threatening wires.
Open the panel and look for new scorch marks around breakers or fuses. Also check outlets for scorch marks, which could be a sign of loose and sparking wires.
Look for loose outlet covers, receptacles, and loose boxes, which may have to be refastened to the studs while the power is turned off.
Go around with a electrical tester (or lamp) to make sure all outlets work
Check for cracks in asphalt or concrete on driveway, sidewalks, and paths. These can be a tripping hazard, and can invite water that will do more damage during the colder months.
Make sure retaining walls have no bulges or loose areas. Make sure the weep holes built into the wall are clear.
Examine porches and decks for sagging ceilings, loose rails or boards, and damaged steps. Check to make sure the posts are still firmly in the ground and not loose, or worse yet, rotted completely out of the footing.
Give fences and stone walls-and their gates-a once-over for leaning and loose parts.
Look for stains on the siding, which could be a sign of a water problem or a roof issue.
Look for signs of insect or bird nests in soffits, eaves, or attic vents.
Take note of where paint is peeling, brick mortar is missing, or stucco is cracking on the house’s siding.
Check gutters and downspouts for debris or improper pitch.
Examine the foundation for cracks and bulges.
Make sure the grade of the ground around the foundation slopes away from the house.
Look at the roofing for cracks, missing shingles and crumbling pieces.
Look for moss and other debris on the roof.
Plumbing, including Bathrooms and Laundry
Look for signs of leaks in all exposed pipes, and in areas where pipes run through the walls or foundation.
Look for signs of corrosion, which could indicate a problem with the water, or with the pipe itself. \
Check the water pressure and drains for speed of drainage.
Open toilet tanks and look for worn or missing parts. Manipulate the toilet base to be sure it doesn’t rock.
Watch out for cracked tiles in the shower area or around sinks.
Check on the state of the tub and shower caulking to see if it’s time to replace it.
Look for evidence of mildew where water has a chance to stand for longer periods.
Unscrew the shower head and look for collected sediment.
Examine vent fans for obstructions or dust.
Check washer hoses for signs of aging (cracks or brittleness) or leaks.
Check dryer vents for tears. Vacuum or brush out lint in hose and around lint screen inside unit.
Water and Septic
Send out a sample of well water to your country cooperative extension to test it for chemicals and bacteria.
Make sure that the well cover is tightly sealed but there is still access to the pump.
Check the sump pump by pouring water on it, to see if it turns on automatically.
Look around your septic tank/field for soggy ground or overly lush vegetation, which could mean the tank is full or failing.
Check registers and vents for loose or missing covers and screws.
Check around radiators for leaks, or damaged floors, which could be a sign of a leak or an incorrect pitch toward the return.
Look for overall deterioration, rust, loose parts, and other signs of a failing system.
Look for loose hinges and doorknobs.
Check the floor for popped nails, loose boards, loose tiles, and springy spots that could be a sign of joist trouble.
Look at ceilings for stains, which could indicate a roof or plumbing leak.
Make sure ceilings and floors aren’t sagging or cracked in new places.
Check walls for popped screws and nails on drywall or new cracks in plaster.
Check around ceiling fans to be sure they’re well secured to the ceiling and not working their way loose.
Jiggle the stair balustrade to test its sturdiness, and take note where balusters and banisters have come loose.
Test all smoke and CO detectors and replace batteries immediately if something doesn’t work.
Doors and Windows
Examine weather-stripping around exterior doors and windows for tears and wear.
Look for cracks in window glass and glazing around panes.
Check the action of the windows for sticking points.
Look for peeling paint and other signs of wear on window frames and stools, usually in the bottom corners. Check that weep holes in the sill outside haven’t been caulked over, inhibiting drainage.
Take a look at thresholds for cracks that could let water reach the sill.
Look around the attic space during daylight hours, with the lights turned off. Look for holes in the roofing that let light in.
Keep an eye out for signs of animal activity or entry points for animals.
Check around vents for gaps. Look at fan motors for frayed wiring or loose screws.
Examine joists and rafters for structural damage.
Check the action of the garage door and look for dents in the tracks or cracks in the door.
Make sure tool storage and hanging rakes and shovels don’t create a falling or tripping hazard.
Test the drainage of the sink and look for signs of leaks on the faucet.
Look at all the cabinet doors and drawers to make sure they open and close properly. Check for loose hinges or sticking drawer slides.
Try all the stove burners to be sure they turn on quickly and properly, without sparking or bursts of flame. Make sure gas stoves give off an even blue flame.
Check the oven door gasket for signs of wear and tear.
Turn on a gas broiler to make sure it lights properly.
Open the dishwasher and spin and lift the washer arm by hand to make sure it isn’t stuck.
Look for signs of leaking under and around the dishwasher.
Make sure water filters have been changed recently.
Give us a call anytime during or after your inspection if you have concerns or questions(616) 874-6110