21 Apr New Homeowner Maintenance: Part 1
After taking possession of a new home, homeowners should address some maintenance and safety issues immediately. The following checklist should help you undertake these improvements:
- We recommend you complete all of the improvements recommended in the inspection report.
- Change all the locks on the exterior entrances, for improved security.
- Check that all windows and doors are secure. Improve window hardware as necessary. Security rods can be added to sliding windows and doors. You may also want to consider a security system.
- Install smoke detectors on each level of the home. Ensure that there is a smoke detector outside of all sleeping areas. Replace batteries on any existing smoke detectors and test them. Make a note to replace batteries again in one year.
- Create a plan of action in the event of a fire in your home. Ensure that there is an operable window or door in every room of the house. Consult with your local fire department regarding fire safety issues and what to do in the event of a fire.
- Examine driveways and walkways for trip hazards. Undertake repairs where necessary.
- Examine the interior of the home for trip hazards. Loose or torn carpeting and flooring should be repaired.
- Undertake improvements to all stairways, decks, porches, and landings where there is a risk of falling or stumbling.
- Review your home inspection report for any items that require immediate improvement or further investigation. Address these areas immediately.
- Install rain caps and vermin screens on all chimney flues, as necessary.
- Investigate the location of the main shut-offs for the plumbing, heating, and electrical systems.
Check that the soil around the perimeter of the house is clinging tightly to the edge of the foundation. If there is any space between the soil and the concrete, the soil is too dry and you should increase the frequency with which you water. The foremost cause of foundation failure in the Houston metro area is lack of soil moisture control and maintenance by homeowners. Periods of dry weather occur in all seasons. Inspect this item weekly.
- Check that fire extinguishers are fully charged. Recharge if necessary.
- Inspect/replace heating/cooling air filters.
- If applicable, inspect and clean humidifiers and electronic air cleaners.
- Clean gutters and downspouts. Ensure that downspouts are secure, and that the discharge of the downspouts is appropriate. Remove debris from window wells.
- Carefully inspect the condition of shower enclosures. Repair or replace deteriorated grout and caulk. Ensure that water is not escaping the enclosure during showering. Check below all plumbing fixtures for evidence of leakage.
- Repair or replace leaking faucets or shower heads.
- Secure loose toilets, or repair flush mechanisms that become troublesome
- Operate all of the doors in the house to ensure that none are sticking or binding at the jambs. Door frames out of square is an indication of excessive foundation movement.
- Test all ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) and arc fault circuit interrupter (AFCI) devices, as identified in the inspection report. If these devices do not trip or reset properly, they should be replaced immediately.
Click here to learn about annual and biannual maintenance that will help keep your new home in good condition. If you would like to schedule a home inspection, or if you have any questions regarding the operation or maintenance of your home, call us today at 832-573-0771. Thanks for visiting!