27 Apr New Homeowner Maintenance: Part 2
After taking possession of a new home, homeowners should address some maintenance and safety issues immediately. Last week, we talked about the weekly and monthly maintenance that you should do as a new homeowner (click here to read the list). Today, we’re talking about the annual and biannual maintenance:
Spring and Fall
- Examine the roof for evidence of damage to roof coverings, flashings, and chimneys.
- Look in the attic (if accessible) to ensure that roof vents are not obstructed. Check for evidence of leakage, condensation, or vermin activity. Level out insulation if needed.
- Trim back tree branches and shrubs to ensure that they are not in contact with the house.
- Inspect the exterior walls and foundation for evidence of damage, cracking, or movement. Watch for bird nests or other vermin or insect activity.
- Survey the basement and/or crawl space walls for evidence of moisture seepage.
- Look at overhead wires coming to the house. They should be secure and clear of trees or other obstructions.
- Ensure that the grade of the land around the house encourages water to flow away from the foundation.
- Inspect all driveways, walkways, decks, porches, and landscape components for evidence of deterioration, movement, or safety hazards.
- Clean windows and test their operation. Improve caulking and weather stripping as necessary. Watch for evidence of rot in wooden window frames. Paint and repair window sills and frames as necessary.
- Shut off isolating valves for exterior hose bibs in the fall if below freezing temperatures are anticipated. Also, disconnect and store all water hoses during cold weather.
- Inspect for evidence of wood-destroying insect activity. Eliminate any wood/soil contact around the perimeter of the home.
- Test the overhead garage door opener (if present), to ensure that the auto-reverse mechanism is responding properly. Clean and lubricate hinges, rollers, and tracks on overhead doors.
- Replace or clean exhaust hood filters.
- Clean, inspect, and/or service all appliances as per the manufacturer’s recommendations.
- Have the heating, cooling, and water heater systems cleaned and serviced.
- Replace smoke detector batteries.
- Have chimneys inspected and cleaned. Ensure that rain caps and vermin screens are secured.
- Examine the electrical panels, wiring, and electrical components for evidence of overheating. Ensure that all components are secure. Flip the breakers on and off to ensure that they are not sticky.
- If the house utilizes a well, check and service the pump and holding tank. Have the water quality tested. If the property has a septic system, have the tank inspected (and pumped as needed).
- Have the home inspected by a licensed wood-destroying insect specialist (certified applicator). Preventative treatments may be recommended in some cases.
A Word about Repair Companies
You should only use reputable, competent, and qualified contractors to repair any item on the report that is listed as in need of repair. Some repairs, such as the ones to electrical, plumbing or HVAC systems, will require a licensed professional. Under no circumstances should an unlicensed professional be used to make repairs in these areas. If the “specialist” you or the seller chose to make the repairs has to call us to ask how to make a repair or repairs on an item listed in the report, chances are very good they are not qualified to make these repairs—find another professional who is. Any qualified professional will know how to find and make repairs listed in this report.
Please feel free to contact us should you have any questions regarding the operation or maintenance of your home. Give us a call today at 713-882-6222. Thanks for visiting!