Checklist for a yearly home self inspection

To protect our homes as well as protecting our family, there are simple yearly inspection guidelines we can use to alert us of possible problem areas.

Our homes represent not only a huge investment, but also a source of pleasure and security, to our families and ourselves. To protect that investment as well as protecting our family, there are simple yearly inspection guidelines we can use to alert us of possible problem areas.

Even a relatively new home can suffer the ravages of weather. Beginning with a visual inspection of the external part of your house in the Spring is always a good start. Start with the roof, walking slowly around your house and working your way down to the foundation, specifically you are looking for the following;

· Loose or missing shingles or roofing tiles

· Tree limbs or other debris that may have caused damage

· Obviously dented, depressed, or suspicious looking areas that may collect moisture

· Gutters that may have become loose or full of debris

· Clogged or loose downspouts

· Loose or dangling telephone and electrical lines that may have become damaged

· Cracked or broken windows and missing or damaged screens

· Cracked or missing caulking around windows

· Dented, loose, or paint chipping on exterior siding

· Any damage to exterior portions of doors and screens

· Visible cracks in the foundation

· Exterior water leaks, possibly from cracked or broken exterior faucets

· Sunken areas around the house foundation that may indicate settling or possible sewage line concern

Mark any areas of concern for follow-up.

Once again, beginnings with the highest part of the interior of your house, normally the attic, walk slowly around each room. Looking from ceiling to floor inspect for the following (a flashlight may be helpful in some cases).

Note that caution should be used in the attic. Walk carefully either on the supplied walkway, or only on joists. Stepping between joists may be dangerous as you can fall through the ceiling below:

· Rafters and beams in the attic for cracking, bowing, and possible water damage

· The underside of the roof in the attic for holes, cracking, and water damage

· Attic vents for clogged screens, damaged louvers, inoperative fans (if present)

· Damaged or exposed electrical circuits

· Damaged or missing insulation

· Wet or water stained ceilings, which may indicate leaking above

· Chipped, wet, or cracked ceiling tiles

· Damaged ceiling electrical fixtures, missing or blown bulbs and florescent tubes

· Cracked, dented, or water stained walls which may indicate possible weather damage or plumbing leaks

· Damaged or missing wall electrical plates

· Cracked, missing, or damaged ceiling and floor moulding

· Worn or water damaged carpeting, loose or missing floor tiles, or water marked wooden floor

· Leaking faucets and/or toilets

· Damaged mirrors and cabinets

· Where installed, Ground Fault Interrupter electrical outlets should be tested

In addition to visual inspection, the following should be done at least yearly:

· Heating/Air Conditioning filters should be replaced

· Any home fire extinguishers should be inspected for proper operation according to manufacturers instructions

· All fire alarms should be tested and batteries replaced as necessary

· Home security systems and associated hardware should be tested

· Heating and cooling vents should be checked for debris

· Dryer vent should be checked and cleaned where necessary

While some areas may be addressed by the homeowner themselves you may want to contact professionals to make necessary repairs to major areas like plumbing, roofing, electrical, etc.

Awareness of the condition of our homes is important. With regular maintenance and inspection, our homes can continue to provide the warmth and atmosphere our families need to thrive.

© High Speed Ventures 2011