Home Mariner Home Inspections
Home Inspections in Kitsap, King, and Pierce Counties
 
 
 
 
 

A Checklist for Maintenance and Care of Your Home

Exterior

o Always keep vegetation trimmed 10 to 12 inches away from structure.

o Always make sure dirt and landscaping material is 4 to 6 inches from wood members of house and decks.

o Inspect for and repair any leaking exterior faucets yearly.

o Inspect foundation for settling cracks or erosion at least yearly, ideally in the spring.

o Inspect and touch up exterior caulking as needed in the summer. Pay particular attention to penetrations such as windows and doors, nail heads and around trim. Use a high quality paint-able caulk such as, ‘OSI Quad’.

o Inspect concrete/asphalt driveways and sidewalks yearly for cracking. Clean and seal as needed during summer months.

o Inspect and touch up exterior paint as needed during the summer. Pay particular attention to highly weathered sides such as South and North.

o Clean and re-seal wood decks every year or two during the summer months. Depending on the quality of the sealant product used, re-sealing may not be needed as often. Olympic and Benjamin Moore offer some top quality sealants.

o Inspect masonry surfaces yearly. Repair any cracks and seal as needed. As with wood decks, how often to re-seal is often a function of the quality of product used. Check with product manufacturer’s specifications.

o Inspect weather stripping around doors yearly and repair as needed.

o Never stack firewood or other debris against the house. Keep stacked wood as far away as possible.

o During the rainy season, make sure downspouts are effectively draining water away from the house. Monitor for soft, wet, or boggy soil around the house. Be sure your downspouts have splash blocks or some other type of diversion to carry water away from the house.

o Treat mildew on siding or in eaves with a mildicide as needed. A paint supply store can recommend an appropriate product.

Roofing

o Inspect and clean your roof at least yearly. Twice yearly, in spring and late fall is even better. Look for storm damage which may need repair and moss/debris buildup. In general, use the least aggressive method to clean your roof, such as a broom or blower. A pressure washer can damage your roof, regardless of roofing type, and is a last resort only. Applying moss inhibitors such as, “Moss Beware”, or even simple granulated clothes washing detergents can help prevent moss growth. These are best applied twice yearly prior to seasonal rains such as in late spring and early fall.

o Inspect and clean your gutters as needed to keep them functioning properly. How often depends upon how many trees surround your home. It is suggested you inspect monthly during fall and winter until an appropriate schedule can be identified for your particular home and area. Repair any gutter leaks you identified during the rainy season.

o If you own a tile roof, you may need to disassemble and clean the valleys every year or two, again depending on area. If this is not a process you are familiar with, it may be best left to a roofer.

o Inspect masonry chimneys and chimney caps yearly. Repair any cracks and seal as needed. As with wood decks, how often to re-seal is often a function of the quality of product used. Check with product manufacturer’s specifications. Metal flues may need rust inhibitive paint applied periodically to prevent deterioration.

o Inspect metal flues yearly. Caulk storm collars as needed and apply rust inhibitive paint as needed to prevent deterioration.

o Torch down or hot mop roof surfaces will last a lot longer when a reflective coating such as, “Silver-coat”, is applied. This should be done every 3 to 5 years and/or as needed.

Garage/Carport

o Oil the garage door hardware yearly.

o Check the auto reverse mechanism on the automatic garage door opener yearly and adjust as needed.

o Inspect weather stripping on door to house yearly and repair as needed.

Interior/Attic

o Inspect and test smoke alarms, (or other alarms such as Carbon Monoxide Alarms), monthly.

o Replace smoke and other alarm batteries at least twice yearly, (Easy to remember if done during twice yearly time changes).

o Clean and lubricate sliding glass door tracks and window tracks yearly.

o Inspect weather stripping on doors yearly and repair as needed.

o Lubricate door locks yearly.

o Inspect your attic yearly or more, especially during the rainy months, to check for leaks, signs of mildew and/or disconnected fan ducts.

Bathroom/Utility

o Inspect beneath sinks and around toilets monthly for any plumbing leaks.

o Inspect caulking at floor in front of tubs and showers yearly and repair as needed.

o Inspect caulking or grout on countertops yearly and repair as needed.

o Inspect caulking or grout on tub and shower surrounds yearly and repair as needed.

o Inspect interior toilet tank components yearly. Clean, repair or replace as needed.

o Unclog slow running drains as needed.

Kitchen

o Inspect beneath sinks monthly for any plumbing leaks.

o Inspect caulking or grout on countertops yearly and repair as needed.

o Unclog slow running drains as needed.

o Maintenance appliances as per manufacturer’s recommendations.

Heating

o Close fireplace damper when not in use.

o Inspect and test Carbon Monoxide Detectors monthly. Change batteries twice yearly as noted above with smoke detectors. It is recommended every home with a fuel burning appliance have a Carbon Monoxide Detector installed.( ) Inspect inside compressor unit of central air conditioner/heat pump monthly when in use and clean as needed.

o Inspect furnace filters monthly when unit in use and replace or clean as needed.

o Have heating and cooling units thoroughly serviced yearly.

o Have wood stove and/or fireplace chimneys and flues cleaned yearly or more often according to chimney sweep recommendations.

o Clean/vacuum heating ducts, grills and registers yearly. Consider regular and periodic professional duct cleaning.

o Clean/vacuum electric fan forced wall mount heaters according to manufacturer’s recommendations or as needed. Be sure power is off to the unit before doing so.

Plumbing

o Inspect for any leaky faucets and repair as needed.

o Inspect crawl space for any plumbing leaks yearly.

o Drain water heater periodically according to manufacturer’s specifications, especially if you are on a well.

o Monitor your water bills monthly for unexplained increases which may reflect a hidden leak.

Electrical

o Test GFCI outlets monthly.

o Keep trees and branches trimmed away from overhead power lines.

Structural

o Inspect your crawl space yearly. Be sure to wear appropriate protective clothing and breathing devices. Look for plumbing leaks, fallen insulation, moisture, puddles of water, damaged or deflected wood members, foundation cracks and signs of wood destroying insects, such as piles of sawdust.

o Keep all foundation vents clear and never, ever block them.

o Inspect foundation vents to make sure screens are intact. If repair is needed, use non-louvered ¼ inch wire mesh.

o Inspect your clothes dryer vent yearly. Long runs of ducting in crawl spaces may need to be disassembled and cleaned out to prevent blockage of the duct. Repair any disconnected ducting.

 
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