Good home inspectors do much more than perform visual/operational inspections of a property. For both buying and selling clients, an experienced and certified inspector, like those at A-Pro, can serve as a fountain of knowledge about not only what needs to be repaired or replaced, but also how to maintain and get the most useful life out of components and systems in a home. Think of it this way: A home inspector is kind of like a doctor who may recommend surgery to mend a torn meniscus, but also lets you know how to bolster the health of your knees moving forward, in addition to being there to answer your ongoing concerns and provide regular checkups.
As many of you sit down to write New Year’s resolutions for 2022 (eat better, cut down on caffeine, exercise more, get your cholesterol in check, etc.), we thought it appropriate to list a few suggested resolutions for the health of your home that you can add to your list (more to come in our next couple of blog posts):
- Get a Home Maintenance Inspection: When was the last time you had a home inspection? If you’re like most people, it was probably years ago prior to placing a bid on the property. As a prudent homeowner, it’s important to recognize that your home today isn’t the same as when you first moved in. That’s why it’s a good idea to have an inspector perform a Home Maintenance Inspection. Working closely with the homeowner, this inspection can cover areas not accessible during a visual-only inspection. Along with the peace of mind of establishing a new baseline for where your property stands, you can gain valuable insights into the condition of the home, including dangers you may be missing and systems that may soon need to be replaced.
With a detailed Home Maintenance Inspection report in hand (including current photos), you can takes the guesswork out of prioritizing repairs and preparing for replacement costs down the road. And it’s a perfect opportunity to ask a certified inspector questions that you’ve always wanted answered about your home. Many homeowners have an inspector perform a Home Maintenance Inspection annually to stay on top of changes as systems age and the home shows the effects of weather exposure. Are shingles displaying signs of premature degradation? Is attic insulation becoming compressed, rendering it less effective in keeping the interior comfortable? Are there exterior gaps that may be costing you money in higher utility bills? Is flashing still in good shape? Get a Home Maintenance Inspection and find out.
- Component and System Upgrades: Examine your home improvement budget and consider cost-effective ways to upgrade the safety and value of your abode. If you’re still using normal electrical outlets in the kitchen, bathroom, garage, and other spaces near water, why not replace those with recommended Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters? If you have GFCIs, make a resolution to regularly test these shock-prevention devices on a regular basis and replace the ones that have gone bad.
If indoor and outdoor stairs don’t have handrails, adding this simple upgrade can make navigating steps a lot easier (especially for older folks), as well as make your home compliant with building codes should you ever sell it. Also, replace old smoke detectors, add detectors in recommended locations, and replace batteries when necessary. Don’t have a fire extinguisher? Make a resolution to get one and mount it in a recommended location so you’re ready in case of emergency. These are just a few examples. Look around your home and you’ll find plenty of ways to make smart upgrades.
- Take Care of Your HVAC System: Invest in an annual clean and check of your heating system prior to winter and your central cooling system before hot weather hits. Resolve to stick to manufacturer recommendations on replacing furnace filters—a simple resolution that will extend the life of the unit, save you money on utility bills, improve indoor air quality, and help prevent potentially dangerous circumstances, such as overheating caused by a clogged filter.
- Stop Ignoring Nagging Problems: It’s human nature. In our complicated lives, we see a problem in the home (a toilet or sink that drains slowly, for example) and push it to the back of our minds, hoping it will just go way on its own—which, as we all know, it never does. Resolve to be more proactive by addressing issues you’ve put on the backburner. For example, get to the root of your slow drainage problem by hiring an inspector to perform a Sewer Scope Inspection to visually confirm, by use of a tiny camera, if a blocked or damaged main line is causing drainage issues in the home that will only get worse and more expensive to fix if ignored.