10 Things you can check making the Home Assessment Easier
As a home inspector, I frequently see the very same concerns on houses brand-new and old. While some are problems that are very well delegated the professionals to repair (electrical...), some are simple maintenance problems that a homeowner can care for themselves for minimal cost. Here are numerous issues that can be quickly repaired, so that I do not need to put them as problems when I check your home:
1. Loose Toilets: Your toilets must be a solid throne, not a rocking/swivel chair. When the toilet loosens from the toilet flange, the motion triggers damage to the wax ring that forms the seal between the toilet and the flange (the drain pipe). This can rapidly cause sewage leaks. If your toilet rocks when you sit on it, or if you can swivel it easily, it's time to pull it up, change the wax seal, and reset the toilet. As a DIY task, all you require is the wax ring, which needs to cost you under $10.
2. Leaking Sinks: Another common source of plumbing leaks is under sinks. These leaks sometimes remain concealed till I come along and really put the plumbing to the test. To appropriately test your sink, put the stopper in and fill it up ... virtually to the top. If it has an overflow drain, let a great amount of water run into it, since these are typically either plugged or leak. When the sink is full, disengage and watch under the sink with a flashlight. If you see any water dripping down, it's time to either tighten things up a bit, or it may be time to change the drain piping. If you decide to repair this on your own, ensure you use the ideal products, and look for leaks later on, and after using it a few times.
3. Caulk/Grout in Tubs and Showers: Even though the tubes of caulk say they benefit 20-30 years, it should be tested under absolutely ideal conditions. I have received several grievances from the seller's side about being nit-picky on caulk and grout, but these two things are your first-line defense versus water intrusion into the walls behind your shower. You can get some useful information about
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Fortunately is, getting rid of old caulk and changing it is fairly easy, and low-cost. Grout takes a bit more ability; instead it's still not hard, or costly. As a side note, grout does not do well in corners, instead the majority of grout makers have matching caulk that can be used in the corners of your shower.
4. Downspout Extensions: I cannot stress enough how important it is to obtain the water away from your foundation, even if you don't have a basement. And by away, I imply 6-8 feet away. This indicates that those plastic splash blocks you can put at the bottom of the downspout aren't enough. Get the extendable hoses and extend them out (under $10 each). Likewise make certain that the ground around your home slopes far from the foundation, at least 6 inches over the first 10 feet. If you have underground drains for your downspouts, see to it they work. During a steady rain (not a thunderstorm), go outdoors and make certain they aren't supporting where the downspout connects. If it is, it's time to have them cleaned out, because this is just discarding a lot of water ideal next to your foundation.
5. Smoke/Carbon Monoxide Alarms: Please, please make certain these are working! They save lives! If you have not currently upgraded to the devices with the 10-year battery, ensure you alter the batteries in all of your alarms every 6 months. If you have gas/oil devices (heating system, water heater, stove, etc.), a fireplace, or a connected garage, you must have Carbon Monoxide (CO) detectors - One on each level with a possible CO source, as well as one in the hallway outside the bed rooms. I can't stress this one enough, not just to assist the inspection, however to save your life in an emergency.
6. GFCI Outlets: Check making sure they work. You ought to do this monthly anyways, but this is another frequent problem I discover. To test, just press the test button, which need to cause the reset button to bulge (and the power to go off). Then press the reset button to bring back the power. As long as the test works and the receptacle resets, it ought to be working appropriately. If the test does not work, or if the receptacle doesn't reset, it's time to have an electrical contractor change it.
Attics: When was the last time you were in your attic? It just costs a little time to redistribute displaced blown in insulation, but you ought to use safety gear like disposable coveralls, goggles and a dust mask. If you presume it does, have it examined out by a certified insulation specialist.
While you're in the attic, take a moment to inspect the restroom vent fans. They ought to be connected to a vent tube that exits the attic. These fans are designed to eliminate warm, damp air when that air is blown into the attic, it can cause wood rot and mold.
8. Clothes dryer Vent Hoses: Another typical concern I find is with the dryer vent hose. The proper kind of hose is the semi-rigid hose. Regularly I find the versatile foil hoses, and their even more unsafe alternative, the plastic hose! Both of these were created for things like bathroom vent fans, nothing with heat. Keep in mind, lint is really flammable, and the foil and plastic vents are not able to include flame. Think it or not, these vents were enabled up till 2006, when the brand-new requirement was lastly released. Look for a dryer vent hose conference UL2158A standards.
Heating systems: When is the last time you altered your furnace/AC filter? While you are there, if your heating system is fueled by oil or lp, is there enough in the tank for the inspector to test the system? This is one of the most regular causes for me to go back out to re-inspect something, and most of the time, the seller ends up paying me for the re-inspect.
Light Bulbs: This one probably seems like another nit particular concern, instead aside from revealing the purchaser how well the house is lit, and making moving around the basement much safer, I require knowing that everything works. I don't have time to go looking for your spare bulbs, or to alter bulbs from working fixtures to make sure it's simply a bad bulb.
Inspecting these 10 things will not only assist you to get throughout your home inspection, they will add to the health and safety of your home. Even if you aren't getting all set to sell your home, take a couple of minutes to check your home. The time invested now will save you a lot of time and money down the roadway.