YEARLY MAINTENANCE INSPECTIONS
APS Home Inspection Service performs yearly maintenance inspections for your home to find defects early and save you time and money by preventing small repairs from becoming expensive large repairs. By having a preventative maintenance inspection performed yearly, your repair costs will drop from year to year. There will always be repairs to be made, this is a part of being a home owner but don't let small repair become bigger. Here is a example - One loose shingle or missing the repair cost may be around 100.00 if repaired quickly. If you let it go the wood will rot and water will leak into the house creating many repairs such as wall repairs, mold and structure defects.
In a home, very few things are maintenance free. While it is a bitter pill for most homeowners to swallow, the fact is that preventative maintenance, with all the time and money it consumes, is still far more cost effective than the crisis management approach of waiting until something breaks and then scrambling to have it repaired. Preventative maintenance can avoid repairs, extend the life expectancy of many components and in some cases, reduce energy consumption.
A systematic maintenance approach also allows one to monitor certain conditions and components. Regular roof inspections, for example, will give one enough advance warning to allow for several roofing quotes in order to make an educated and cost effective purchase of a new roof covering. If on the other hand, no maintenance is done, and the roof suddenly leaks, there is very little time to do comparative shopping. Under these circumstances, one is forced to go with the roofer who can do the job the fastest - not necessarily with the roofing materials of your choice or at the best possible price.
In addition to monitoring systems which wear out, structural monitoring can also be performed. It is not uncommon for people who have been living in a house for some time to suddenly realize that a door frame is out of square and the door does not close properly. With regular maintenance, the cracks which occur in the wall surfaces adjacent to the door frame can be monitored. Knowing whether these cracks have appeared suddenly or have been increasing at a specific rate, is valuable information when diagnosing the problem and designing a repair.
Regular maintenance is not everybody's cup of tea. Hiring a handyman to perform maintenance inspections and minor repairs is not unwise.
Ideally, preventative maintenance inspections should be performed semi-annually in the spring and fall. However, some components require more or less frequent inspections. Where appropriate, this is noted. Records of any work performed should be noted in the Filing System section.
One last thought. There probably is not a homeowner alive who performs maintenance inspections to the degree that we suggest. So take all of this with a grain of salt. Suffice it to say, the more you do, the better. Please refer to the chart at the front of this section to assist in creating your own schedule.
Chimneys: Chimneys should be inspected for loose or deteriorated bricks or mortar. If covered with stucco or parging, look for cracks or loose sections. Chimney caps should be inspected for loose or broken sections as should the protruding clay chimney liners. Chimney flashing's should be inspected for leakage. Efflorescence (a white salt buildup on the chimney) indicates moisture within the chimney and further investigation is required. Metal chimneys should be checked for rust, missing rain caps and loose braces.
Shingle Roofs: Roofing should be inspected for damaged, loose or missing shingles. Special attention should be paid to high wear areas such as areas where there is significant foot traffic or areas where downspouts from upper roofs discharge onto lower roofs. Flashing's at dormers, plumbing stacks, valleys, et cetera, should be carefully inspected. Supports for television antennas or satellite dishes should be checked. Electric cables (eave protection) should be well secured and properly powered. Tree branches should be kept cut back to avoid damaging the roof surface.
Flat Roofs: Flat roofs should be inspected for blisters, bubbles, and flashing details. Tar and gravel roofs should be inspected for areas of gravel erosion. Tree branches should not contact the roof surface.
Gutters and Downspouts: Gutters and downspouts should be checked for blockage, leakage (from rust holes or leaking joints) and areas requiring re-securing or re-sloping. Paint deterioration should also be noted. Downspout seams should be checked for splitting (the seam is usually against the wall). A split downspout is often plugged with debris. Water accumulates in the downspout, freezes and splits it open.
Eaves: Soffits and fascia should be inspected for loose and rotted areas as well as areas damaged by vermin. Paint condition should be noted.
Walls: Masonry walls should be checked for deteriorated brick and mortar. Stucco walls should be inspected for cracking and separating. Wood walls should be checked for rot, loose or damaged boards, caulking, and wood/ soil contact. If paint deterioration is the result of blistering or bubbling, the cause should be determined. It may be due to outward moisture migration from the interior of the house, indicating more serious problems.
Metal and vinyl sidings, insulbrick and shingle sidings should be inspected for mechanical damage and loose or missing components. All walls should be checked for indications of settling. Vines should be monitored to determine whether damage to the wall surface is occurring. Deciduous vines are best checked during winter months, when there are no leaves. Vines should be kept cut back from wood trim (windows, doors, eaves, etc) and from gutters.
Exposed Foundation Walls: Foundation walls should be inspected for deteriorated brick, block, mortar or parging. Cracking due to settlement should also be noted and monitored.
Grading: The grading immediately adjacent to the house should be checked to ensure a slope of one inch per foot for the first six feet away from the house (where practical). Catch basins should be cleaned and tested.
Doors and Windows: Caulking and weather stripping should be checked. Broken or cracked panes of glass should be replaced. Storms should be installed in the fall and screens in the spring. The finishes should be checked for paint deterioration and rot (particularly sills). Window wells should be cleaned.
Porches and Decks: Wooden components should be checked for rot and insect infestation. Wood should be painted or stained as required. Steps and railings should be secure.
Garages: Garage roofs should be checked for wear. The structure should be inspected for evidence of movement. Wooden components should be investigated for evidence of rot or insect infestation. Wooden components should be painted or stained as required.
Automatic garage door openers should be tested monthly and adjusted to reverse in the event of an emergency. Floor drains should be cleared and tested.
Driveways and Sidewalks: Driveways and sidewalks should be checked for cracks and deterioration. Settling which will result in surface water run off towards the house should be corrected as should uneven sections which pose a safety hazard to pedestrians.
Retaining Walls and Fences: Wooden retaining walls and fences should be checked for rot and insect infestation. Retaining walls should be checked for evidence of movement.
Trees, Shrubs and Vines: Limbs overhanging the house should be cut back. Dead limbs should be removed. Vines should be trimmed back from all wood surfaces.
APS Home Inspection Service will inspect every item to make sure you have the facts "and" give you repair ideas and estimated repair costs.