When you own your own house, you and your personal home insurance are responsible for any damage that can occur. Though not all damage is preventable, there are many types of inspections that you can do to catch problems early and make repairs before they become major issues.
The best time to do these types of inspections is in early fall – you will be able to catch any issues from wear and tear that have developed over the previous winter, spring, and summer. You will also be able to fix any minor issues before the harsh winter weather, which can easily make small problems larger at an accelerated rate.
While some inspections should be done by professionals, there are many DIY inspections that can indicate that a professional should be brought in, potentially saving you money on unnecessary inspections as well.
DIY Electrical Inspections
While most in-depth electrical inspections must be done by a professional for your own safety, there are some ways to look at the electrical system of your home and catch early warning signs of issues.
First, you should check the trees around your home and cut back any branches that look as though they are threatening to overtake the electrical wires.
Then open your electrical panel and do a quick visual inspection – new scorch marks around your fuses or breakers is a sign that you should call in someone to check the wiring. Then you should check your outlets – if you find any loose outlet covers or receptacles, turn off your power and tighten the screws holding them in.
You should also keep an eye out for scorch marks on outlets, which can indicate wiring problems.
Finally, go around your home with a lamp to make sure all outlets work – if they don’t, this can be a major fire hazard if a wire has become ungrounded.
DIY Exterior Inspections
Most exterior inspections involve looking for weaknesses in the underlying structures – minor cracks in asphalt or concrete, loose retaining walls, and sagging decks.
If you have the time, you can often DIY minor fixes for these issues before they become major issues that need professional assistance.
Stains on the siding are a more serious problem since this can indicate that your roof has a leak that can easily become a major structural issue for your whole house. Finally, examine your garage door.
According to M & M Doors, a garage door company in Grand Rapids, MI, “in order to ensure a long life span for your garage door system, you’ll need regular safety and quality checks.” Look for dents in the tracks of your garage door system, cracks in the door, and issues with the action of the garage door that could indicate a problem with the motor or pulley system.
DIY Plumbing and Water System Inspections
Blocked, burst, and leaky pipes can cause structural damage and expensive fixes, so it’s important to keep an eye on your plumbing system all year round. Slow drains can indicate a clog, which can become a blocked pipe deeper in the system if you don’t deal with it.
Low water pressure can indicate a problem with the line, but it can also just be sediment buildup, so try cleaning the faucet or showerhead with specialized tools and products before calling in a professional.
Look for water stains, green stains around fittings and valves, and discolored water from faucets – these can be indicators of corroding pipes, which can lead to leaks if you don’t deal with the issue.
Finally, look for cracked tiles around sinks or showers, which can indicate that water has gotten through and begun to rot the floor underneath, and look for mildew or mold around the edges of your shower or the corners of your bathroom.
DIY Door and Window Inspections
Inspecting your doors and windows is especially important when going into the winter season since drafts can cause your heating system to work harder and your energy bill to skyrocket.
Examine the weatherstripping and seals around your exterior doors and windows to prevent drafts and leaks. Examine your window glass and glazing for cracks and scratches – small cracks can be easily patched over, but larger ones often require an entirely new window pane.
Check for peeling paint, mold, mildew, and other wear around the bottom corners of your windows – this often indicates that rain has been let through a small gap and that you will have to patch it over to prevent water damage and lost heat or air conditioning.
How to do your own home inspection checklist?
It is important to have a home inspection checklist when you are buying a new home. This will help you determine if there are any potential problems with the property that you are considering purchasing. Here is a step by step guide on how to do your own home inspection checklist:
1) Hire a qualified home inspector
You will want to make sure that you hire a qualified home inspector who is experienced in inspecting homes. This is important because you want to be sure that the home inspector is able to identify any potential problems with the property.
2) Schedule an appointment
Once you have found a qualified home inspector, you will need to schedule an appointment for them to come and inspect the property. This is important because you want to make sure that the home inspector has enough time to properly inspect the property.
3) Review the home inspection report
After the home inspection, you will want to review the home inspection report. This report will help you identify any potential problems with the property. If you find any problems, you will want to make sure that you address them before you purchase the property.
4) Get a home warranty
A home warranty is a great way to protect yourself from any potential problems with the property. If you find any problems after you have purchased the property, you will be able to file a claim with the home warranty company and they will pay for the repairs.
5) Follow up
After you have completed your home inspection checklist, you will want to follow up with the home inspector. This is important because you want to make sure that the home inspector did a good job and that they found any potential problems with the property.
What is the purpose of a home inspection?
Home inspections are conducted by specially trained and experienced professionals who understand all the aspects of a home. The purpose of a home inspection is to provide an unbiased, third-party opinion on the condition of the property.
This allows potential buyers to make an informed decision about whether or not to purchase the property. Home inspectors also provide recommendations for repairs and maintenance that may be needed.
Can a buyer do their own home inspection?
Yes, but there are a few things to keep in mind. First, the home inspection is for your protection and peace of mind. It’s important to have someone who is objective and knowledgeable about homes inspecting the property before you buy it.
Second, while you may be able to save money by doing the inspection yourself, it’s important to remember that a home inspection is a detailed process. There are many things to look for, and it can be time-consuming.
Finally, keep in mind that if you do find something wrong with the home during your inspection, you may not be able to negotiate with the seller to have it fixed.
What fixes are mandatory after a home inspection?
This is a difficult question to answer, as it depends on the results of the inspection and the agreement between the buyer and seller. However, typically, any major issues that are discovered during a home inspection must be fixed before the sale can go through.
This could include things like a leaky roof, faulty electrical work, or a broken heating system. The buyer and seller will typically negotiate who is responsible for paying for these repairs, and in some cases, the sale may be canceled if the parties cannot reach an agreement.