Home Maintenance Checklist
Water, Water Everywhere
Inspect for signs of water and wind damage, including curled, damaged, loose, or missing shingles.
Examine edges for damage to roof sheathing.
Check flashing around chimney, vent stack, skylights, roof edges, dormers, etc.
Inspect vents and louvers to make sure they're clear and operating correctly.
Inspect and clean screens on vents and louvers.
Examine chimney cap and clean if necessary.
Check attic for signs of water damage.
Plumbing and Drainage
Check grading around your house to assure proper water drainage.
Check hard and soft surfaces (soil and asphalt or concrete) for depressions and settling.
Inspect gutters and downspouts for damage and clogs.
Check main water supply handle to make sure it's working properly.
Check pipes for signs of leaks/cracks.
Check faucets, hoses, toilets, etc., for leaks. Also inspect shutoff valves for sinks, toilets, laundry, and main water shutoff valve.
Check basement and foundation walls for dampness or water marks.
Examine caulking around sinks, bathtubs, and showers.
Examine tubs, showers, and sinks (in and around) to make sure they're draining properly.
House on Fire!
Inspect chimney for signs of damage.
Check chimney cap to make sure it's clear of debris, nests, etc.
Check all smoke alarms to make sure they're in working order.
Have furnace inspected to make sure it's in proper working order.
Rock Solid? Maybe Not!
Inspect wood surfaces-decks, porches, etc.-for signs of wood damage/rot.
Inspect foundation walls for cracks and termite tubes, as well as other indications of termite and/or wood borer problems.
Check all wood beams, joists, etc., for signs of rotten wood.
Check all materials and structures — siding, roof, foundation, vents, louvers, etc. — for damage and signs of entry, including cracks and holes.
Look for bird and insect nests under eaves, along ledges, and so on.
Check attic for signs of entry by pests and/or nests.
More on: Home Improvements
Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Common Household Disasters © 2005 by Paul Hayman and Sonia Weiss. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
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