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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.


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!


  • Check foundation walls for cracks and termite tubes, as well as other indications of termite and/or wood borer problems.

  • Check masonry, siding, etc., for holes and cracks.

  • 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.

Uninvited Guests


  • 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.


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.

To order this book visit Amazon's web site or call 1-800-253-6476.

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