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11 Tips to Get Your Home in Tip Top Shape

Whether you're just ready to tackle some regular home maintenance, or you're thinking of selling soon, Timber Home Inspection offers 11 useful tips on getting your home in the best shape ever! 

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11 Tips to Get Your Home in Tip Top Shape

Rachel Holder

When buying or selling a home, you can hire countless agents to assist you through this process...

When buying or selling a home, you can hire countless agents to assist you through this process...

May 6 6 minutes read


1. Drain water heater (tank style)

Water corrodes the inside sacrificial rod and leaves deposits at the base of your tank which can expedite corrosion of your tank.

Draining your tank each year can let these deposits out of your tank and extend the life of your heater.

In order:

a. Turn off energy source

b. Turn off water to tank

c. Hook hose to drain port and open valve

d. Water will be 120 (or more) degrees so don’t let your kids play in it

e. When empty do steps 1-5 in reverse.  Don’t turn gas/electric back on until tank full

2. Change air filters often

If you don’t have any allergy issues or specialized equipment in your home, recommend buying cheap filters and changing every month

If you need more dense filters that need changing every 3 months, use your phone calendar as a reminder or:

Subscription services:

Filter Easy

Filter Snap

Amazon Subscribe & Save

3. Know where your Gas/Water/Electric whole home shut offs are

Electric may not even be inside your home (likely not in newer homes)

Water likely near water heater but definitely at meter

Gas at meter (if you have gas in home, have carbon monoxide detection!

4. Check caulking at windows and doors (interior and exterior)

Always remove old caulk before installing new caulking

New caulk on old caulk will ruin quick

5. Check your toilets (especially upstairs)

Just step over the top of it and rock it gently between your knees

Do 2 times a year… especially on upstairs toilets

6. Clean your gutters in the fall (maybe twice) & the spring if you have flowering or seed dropping trees nearby

Gutters are the least understood vs important system in the home

When I see leaky or full gutters, I generally see water in the crawl space right below

Keep positive slope away from home around entire foundation

Make sure water drains 4-6 feet away at downspouts (unless on a significant slope where gravity is your friend)

Go outside when its raining pretty good (you wont melt) and look at all your gutters and downspouts.  If they are buried go to where they exit and make sure water coming out where it should (and shouldn’t)

7. Fill & Seal cracks in masonry including concrete materials

We don’t live in a super harsh climate here in Middle Tennessee but water will get into cracks and freeze and expand to create larger cracks

Includes: concrete driveways and walkways, brick & mortar

If you have stucco monitor any cracks VERY closely and if area stays damp or you notice moisture behind (inside) cracked areas, call a stucco inspector ASAP

8. Check weatherstripping around windows & doors

Super easy and cheap fix

Outside dogs or other animals love to scratch it up at doors when they want in

9. Smoke detectors

They do expire every 10 years (manufacture date printed on wall facing side of most brands)

Keep batteries in them

You know you don’t test them every month like it says so at least check it 2x a year. *set a reminder in your phone*

If you have ANY gas appliance even if it’s just a gas fireplace have carbon monoxide detection in the home

10. Attic & Crawlspace

Go into each at least 2x a year

Attic:

Look around any protrusions through roof

Most of our roof sheathing is OSB and it turns an almost black brown when wet

Look at joists and/or rafters

Anything loose or hanging awkwardly?

Anything broken?

Look at insulation

Anything wet, displaced missing?

Crawlspace (run water in every faucet/fixture first)

Look around permitter

Moisture on ground or moisture stains on block wall

Look for any cracks

Displacement is more important than cracks but note any, either way

Look at block/wood/metal support piers in the middle of the crawl space

Cracks, leaning, displacement, damage, gaps

Look at subfloor under every main floor bathroom

Toilets = number 1 issue

shower/tub (older homes may have metal shower pans that rust out)

Vanity/drains

OSB in newer homes just like roof sheathing. Again, will likely be dark brown/black may need to move insulation around to see

11. HVAC

If over 5 years old recommend regular (annual or bi-anual) cleaning/servicing

Many HVAC contractors have a $99-199/year subscription to clean, service & inspect units

Split unit (exterior condensing unit/ interior blower unit)

Condensate drain

Pvc line running from interior WILL clog at some point

Low flow of water (only in cooling mode in summer) is ripe for algae growth.

Likely have a primary and secondary line running outside of home should drip steadily during cooling

If no flow it is backing up into drain pan under and will eventually (quickly) trip float switch which will turn off thermostat. (pans don’t hold water well and almost always spill over staining the ceiling below)

If you ever come home in summer on a likely very hot day and HVAC is off, check interior unit first for water in drain pan.  Likely cause.

Suck pan dry with shop vac and suck drain line clear from exterior this will fix issue and save an HVAC call

For more information, you can find Timber online at TimberHomeInspection.com.

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