When it comes to repairs to your home, you want to avoid surprises. If you are planning to sell your home in the near future, the last thing you want is for previously unnoticed problems to pop up while trying to close the sale. Most potential homebuyers will want a home inspector to examine your home before finalizing the sale so that they know exactly what they are getting into.
In the meantime, it is a good idea for you to inspect your home periodically. Most problems start out as minor repairs that don’t cost an arm and a leg to fix if caught early. However, if left unchecked, the damage from those issues could become more extensive. Consider these five places to inspect your home.
1. Under Your Sinks
Chances are the sinks in your home are used up to 20 times a day. Even a tiny leak can create a lot of water damage over time. Often, all you need to do is tighten the connection where the trap meets the drainpipes or replace the trap—both are simple repairs. However, if leaks are left unchecked, the bottom of your sink base can develop mold and mildew and start to rot. The same is true if bottles of liquid that you keep under your sink spill and go unnoticed.
Cracks in the foundation of your home can cause water to leak into your basement. Furthermore, this greatly increases the potential for mold and mildew growth, which can be a health hazard. A shifting foundation can cause structural problems, including cracks in the walls, uneven floors, and problems opening or shutting doors. Take a walk around the exterior to inspect your foundation for cracks and to look for areas where the soil has pushed away from the foundation.
Make sure that your gutters are clear of debris such as leaves or twigs that can prevent them from draining properly. When gutters are clogged, the weight of the water can cause them to sag and pull away from the house. Water can also run over the gutters and damage your home’s fascia and soffits. In some cases, water can leak into your home and damage your walls and ceilings. Inspect inside the gutters for any seam separations. These can usually be fixed with some silicone caulk.
4. Hot-Water Heater
If you are like most homeowners, you might only think about your hot-water heater when there is a lack of hot water. Normally, your water heater should be serviced yearly. If you have been a little lax about that, you will certainly want to schedule a service and inspection for any cracks or leaks in the tank.
Check for loose or damaged pieces of siding. If you have peeling paint, it should be scraped off and the area repainted. Also, be sure to repair cracks or holes where bugs or rodents can get into the home. Examine your roof from street level to see if it has missing or damaged shingles. It is a good idea to have a roofing professional evaluate your roof. Truth be told, a new roof and fresh paint are fixes that are often necessary and will add curb appeal to your home.
Even if you aren’t planning to sell your home soon, it’s a good idea to inspect your home periodically to find any problems that need repair to protect your investment. If you are selling, inspect your home and make needed repairs beforehand to help avoid hassles with buyers.