What Every Homeowner Should Do, But Most Do Not …and Why a Buyer Should Care

Home inspectors see a lot of issues. Some again and again. I know I do. Some every buyer should hear and act on.

This is what I try and tell every buyer.

Clothes Dryer Vents

If you are buying a preowned house assume the dryer vent has never been cleaned. Then, have a chimney sweep or company specializing in vent cleaning clean it for you. It’s cheap and could save you hours trying to dry clothes or could even save your life by avoiding a fire

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Chimneys

On your list of first-year things to do and before you even think of starting a fire should be to have a chimney sweep examine and clean / repair your chimney. This is another item that is never, ever cleaned and could result in a fire.

Gutters

First off, every home should have gutters all around the entire home. Not just where the builder thought it would stop you from getting dropped on. This is a recommendation I make for every house I inspect that doesn’t have whole house gutters. Without gutters, your yard will be beaten and soiled moved around the perimeter. It’s unsightly.

But worse, the water coming off your roof will fall against the foundation and could cause the foundation to move differently in different areas…which results in cracks and problems inside and out. Plus, if moisture is sitting next to your foundation it may very well be close enough to cause damage to the wall itself.

Key here is get the water away from the house.

Also, keep the gutters clean. I have houses in my neighborhood with trees growing out of gutters. Don’t be that person.

Weep Holes

At the bottom of your beautiful brick wall, or stone wall for that matter will be weep holes. Little slots usually but sometimes holes at the bottom of the run of masonry. Keep these clear and do not stuff with caulk, paper or whatever you can find thinking you finally found how to stop the bugs from getting in your house. You haven’t and they will continue.weep

Keep weep holes clear.

Trees Touching Roofs / Ivy / Bushes Touching House

Trees should be cut back so vermin or insects cannot use the limb as a path to your precious home and house materials. They love to eat your home as much as I love fried chicken. But no one does a great job of this.

Ivy looks beautiful against a wall, climbing up, forming an entire wall of green. But it can and will find any crack or loose mortar, any space in siding and grow there out of spite. And then it will grow and can cause damage and allow insects a free highway…no tolls paid. My advice is to rip it down.

This is another way for insects to enter your home and the inspector and termite inspector can’t tell see to know what is going on. Maybe paint your wall green if you must have green. Or live in a hobbit house.

Lastly, bushes that have been allowed to grow against a house will cause the same problems as mentioned above.

And before I finish, that crepe that looks perfect a foot away from your foundation now will tower over your house until you commit crepe murder year after year. Same goes for any tree. Envision what it will look like when it is fully mature and plant further away from the house…like way far away. I won’t mention how you should consider water and sewer lines when planting. No one is going to listen to that.

Roof Debris

We just finished the third installment of oak leaves and pollen and calkins following all over the Central Texas area. What are calkins? You know when pollen had spread over everything and there is those little brown stringy stuff left…that’s catkins.

Catkins like to clump and sit on shingles more than anything. They attract other clumps and before you know it you have a mound of catkins forming a bridge across your roof.

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You may like that reddish brown mounds sitting all over your roof but it does not good for the shingles.

You see shingles are not waterproof. Nope.

They are only there to divert water down and off the roof. They do a good job at this until water stands in one place and then they will leak. Catkins cause leaks. Have someone blown them off before you have to have someone repair wet ceilings.

Fencing

Wood deteriorates in the weather. Wood that is painted deteriorates more slowly. Wood that is stained and sealed does a good job lasting much longer. Stain and seal your fence when it is new and it will look new longer. But nobody does this.

Annual or Seasonal Maintenance Assessments

The things I mention above are just a start to what homeowners should be thinking about. But there are also systems maintenance and small repairs that should be kept up every year and season. That’s how I can help.

Nope, I am not trying to sell you a bunch of repair work. I can do repairs that but I would rather be the guy that helps you prioritize work to be done and you can do it or have your favorite tradesman take care of it. That way the guy who is helping you estimate what needs to be done (that’s me) isn’t the guy who will benefit from a long list. I think it is a better arrangement for the homeowner.

My offer: Let me help you assess and inspect your house and then you will have a list to do with what you will.

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