Priority maintenance for home buyers...
There are so many home maintenance and repair items that are important; it can be confusing trying to establish which are the most critical. To simplify things, we have compiled a short list of tasks. These are by no means all-inclusive, nor do they replace any of the information in a home inspection report. They should, however, help you get started on the right foot. Remember, any items marked as priority or safety issues on the home inspection report need immediate attention.
1. Install smoke detectors (usually one on each level of the home, near any sleeping areas). Install carbon monoxide detectors, according to the manufacturer recommendations.
2. Make any electrical improvements recommended in the home inspection report.
3. Remove any wood/soil contact to prevent rot and insect damage.
4. Change the locks on all doors. Use a dead-bolt for better security and to minimize insurance costs.
5. Remove or correct trip hazards such as broken or uneven walks, patios, and driveways. Loose or torn carpet or flooring should also be repaired promptly.
6. Correct unsafe stairways and landings. (treads uneven, too narrow, sloped, loose; risers irregular or too high; landings missing, poorly lit, or too small; railings missing, loose, too low, et cetera)
7. Have all chimneys inspected and serviced before operating any of these appliances.
8. Locate and mark the shut-offs for the heating, electrical, and plumbing systems.
9. Label the circuits at the electrical panel.
10. If there is a septic system, have the tank inspected, and pumped if necessary. If the house is on a private water supply (well), set up a regular testing procedure for checking water quality.
Regular maintenance items:
1. Clean the gutters in the spring and fall.
2. Check for damaged roofing and flashing materials in spring and fall and repair as required.
3. Cut back trees and shrubs from the house walls, roof and air conditioning system as needed.
4. Check the attic(s) for evidence of leaks or condensation make sure the vents are not obstructed at least twice a year, and repair as required.
5. Review the basement/crawlspace for evidence of leaks or condensation at least twice a year, and repair as required.
6. Clean the tracks on horizontal sliding windows annually, and ensure the drain holes are clear.
7. Shut off and drain outdoor faucets every fall.
8. Service the furnace/boiler annually.
9. Test ground-fault circuit interrupters, carbon monoxide detectors, and smoke detectors using the test button monthly.
10. Check furnace filters, humidifiers and electronic air cleaners monthly and service as required.
11. Check the bathtub and shower caulking monthly and repair as required.
12. Test the reversing mechanism of the garage door monthly.