Though your home isn’t alive, it is still very much like a “real person”. It can have its bad days and good days. It can get “sick” when systems break down, and it can become “temperamental” when there are hidden problems in need of repair. In most cases, you will not know what is wrong until something breaks or someone is injured. And as with the human body, one symptom is usually a sign of a bigger problem that, if not treated or repaired, can lead to even more symptoms and much bigger problems later on.Ironically, as large of an investment as a house is, it is maintained far less frequently than the family car though your house often costs ten to twenty times as much as your family car. But unlike what is provided for the family car, a home rarely ever receives a “check-up”. Instead, problems that occur in a home are typically only addressed after something breaks or after damage to its structure and systems has become so severe that you are forced to make repairs. Most homeowners give very little consideration to the fact that, if found early on, home-related problems can be addressed or repaired before those problems become so large that the expense of fixing them cause a financial strain.But how do you know something is wrong with your home to begin with? Just as a 60,000-mile inspection and tune-up can help you to identify and prevent problems with your automobile, the only way you will be able to identify and prevent existing or potential problems with your home is to give it an inspection and tune-up, as well.Based on various facts such as weathering and local weather patterns, normal wear and tear, and the planned obsolescence of construction materials and mechanical systems, we recommend that you schedule a home inspected every two years during the lifetime of residency in your home. And just as with a buyer-seller home inspection, we will also provide you with a detailed report about the damage we find to the systems and structure in your home.
MYTHS ABOUT HOME MAINTENANCE INSPECTIONS
In a recent survey, we discovered that the number one reason that more current-occupancy homeowners don’t get their homes periodically inspected is simply because they aren’t aware that the service is available outside of the real estate transaction period. The fact is that Home Maintenance Inspections have always been available, but they simply aren’t marketed by real estate agents or most professional home inspections – and there’s a reason why.First, home-buyers and sellers have been lead to believe that only time they should be concerned about the health of a property is when an initial financial transaction is occurring, such as when a property is being sold or purchased. This is actually a bit deceiving because every month you own your home, you are engaged in making a financial transaction. You pay a mortgage, right? You pay utility bills, right? So if you are going to make these payments every month, then wouldn’t you want to assure that you aren’t paying these sums of money into an “investment” that is falling apart right under your feet or above your head? Of course not, yet tens-of-millions of people do just that because of a simple misbelief.Second, many current-occupancy homeowners do not get a home inspection because they believe that the home inspector will find thousands-of-dollars of damage that would cause a financial strain if fixed. But regardless of what the home inspector finds, you need to know the condition of your home. The home inspector cannot force you to fix anything, nor can they condemn your property. In other words, there is no “pass” or “fail” score. There is simply knowledge, and knowledge is power. Still, most homeowners are pleasantly surprised that a home inspection discovers the kind of damage that can often be repaired for only a few dollars before such damage grows worse, and thus, costs the homeowner thousands of dollars.
Did you know?
All of the following problems and more can occur, and are likely to occur on some level, after you sign a closing contract on your home. Wear-and-tear, system obsolecense, weathering, and pest invasion/infestation do not recognize what a closing contract is, but a Home Maintenance Inspectioncan help you to prevent problems before they become an expensive reminder that that proper preventative maintenance is a priority worth taking seriously.Most home inspections occur at the time a home is bought or sold. Buyer-seller inspections may assure that a home is suitable for sale or purchase, but buyer-seller inspections don’t prevent natural wear-and-tear on a home. Even after the closing contract is signed, the structural and mechanical systems of a home continue to deteriorate.The average family occupies a home for eleven years. This means that there are eleven years of damage that accrue on the home from normal usage, obsolecense of building materials, obsolecense of mechanical systems, inclement weather, and more.Heat causes building materials to expand. As building materials expand due to extreme or continuous exposure to heat (such as from the Sun), those materials can, and often will, twist, warp, bend, pull apart, and cause breaches. These breaches can, in turn, expose your home to pests and moisture. Long-time exposure can then lead to extensive damage caused by nesting, water-rot, rust, loss of insulation value, electrical shorts, mechanical system failures, and more.Gas or wood-burning systems produce CO gas (carbon monoxide) that, if not properly ventilated, can lead to potential health problems or poisoning.One-in-fifteen homes contain a high-level of Radon gas. Radon, a naturally-occurring radioactive gas that emulates from the ground, causes approximately 20,000 deaths per year in the United States according to the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency).Toxic mold, such as Stachybotrys or Chaetomium, can lead to chronic bronchitis, learning disabilities, mental deficiencies, heart problems, cancer, multiple sclerosis, chronic fatigue, lupus, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple chemical sensitivity, bleeding lungs and much more.Indoor air quality can be worsened by smoke, pet dander, pet hair, human dander, dust, invading pest feces, invading pest carcasses, and more. The heating and air systems in your home can distribute polluted air to all parts of your home if not properly filtered and vented.Improper insulation can lead to an increase of up to thirty-percent in annual energy costs.Improperly-grounded electrical systems can lead to fires. You typically will not know that your home’s electrical system is damaged until systems begin to malfunction (short-circuits) or after a fire has already occurred.Water and heat can cause structural components in your home to contract and expand. This can cause adjoining components to pull each other apart thus reducing the structural integrity of your home.A single plant growing out of a crack in your driveway is strong enough to completely lift and push-apart large slabs of concrete. Mother nature will do her best to plant a tree in the middle of your driveway, and she will succeed if ignored.A cracked chimney or other improperly-flashed vent on your roof can cause a small waterfall down the inside walls of your home. This can lead to severe moisture damage, structural rotting, mold growth, infestation of insects, damage to electrical systems, and more.
EVERY TWO YEARS
Bungtalows to Mansions Home Inspections recommends that you receive a Home Maintenance Inspection every two years after you have closed on your property. For about the cost of a basic automotive tune-up, a Home Maintenance Inspection can help to identify problems and damage in your home before they become an expensive or irreversible threat to your fiscal and physical well-being.
WHAT WE INSPECT, AND WHAT YOU SHOULD EXPECT
Much like a buyer-seller home inspection, a Home Maintenance Inspection is a visual examination of your home’s systems, mechanicals and structure. We examine everything from roof to basement to assure that the items inspected are in proper working order. If we should discover any defects or damage [within the scope of our inspection policy], it will be noted in our thorough Home Inspection Damage Report.Our report will review the condition of the home’s heating system, central air conditioning system (temperature permitting), interior plumbing and electrical systems; the roof, attic, and visible insulation; walls, ceilings, floors, windows and doors; the foundation, basement, and visible structure. Many inspectors will also offer additional services not included in a typical home inspection, such as mold, radon and water testing.Keep in mind that a Home Maintenance Inspection does not prevent further damage to your property, but it can help you to identify and correct existing damage that you may not know about. Our Home Maintenance Inspections are also not appraisal inspection and cannot help you to determine the value of your property (though it can help you to maintain its value). Finally, a Home Maintenance Inspection is not a code inspection and does not provide you with a pass or fail score. You simply cannot fail a Home Maintenance Inspection.