Phoenixville Home Inspector: Prepare for Emergencies!
I have 24 water shutoff valves in my home and know where each of them are. Do you know where all of yours are and how to operate them?
As a Home Inspector in Phoenixville, I hear stories of how small home emergencies soon become huge disasters because the homeowner didn't know what to do when the unexpected happened. Prepare for emergencies ahead of time!
If you are relatively new to homeownership, one of the things I like to do when I'm performing a home inspection in the Phoenixville area for a buyer is to have them walk around the property with me so I can teach them about the house, point out maintenance issues, and educate them about the systems. It is not required that you be there for the home inspection, but I certainly recommend it.
Below are some of the items you should be aware of if you already own a home:.
WATER SHUT OFFS
Each of my bathrooms has three shut-off valves - two under the sink (hot and cold water) and one for the toilet. If, for some reason, one or all break and I have water coming through, I know where the main water valve is located. I've tested it to make sure the knob doesn't break off in my hand if I ever run up against a real emergency.
It's easy to let these valves age into disrepair. Honestly, they aren't items that we work with on a regular basis. Except for the testing of the water main every year or so, I've not touched the other shut-off valves in more than three years.
How's your water heater? Have you checked the bottom of it lately for any evidence of rust? For many homeowners, this is one of those household items that never gets checked until water is running everywhere. Prepare for emergencies and make sure the water heater has a shutoff valve. Know how to use it and have your kids try it out too.
Have you looked over your electrical panel? Is it labeled? If you've remodeled, the labels need to be changed. If they aren't clearly marked, take a few minutes to an hour this weekend (depending on number of outlets, switches and lights you have) and take care of this little project. Here's what you do:
1) Turn on all the lights and in lamps, appliances, or radios into the outlets you're testing.
2) One person stays by the panel flipping switches, while the other walks around the house letting you know what's on and what's off.
3) Use a cell phone with your helper to make the job easier!
4) When you flip off the breaker, write on the label everything it turns off. That's it!
The dishwasher and washing machine are couple of intensive appliances. You need to keep up with them and know what's happening underneath. Look over the hoses periodically and make sure they are not getting old and about to split open. Check for rust in the bottom of the baskets (if you have metal construction).
If you notice a touch of rust in the bottom of your dishwasher when you are loading/unloading dishes, check the flooring for signs of water leakage or go in the basement to see if the dishwasher might be leaking during a cycle. If not, make a mental note to keep an eye on it in case it gets worse. Rust can work its way up from the bottom.
This Phoenixville Home Inspector believes you should Prepare for Emergencies and prevent them with a little testing and preventative maintenance. With a little education about the home, you might know what to do once the unexpected happens!
David Artigliere with ARTI Home Inspections LLC has been an ASHI Certified Phoenixville Home Inspector for over 10 years. He offers Home Inspections in Phoenixville & Surrounding 7 days a week.