Annual Home Maintenance Inspections
In a home, very few things are maintenance free. While it is a bitter pill for most homeowners to swallow, the fact is that preventative maintenance, with all the time and money it consumes, is still far more cost effective than the crisis management approach of waiting until something breaks and then scrambling to have it repaired. Preventative maintenance can avoid repairs, extend the life expectancy of many components and in some cases, reduce energy consumption.
A systematic maintenance approach also allows one to monitor certain conditions and components. Regular roof inspections, for example, will give one enough advance warning to allow for several roofing quotes in order to make an educated and cost effective purchase of a new roof covering. If on the other hand, no maintenance is done, and the roof suddenly leaks, there is very little time to do comparative shopping. Under these circumstances, one is forced to go with the roofer who can do the job the fastest - not necessarily with the roofing materials of your choice or at the best possible price.
In addition to monitoring systems which wear out, structural monitoring can also be performed. It is not uncommon for people who have been living in a house for some time to suddenly realize that a door frame is out of square and the door does not close properly.
With regular maintenance, the cracks which occur in the wall surfaces adjacent to the door frame can be monitored. Knowing whether these cracks have appeared suddenly or have been increasing at a specific rate, is valuable information when diagnosing the problem and designing a repair.
Regular maintenance is not everybody's cup of tea. Hiring a handyman to perform maintenance inspections and minor repairs is not unwise. Better yet, hiring a professional home inspector to perform an annual home maintenance inspection is very wise.
Ideally, preventative maintenance inspections should be performed semi-annually in the spring and fall. However, some components require more or less frequent inspections. Records of any repair work performed should be noted in your home's maintenance file.
One last thought. There is probably not a homeowner alive who performs maintenance inspections to the degree that we suggest. So take all of this with a grain of salt. Suffice it to say, the more you do, the better.
For more safety and home maintenance tips, I encourage you to take advantage of our online Home Maintenance Guide.