SUMMER Seasonal Maintenance Checklist

backyard_playground

  • Check kids’ playground equipment.
  • Check your wood deck or concrete patio for deterioration.
  • Check the nightlights at the top and bottom of all stairways.
  • Check the exterior siding.
  • Check all window and door locks.
  • Check your home for water leaks.
  • Check the water hoses on the clothes washer, refrigerator, icemaker and dishwasher for cracks and bubbles.
  • Check lawn watering equipment and make sure it is not spraying against masonry walls.
  • Check all exterior lighting.
  • Check guttering and downspouts.

Scott Price, CPI, #1532
Certified Home Inspector
Home Run Inspections
405-905-9175
homeruninspections@icloud.com
We cover all of the bases!

Serving the Oklahoma City metro and surrounding areas including Edmond, Guthrie, Cashion, Yukon, Moore, Norman, Chickasha, Midwest City/Del City, Bethany, El Reno, Shawnee, Harrah, and more.

Schedule Inspections Online at:
www.Home-RunInspections.com
Like us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/homeruninspections
Follow us on Twitter: www.Twitter.com/HomeRunInspect2

http://www.home-runinspections.com/

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Flood Zones

Flood Zones 

Check with local authorities to determine if your home is in a flood-risk zone. If it is, check with local building officials. Higher standards than those set by national agencies have been adopted by many communities. 

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the National Flood Insurance Program have established and defined five major flood-risk zones and created special flood-resistance requirements for each.

For a flood map, visit www.nachi.org/go/femamaps.

Improperly designed grading and drainage may aggravate flood hazards to buildings and cause runoff, soil erosion and sedimentation in the zones of lower flood risk, according to the Interflood Zone and the Non-Regulated Flood Plain.

In these locations, local agencies may regulate building elevations above street or sewer levels.

In the next higher risk zones, the Special Flood Hazard Areas and the Non-Velocity Coastal Flood Areas (both Zone A), the elevation of the lowest floor and its structural members above the base flood elevation is required.

In the zone of highest flood risk, the Coastal High Hazard Areas (Velocity Zone, Zone V), additional structural requirements apply.

#floodzones #floodzone #flood

Preventing Moisture Intrusion

PREVENTING MOISTURE INTRUSION

Monitor the Exterior 

Planters:  Check any planting beds adjacent to the foundation of your house because planters are built in a way that traps water, which may infiltrate hidden areas of your home. The structure around the planting beds acts like a dam and traps water. Flower planters should never be installed up against a house’s exterior wall. 

Puddles:  Puddles and areas of standing water are not good. The ground surface beneath decks, porches and other parts of a house that are supported by posts or cantilevered structures should be checked, especially if you have a sprinkler system. The ground should not have any low-lying areas but should be sloped so that water will not collect and puddle there. Settled backfill allows water to collect next to the foundation wall and penetrate the house’s foundation. 

Gutters & Downspouts:  Downspouts may need adjustment. Water from the roof reaches the ground through gutters and downspouts or by flowing directly off roof edges. Because downspouts create concentrated sources of water in the landscape, where they discharge is important. Downspouts should not discharge where water will flow directly onto or over a walkway, driveway or stairs. The downspouts on a hillside home should discharge on the downhill-side of the building. The force of water leaving a downspout is sometimes great enough to damage the adjacent ground, so some protection at grade, such as a splash block or a paved drainage chute, is needed. In urban areas, it is better to drain downspouts to an underground storm water drainage system, if there is one, or underground to discharge at a lower grade away from buildings. Water that flows directly off a roof lacking gutters and downspouts can cause damage below. Accordingly, some provision in the landscaping may be needed, such as a gravel bed or paved drainage way.

#moistureinstrusion #exterior #homemaintenance

Retaining Walls

Retaining Walls

If possible, weep holes and related drains should be assessed following a heavy rain to make sure they are working properly. If they are not discharging water, the drains should be cleaned out and observed again in the next rain. Retaining walls more than 2 feet high should be backed with drainage material, such as gravel. There should be drains at the bottom of the drainage material that should discharge the water either at the end of the wall or through pipes. These drains and the drainage material behind the wall relieve the pressure of groundwater on the wall. Failure to drain could be remedied by excavating behind the wall, replacing the drainage material and damaged drainage piping, and backfilling. In all but the driest climates, improper drainage of water from behind a retaining wall can cause the wall to fail. 

Look for movement in your retaining walls. Bowing (vertical bulges), sweeping (horizontal bulges), and cracking in retaining walls can be caused by water pressure (or hydrostatic pressure). Bulging can also be a result of inadequate strength to resist the load of the earth behind the wall. Bowing and sweeping failures may be correctable if found early enough and if the cause is poor drainage. 

There are other types of failures of retaining walls. Failure by over-turning (leaning from the top) or sliding may be caused by inadequate wall strength. In addition, water behind a wall can create unstable earth, especially in clay soils, and contribute to sliding. Retaining walls also fail due to settlement and heaving. Settlement occurs whenever filled earth below the wall compacts soon after the wall is built, or when wet earth caused by poor drainage dries out and soil consolidates. In cold climates, poor drainage contributes to failure by creating heaving from frozen ground. Both overturning and sliding earth may be stabilized and sometimes corrected if the amount of movement is not extreme. Settling may be corrected on small, low walls of concrete or masonry, and heaving may be controlled by proper drainage. Significant failure of any kind usually requires rebuilding or replacing all or part of a wall. Consult a qualified professional when major repairs or corrections are needed.

#retainingwalls #retainingwall

Laundry and Utility Rooms

Laundry and Utility Rooms

Laundry Room:  Watch for leaks and kinks developing at plumbing connections to the washing machine.  Water can overflow from the top or bottom if the machine is overloaded with a load that’s too big, or if it is resting on an uneven surface.  

Protect the electrical or natural gas connections to the dryer and ensure that they are not disturbed or accidentally dislodged from their connections.

A gas dryer vent that passes through walls or combustible materials must be made of metal.  The length of a dryer exhaust ensures that its blower will be able to push sufficient air volume to take away the laundry’s damp air and lint. The maximum length of the exhaust hose should not be greater than 25 feet from the dryer to the termination at the wall or roof.  The length can be increased only when the make and model of the dryer are known. 

Inspect the dryer venting to make sure it is not clogged or restricted, which will help the unit operate efficiently and normally, as well as prevent the unit’s motor from overheating and failing.  A clogged or restricted vent hose may also lead to an accidental fire caused by the ignition up built-up debris.  

The clothes dryer exhaust poses a different problem than other exhaust systems because the air is damp and carries lint.  Ensure that the vent exhausts to the outside and not to the attic, crawlspace, or attached garage because the wooden structural members of the house could be affected over time.  The exhaust vent’s termination should have a backdraft damper installed to prevent cold air, rain, snow, rodents, and birds from entering the vent.  The vent termination should not have a screen on it, as this can trap lint and other debris and pose a fire hazard.

Furnace Room:  Rooms or closets containing combustion or fuel-burning equipment or appliances should not be located off a bedroom in a single-family residence (and must be in a publicly accessible area in a multi-family building). 

#laundryroom #utilityroom

Window Maintenance

Window Maintenance

Condition:  Window frames, sills and sashes should be monitored because the interior condition and hardware of windows change over time. Frame materials can include plastic, aluminum, steel, wood, plastic-clad wood, and metal-clad (steel or aluminum) wood. Window types include double-hung, single-hung, casement, horizontal sliding, projected out or awning, projected in, and fixed. In addition to these, there are jalousies, which are glass louvers on an aluminum or steel frame. 

At older sashes, the glazing compound or putty around the glass panels should be monitored carefully, since this is a vulnerable part of the window and its repair is time-consuming. Check the panels in steel or aluminum sashes for signs of deterioration, such as hardened sealant. Check metal sashes for weep holes that have been blocked by paint, sealant or dirt. Weep holes are usually easy to clean. Storm windows and doors should be monitored for operation, weathertightness, overall condition, and fit. 

Weatherstripping:  Window and door weatherstripping is generally one of three types: metal; foam plastic; or plastic stripping. Each type should have a good fit. Check the metal for dents, bends and straightness. Check foam plastic for resiliency, and plastic stripping for brittleness and cracks. Make sure the weatherstripping is securely held in place. 

Shutters & Awnings:  Periodically check the shutters’ operation and observe their condition and fit. Shutters close to the ground can be examined from the ground. Shutters out of reach from the ground should be examined from inside the house. 

Monitor the condition of your awnings. The attachment to the exterior wall can become loose. Oftentimes, an attachment device in the mortar joint of a brick wall can be easily pulled or slid outward. Some windows and glazed exterior doors have awnings over them for decoration, sun control, and protection from the weather. 

#windowmaintenance

Water Leak Alarms

Have you been stung financially from a water disaster in your home.  I have, and it’s no fun.

Would you like to know how to avoid repeating that scenario in the future?

As a home inspector I have encountered evidence of water-damage repairs, and the buyer usually asks how can they prevent a similar event in the future.   One inexpensive way I have found is a battery operated flood alarm.  These are inexpensive devices you can place in areas that you have concerns about such as an upstairs water heater.

Just google “water leak alarm” and you will see a wide range of inexpensive options.  They are readily available at your local big box store or online.  These simple devices can be placed next to washing machines, sinks, water heaters, radiators, bathrooms, basements, boats or sump pumps inside garages or sink cabinets.

Scott Price, CPI, #1532
Certified Home Inspector
Home Run Inspections
405-905-9175
homeruninspections@icloud.com
We cover all of the bases!

Serving the Oklahoma City metro and surrounding areas including Edmond, Guthrie, Cashion, Yukon, Moore, Norman, Chickasha, Midwest City/Del City, Bethany, El Reno, Shawnee, Harrah, and more.

Schedule Inspections Online at:
www.Home-RunInspections.com
Like us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/homeruninspections
Follow us on Twitter: www.Twitter.com/HomeRunInspect2

 

Preventing Moisture Intrusion

Spring is almost upon us again.  Along with the warmer temperatures usually comes a lot of rain, which we really need.  This is a great time to look around your home and make sure you do not have any places where water can get into your home.  It’s really one of your home’s biggest enemies, so take time to check out the following locations, and make sure your home is sealed from water intrusion.

Planters: Check any planting beds adjacent to the foundation of your house because planters are built in a way that traps water, which may infiltrate hidden areas of your home. The structure around the planting beds acts like a dam and traps water. Flower planters should never be installed up against a house’s exterior wall.

Puddles: Puddles and areas of standing water are not good. The ground surface beneath decks, porches and other parts of a house that are supported by posts or cantilevered structures should be checked, especially if you have a sprinkler system. The ground should not have any low-lying areas but should be sloped so that water will not collect and puddle there. Settled backfill allows water to collect next to the foundation wall and penetrate the house’s foundation.

Gutters & Downspouts: Downspouts may need adjustment. Water from the roof reaches the ground through gutters and downspouts or by flowing directly off roof edges. Because downspouts create concentrated sources of water in the landscape, where they discharge is important. Downspouts should not discharge where water will flow directly onto or over a walkway, driveway or stairs. The downspouts on a hillside home should discharge on the downhill-side of the building. The force of water leaving a downspout is sometimes great enough to damage the adjacent ground, so some protection at grade, such as a splash block or a paved drainage chute, is needed. In urban areas, it is better to drain downspouts to an underground storm water drainage system, if there is one, or underground to discharge at a lower grade away from buildings. Water that flows directly off a roof lacking gutters and downspouts can cause damage below. Accordingly, some provision in the landscaping may be needed, such as a gravel bed or paved drainage way.

Flood Zones

Check with local authorities to determine if your home is in a flood-risk zone. If it is, check with local building officials. Higher standards than those set by national agencies have been adopted by many communities.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the National Flood Insurance Program have established and defined five major flood-risk zones and created special flood-resistance requirements for each. For a flood map, visit www.nachi.org/go/femamaps. Improperly designed grading and drainage may aggravate flood hazards to buildings and cause runoff, soil erosion and sedimentation in the zones of lower flood risk, according to the Interflood Zone and the Non-Regulated Flood Plain. In these locations, local agencies may regulate building elevations above street or sewer levels. In the next higher risk zones, the Special Flood Hazard Areas and the Non-Velocity Coastal Flood Areas (both Zone A), the elevation of the lowest floor and its structural members above the base flood elevation is required. In the zone of highest flood risk, the Coastal High Hazard Areas (Velocity Zone, Zone V), additional structural requirements apply.

Scott Price, CPI, #1532
Certified Home Inspector
Home Run Inspections
405-905-9175
homeruninspections@icloud.com
We cover all of the bases!

Serving the Oklahoma City metro and surrounding areas including Edmond, Guthrie, Cashion, Yukon, Moore, Norman, Chickasha, Blanchard, Midwest City/Del City, Bethany, El Reno, Shawnee, Harrah, and more.

Schedule Inspections Online at:
www.Home-RunInspections.com
Like us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/homeruninspections
Follow us on Twitter: www.Twitter.com/HomeRunInspect2

http://www.home-runinspections.com/

Laundry and Utility Rooms

 

As a home inspector, I come across dryer vent termination issues multiple times per week.   Laundry rooms can quickly create problems and damage in your home.

Here are some things to be aware of:

Watch for leaks and kinks developing at plumbing connections to the washing machine. 

Water can overflow from the top or bottom if the machine is overloaded with a load that’s too big or if it is resting on an uneven surface.  

Protect the electrical or natural gas connections to the dryer, and ensure that they are not disturbed or accidentally dislodged from their connections.

A gas dryer vent that passes through walls or combustible materials must be made of metal. 

The length of a dryer exhaust ensures that its blower will be able to push sufficient air volume to take away the laundry’s damp air and lint.  The maximum length of the exhaust hose should not be greater than 25 feet from the dryer to the termination at the wall or roof.  The length can be increased only when the make and model of the dryer are known. 

Inspect the dryer venting to make sure it is not clogged or restricted, which will help the unit operate efficiently and normally as well as prevent the unit’s motor from overheating and failing.  A clogged or restricted vent hose may also lead to an accidental fire caused by the ignition of built-up debris.  

The clothes dryer exhaust poses a different problem than other exhaust systems because the air is damp and carries lint.  Ensure that the vent exhausts to the outside and not to the attic, crawlspace, or attached garage, because the wooden structural members of the house could be affected over time.  The exhaust vent’s termination should have a backdraft damper installed to prevent cold air, rain, snow, rodents, and birds from entering the vent.  The vent termination should not have a screen on it, as this can trap lint and other debris and pose a fire hazard.

Scott Price, CPI, #1532
Certified Home Inspector
Home Run Inspections
405-905-9175
homeruninspections@icloud.com
We cover all of the bases!

Serving the Oklahoma City metro and surrounding areas including Edmond, Guthrie, Cashion, Yukon, Moore, Norman, Chickasha, Blanchard, Midwest City/Del City, Bethany, El Reno, Shawnee, Harrah, and more.

Schedule Inspections Online at:
www.Home-RunInspections.com
Like us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/homeruninspections
Follow us on Twitter: www.Twitter.com/HomeRunInspect2

http://www.home-runinspections.com

 

 

Stairs Safety and Maintenance

Structural Integrity:  All stairs must be kept structurally sound. Remember to examine the basement stairs.  Check the area where they meet the floor and where they are attached to the floor joists above.  

Stair Width and Clearance:  Stairways should have a minimum headroom of 6 feet and 8 inches and a width of 3 feet.

Treads and Risers:  The riser of a stair is the height of the step.  The tread is the step’s depth. Riser heights and tread depths should be as uniform as possible. All treads should be level and secure.  As a guide, stairs in new homes must have a maximum riser height of 7-3/4 inches and a minimum tread depth of 10 inches.  The maximum difference in height for risers and depth for treads should not exceed 3/8-inch.

Handrails and Guardrails:  You can check a railing’s stability and its fastenings by shaking it vigorously.  Handrails are normally required to be 34 to 38 inches above the stair nosing on at least one side of all stairways having three or more risers.  Guardrails are required on open sides of stairways and should have intermediate rails that do not allow the passage of a sphere 4 inches in diameter.

Lighting:  All interior and exterior stairways should have a means to illuminate the stairs, including landings and treads. Interior stairways should have a light located at each landing, except where a light is installed directly over each stairway section.  Public stair and hallway lights in multi-family buildings should be operable from centralized controls. 

Scott Price, CPI, #1532
Certified Home Inspector
Home Run Inspections
405-905-9175
homeruninspections@icloud.com
We cover all of the bases!

Serving the Oklahoma City metro and surrounding areas including Edmond, Guthrie, Cashion, Yukon, Moore, Norman, Chickasha, Blanchard, Midwest City/Del City, Bethany, El Reno, Shawnee, Harrah, and more.

Schedule Inspections Online at:
www.Home-RunInspections.com
Like us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/homeruninspections
Follow us on Twitter: www.Twitter.com/HomeRunInspect2