Home Safety & Maintenance Tips
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Looks like Inspector Murphy discovered some mold... Obviously there is no such thing as a perfect house, either newly constructed or rich with a history. Every structure eventually will need some type of repair and an ongoing maintenance program implemented. It is extremely important that you properly maintain all mechanical systems, as well as the integrity of the structure for the safety of its inhabitants. Therefore, it is equally as important that any necessary repairs (completed by yourself or with the help of a Licensed Contractor) should be performed in a safe, professional manner and in accordance with the local building codes. If any of the repairs require a building permit, make certain they are obtained and posted prior to the start of any construction. Having these permits will keep you out of any conflicts with the local building authority. They will also assure that the repairs will be performed to current building code standards, and the structure will be safe for occupancy when all of the repairs have been completed.

For a home FIRE SAFETY CHECKLIST to print out and use in your home, Click On This Link.

 

Upon Moving In To Any New House...

  • Re-key or replace all locks on the exterior entrance doors, for peace of mind and improved security.

  • Ensure all windows and doors are secure. Improve window hardware if necessary. Security rods can be installed to sliding windows and doors. Consideration could also be given to a security system.

  • Replace batteries on any existing smoke detectors and test them for proper operation. Ensure that there are smoke detectors installed both inside each bed room & outside all sleeping areas within the home, and at least one smoke detector installed on each level of the home.

  • Ensure that all fire extinguishers in the home are fully charged. Recharge as necessary.

  • Create a plan of action in the event of a fire in your home. Ensure that there is an operable window or door in every room of the house. Consult with your local fire department regarding fire safety issues and information regarding what you should do in the event of a fire.

  • Examine driveways and walkways for any trip hazards. Undertake any repairs where necessary.  

  • Examine the interior of the home for any trip hazards or safety issues. Loose or torn carpeting and flooring should be repaired or replaced where necessary. Undertake improvements to all stairways, decks, porches and landings where there is a risk of falling or stumbling.

  •  Locate and make a note of the main shut-offs for the electrical, plumbing, natural gas, and HV/AC systems. If you attended the home inspection, these items would have been pointed out to you.

  • Review your home inspection report for any items that require immediate improvement, are in need of repair or require further investigation. Address these areas as required. 

 

Suggested Maintenance Program...

Monthly

  • Replace AC return air filters. Check air cleaners and humidifiers, clean as necessary.

  • Examine below all plumbing fixtures in the home for evidence of any supply or drain pipe leakage.

  • Repair or replace dripping or leaking faucets and/or shower heads. Clean aerators as needed.

  • Secure loose toilets. Check and repair any toilet flush mechanisms that leak or become troublesome.

Semiannually

  • Carefully inspect the condition of shower enclosures. Replace cracked tiles. Repair or replace deteriorated grout and caulk. Ensure that water is not escaping the enclosure during showering.

  • Examine the exterior roof areas for evidence of damage to the roof covering, flashings and chimneys.

  • Inspect the attic area (if accessible) for evidence of any water penetrations, condensation or vermin activity. Examine and ensure that roof ventilation areas are securely screened and are not obstructed.

  • Inspect the exterior walls and foundation for evidence of damage, cracking or movement. Inspect for insect activity, bird nests or other vermin. Eliminate any wood to soil contact around the perimeter.

  • Ensure that the landscaping & grading of the land around the structure encourages storm water to flow away from the foundation and there are no spots where water is encouraged to pond.

  • Trim back tree branches and shrubs to ensure that they are not in contact with the roof or structures.

  • Inspect all driveways, walkways, decks, porches and landscape components for evidence of deterioration, movement, the presents of mold or safety hazards, clean & make repairs as necessary.

  • Test the operation, oil and check the locks of all windows and doors. Improve any caulking and weather-stripping as necessary. Check for evidence of rot in door jambs and wooden window frames.

  • Inspect laundry exhaust vent for trapped lint, remove for fire safety. Replace oven exhaust fan filters.

Annually

  • Remove and vacuum all smoke detector housings, reinstall all detectors with fresh new batteries.

  • Have the entire HV/AC system and vent systems checked, cleaned and/or serviced as necessary.

  • Flush-out water heater & test the Temperature and Pressure Relief Valve for proper operation.

  • Have chimneys inspected and cleaned. Ensure that rain caps and vermin screens are secured.

  • Inspect all exterior trim, door jambs, window sills and frames. Repair, re-caulk & paint as necessary.

  • Inspect the overhead electrical supply wires coming to the house. They should be secure and clear of trees or other obstructions. Examine the protective covering; make sure it has not deteriorated.

  • Examine the electrical panels, wiring and all electrical components for evidence of overheating. Ensure that all components are secure. Flip the breakers on and off to ensure that they are not sticky.

  • Test all (GFCI) Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter devices, as identified in the inspection report.

  • Test the overhead garage door operation. Ensure that the auto-reverse mechanism is responding properly. Clean and lubricate hinges, rollers and tracks. Make sure that all the tracks are secured.

  • Shut off isolating valves for all exterior hose bibs in the fall if located in an area where below freezing temperatures are anticipated.

  • If the house utilizes a well, check and service the pump and holding tank. Have the water quality tested. If the property has a septic system, have the tank inspected (and pumped as needed).

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