Arizona Fall Maintenance Inspection for Your Home--Outdoors
Now that the temperatures are dropping here in the Valley, it’s time to finally go outside and inspect our homes for wear and damage. The best way to do this is to make a checklist of what may need our attention. The best tool we have to prevent damage to our home is our eyes. If we understand and address problems when they’re small, they never have an opportunity to get out of hand. Also, if there are things about our homes which don't work or we dislike, remodeling can sometimes save us some repair money.
Fall maintenance starts with the roof. A well-maintained roof can save a homeowner thousands of dollars in damage by preventing leaks before they start.
Many people don’t care to do their roof inspection and maintenance, both because they lack the expertise to do a visual inspection and because it involves a ladder and climbing onto the roof, which can be hazardous even with the right equipment and shoes.
But, for this blog, we’re at least going to pretend to go up. Ready? Let’s go!
Tiles, skylights, vents, and flashing
First, we examine the tiles to make sure none are missing, lifting, or damaged. Skylights are common areas for leaks to occur, as are plumbing vents since rubber gaskets and caulking can age or be gnawed by rodents. Vent covers need to be secure. We’ll check the edge flashing and step-flashing at roof-to-wall transition areas, such as dormers and fireplaces. Satellite and cable tv equipment seals also need to be checked to make sure they are in place and secure.
Gutters, encroaching branches, vent screens
Next, we move to the edges of the roof to check for damaged gutters, drip edging, scuppers, and downspouts, as well as the trim and eaves, where we check for wood rot. Fall is a good time of year to clean those gutters and downspouts. We also need to look for any dead or damaged overhanging tree branches which might create a problem for the roof or siding during a monsoon event. It’s important for vent screens to be in place and secure so that flying bugs, birds, bats, and roof rats can’t breach the attic or crawl space. We can address damage as a result of holiday lights from the previous year, too.
If the roof looks good, we climb down and inspect the windows and doors.
Windows, doors, locks, and awnings
Windows and doors may require new caulking between the gaps between the wall and the window casing. Worn weather stripping also needs to be replaced. Sometimes we find moisture between double-paned windows, which means the seal has failed. Aluminum framing or wood trim around windows and door frames can crack or decay. We look for torn screens and bent or broken frames. Broken panes or faulty door locks can be repaired or replaced. Secure awnings which are in good condition complete our window inspection.
Siding, stucco, and mortar
We continue our journey around the outside of the house with a careful visual inspection for rotten, damaged, or improperly aligned siding, cracks or soft spots in stucco, or crumbling mortar between bricks, and termite trails.
Steps, decks, porches, and patios
We also look for broken steps and stairs and make certain all railings and beams are secure. If a home has ramps, we want those to be sturdy. Next, we examine each deck, porch, and patio for warping wood, rot, vermin, or accidental damage. Trellises and other additions should be secure to be safe. Sometimes deck areas need to be cleaned, re-stained or resealed.
Water, power, and lighting
Last, we check outside spigots for leaks, test outdoor GFCI electrical sockets, and make sure any weatherproof boxes are still sound. Outdoor light fixtures and security lighting should all be tested to make sure they are in working order. The garage door should operate smoothly and have a good seal.
Finally, we peruse the property wall or fence, and all gates, including their hinges and locks, for defects, damage, and deterioration.
This concludes our outdoor maintenance inspection. Sometimes, a homeowner will live with a problem for so long that it becomes part of the landscape, so they don’t really ‘see’ it anymore. But, it’s important to look at your home with fresh eyes to find these problems so you can live in a safe and happy home.
If you need a major repair or remodeling for your Phoenix area home, call us at Arizona Certified Remodeling 602-478-9492 for a free estimate.