Yearly home maintenance

I know, home maintenance, not your favorite topic. But, without it, it becomes house maintenance or worse, the banks issue. Actually, home maintenance shouldn’t be a chore, rather a way to mindlessly block out the normal day to day. Don’t look at it as a challenge but a goal. Most homes here in sunny southwest Florida are a one story ranch style with not more than 10′ to the gutter. Others may need more ladder and nerve , otherwise, maintenance covered here is the same.

If you had the mindset to have a home inspection and your report is still available, use it. The inspection has every aspect covered and, if you go section to section you can spot trouble areas before they get worse or perform the basic maintenance needed at that time. A visual inspection can save you time and money in the long run. Neglect costs money, isn’t your time valuable?

A typical 30 minute walk around the house inspection can make you aware of potential failures just by sight. Many are cosmetic, some only by sound and still others that just fail. You can usually spot the warning signs of failure before deficiencies make the checklist.

  • Look at your roof and roof components such as vent pipes and ridge vents
  • Check your trim boards and soffits, look for loose damaged sections
  • Exterior walls, chalky paint, damaged siding, cracked stucco, dirty surfaces
  • Windows, doors and trim. Any damaged glass, rusty doors, missing caulking?
  • Gutters and downspouts, clean and seal. Extend diverters where needed
  • Landscaping, cut and remove if close to structure. Trees 20′ and bushes 2′ away from structure which will help keep moisture away from home.
  • Grading. If water is pooling against structure, regarding and more drainage is needed
  • Driveways/walkways/patio surfaces. Clean all surfaces, seal cracks or reset pavers
  • Screen cages or enclosures. Check anchor bolts and screening, replace as needed
  • Plumbing, HVAC, Electrical components, if visual looks like it needs attention, consult a licensed professional for advise on repair or replacements.
  • Pools, seawalls, docks and decks all require annual maintenance. Check each component and repair/replace as needed
  • Pests such as ants, termites, rodents and bees can all be spotted and deterred if caught in the early stages.

Keeping the exterior will help ensure the interior will stay dry and comfortable for many years. As always, many components of your home will require proper permits and/or a Licensed contractor to perform some of your annual maintenance. Pay a little today or pay a lot later, your choice.

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4 Point Insurance Inspection

What is a 4 point Insurance Inspection?

Usually, a four point will be required if the home is 25 years or older, regardless if it’s a new policy or one that may be up for renewal.

What the Inspection Covers

This type of inspection covers four basic areas: Heating, ventilation and air conditioning or HVAC, Electrical, plumbing, and roof. Any of these components could be a potential source of a home owner’s insurance claim. If they’re in good condition, the insurer can feel more confident about issuing a policy. Otherwise, the Insurer can request failed components be updated prior to issuing the new policy.

What can be a red flag during a four point inspection?

Over the years, building techniques and materials have changed. What was once a new and innovative product 25 years ago may now be todays problems.

What is a 4 point Insurance Inspection?

This type of inspection covers four basic areas: Heating, ventilation and air conditioning or HVAC, Electrical, plumbing, and roof. Any of these components could be a potential source of a home owner’s insurance claim. If they’re in good condition, the insurer can feel more confident about issuing a policy. Otherwise, the Insurer can request failed components be updated prior to issuing the new policy.

What can be a red flag during a four point inspection?

Over the years, building techniques and materials have changed. What was once a new and innovative product 25 years ago, may now be today’s issues.

HVAC Systems; Older systems may still be in use but not energy efficient. Many HVAC systems will last 15 to 20 years. What I find is the a/c component was replaced but the air handler was never serviced or upgraded.

PLUMBING; Polybutylene, usually a gray or white plastic is a form of plastic resin that was used in the manufacture of water supplies from 1978 to 1995. A series of reports have suggested that increased use of choloramines inhibit corrosion to not only the polymers in the plastic but to the metal connections as well. It isn’t inherently bad. It does not make you 100% uninsurable. It will not definitely fail. It does, however, put a homeowner at a potentially higher risk for serious plumbing leaks.

ELECTRICAL SYSTEM; Most homes today are up to date and have approved panels and wiring. This is not the case when it comes to some specific panels and manufacturers.

Federal Pacific Electric Company (FPE) was one of the most common manufacturers of circuit breaker panels in North America from the 1950s to the 1980s. Millions of their panels were installed in homes across the country. Yet, as the years passed, electricians and home inspectors often found Federal Pacific Electric panels failed to provide proper protection to homeowners and their families. Experts now say that FPE panels can appear to work fine for years, but after one over current or short circuit, they can overheat and become fire hazards. I advise upgrading.

ROOFING; There are many options for roofing. Many types have a life expectancy averaging 25 to 40 years. Most problems associated with inspecting for a four point is that the roof has not been updated and many have reached the life expectancy. Here are some life expectancies;

asphalt shingle (3 tab) = 15 to 25 years
asphalt shingle (architectural) = 20 to 40 years
roll roofing = less than 10 years
built-up roofing = 10 to 20 years
single-ply membrane roofing = 10 to 20 years
metal roofing (shingle and sheet) 25 to 50 years
clay and cement tiles = 25 to 50 years