Spring Home Inspection Maintenance Tips
Over the last decade of performing home inspections, commercial inspections, mold testing/inspection and other inspection related services, I have seen many things related to spring home inspection maintenance tips that haven’t been properly addressed. I always include maintenance related items in a property inspection report to educate home/commercial buyers as to some of the things they should keep an eye on over time. Here is a list of a few of the items I believe should be looked at in the spring season.
Extend down spouts. Improperly configured down spouts are worse than none at all. They may lead to water infiltration, foundation movement and conditions conducive to mold growth in the home.
One of the most neglected items I see during an inspection is the bypass humidifier. A bypass humidifier works by passing warm air over a wet media. The water is typically supplied via saddle valve from a nearby plumbing source. A humidistat calls for added humidity in the home based upon its setting. When this happens, a solenoid actuates and allows water to flow over the media which humidifies the air that passes over it. The air is then distributed throughout the home via the HVAC distribution ducts. If this is not serviced, it may become a source of mold and distribute mold spores throughout the home instead of moist air. Every spring is the time to inspect, clean, replace media and shut down the unit for the season. You will not need it until the following winter.
If you haven’t checked or replaced your furnace filter this year, you should do it now. Pictured is a washable filter. Furnace filters come in varying configurations. Furnace filters that are not changed restrict air flow leading to reduced efficiency, unnecessary wear of the heat exchanger and poor performance. Do not operate your high efficiency furnace without a filter as debris will clog your secondary heat exchanger and exacerbate all of the previously mentioned issues.
Spring time is a good time to work on grading corrections. Most, if not all homes experience settled grade at some point, as contractors and landscaping sub contractors rarely exaggerate or mechanically compact perimeter grading. If you are building a new home, you might keep this in mind. The settled perimeter grade encourages water to accumulate around the foundation walls instead of running away. This adds stress on sump pumps if present and may lead to foundation damage, moisture intrusion and conditions conducive to mold growth inside the home. The ground is soft and easy to work with in the spring. This spring home inspection maintenance tip is to correct negative grading wherever possible.
Service and Clean the A/C Condenser:
One of the spring home inspection maintenance tips is to have your A/C condenser serviced and most importantly cleaned! Summer is just around the corner. You want your equipment running properly and at peak efficiency. Many of the A/C condensers I see during an inspection are clogged with cotton wood, grass, and/or debris. The A/C condenser pulls air in through the sides and expels it out the top to reduce the temperature of the refrigerant running through the coils. If the cooling fins are clogged with debris, you may lose up to 30% efficiency, not to mention the added stress on the whole system. With some units, it’s simply a matter of grabbing the garden hose and gently rinsing the debris from the cooling fins. Other units must be disassembled and cleaned by a professional. You will know which one you have very quickly. FYI, your A/C professional will likely not service the unit until outside temps reach ~70 degrees.
After being cooped up all winter doing laundry, you should take advantage of spring and check your dryer vent. If I inspected your home, that was included and you would have been notified if the vent was improper for the application. Some siding contractors and DIY installers use the wrong siding accessory which contains a grill. This grill will collect lint, clog and may lead to dryer malfunction or worse, dryer fire. The dryer vent should be checked at least annually, but better semi-annually. Check yours today to see if lint can be properly exhausted to the exterior. In addition to that, the lint screen on the dryer should be cleaned after each load that is dried. This will allow the dryer to run at full efficiency and maximize the service life of the unit.
I hope you found these spring home inspection maintenance tips useful. I hope you will share them with your friends, family and coworkers. Feel free to email or share via social media so that we all can have a safe and productive year.
All the best,