A Healthy Happy HOME
Maintenance & Repair

Michael - 
541 961-4213 CCB# 112223

Helping You To A More Cost-Effective,
Healthier & Safer Home Since 1986

Home Inspection Guidelines
AHealthyHappyHome The Responsible Homeowners Choice;
for Home Maintenance & Repairs - Done Correctly - Done To Last.

Assisting Homeowners in Becoming Healthy, Wealthy & Wise by:
Providing Value, in Long-Term People Based Solutions Since 1986.
Depoe Bay, Oregon Serving Lincoln County and the Oregon Coast


It is widely reported housing experts recommend setting aside 2 to 4 percent of the market value of your house each year to pay for maintenance and repair costs (if you do the maintenance yourself, materials alone add up to more than that if you use new quality materials).
I cannot find any source reference for these numbers; it appears to be misrepresented information being recycled.

The numbers reported by homewyse.com are; for a basic 1650SF 3 bedroom 2 bath home $7,910 per year that is equal to $4.80 per SF. that is far more realistic in my experience especially with the challenging weather conditions on the Oregon Coast and rush to build "affordable homes".

While these funds will not all be needed if your home is new, the accumulated amounts will help you pay for large future expenses, such as re-roofing or replacing a heating or air conditioning unit. What we do today or not do today we have to sleep with tonight as the saying goes. Deferred maintenance and repairs compound like interest, the cost of home ownership escalates

Home maintenance helps provide a Healthy, Happy & Safe environment in which you and your family and live. It also is an important part of protecting your financial investment and helping to insure that your investment grows. It is much easier to prevent the development of unsafe, unhealthy conditions and structural damage than to pay medical or repair bills or both.

Regular home maintenance minimizes unexpected repair work and the associated expense. Regular maintenance and repair help keep costs down by fixing small problems before them become larger problems.

There are a variety of actions involved in home maintenance. Home maintenance includes routine care of the home, such as cleaning the roof and gutters, cleaning or painting outside wall surfaces, cleaning floors and walls, vacuuming, and cleaning carpet, keeping sinks and shower drains running freely, and other similar activities.

Home repair involves fixing things that have broken or are worn out in the home. Home repair actions include replacing broken glass in windows or doors, replacing warped or worn shingles, repairing a cracked sidewalk or driveway, replacing worn out faucets, repairing leaking faucets, repairing a broken stair rail, etc.

The beginning of home maintenance is the inspection of the home. You should inspect your home regularly. It’s best if you can set up a schedule to inspect at least one area of your home each month. At the very least, you should inspect your home and yard thoroughly at least once every 6 months.

Maintenance and repair should be done as soon as the problem appears. This sooner-the-better practice helps prevent further damage and keeps repair costs down.

In general, there are 8 areas of the home that require routine inspection for home maintenance and repair. These include:

-- Foundations, basements and yards
-- Exterior walls, windows and doors
-- Roofing
-- Interior surfaces
-- Electrical systems and fixtures
-- Heating and cooling systems
-- Plumbing systems
-- Safety systems

Inspect around the outside of your home to make certain that water drains away from the foundations walls. Gutters and downspouts should keep water from pooling around the foundation where it can create a moisture problem. Be certain that your gutters and downspouts are clean and in good repair.

Trim shrubs and bushes away from the foundation walls. Landscape plants shouldn’t block free air flow through the crawl space vents, or siding. Keep foliage at least 5 feet from the foundation.

Check masonry foundation walls for cracks or weakened, crumbling mortar.

Examine main support beams, support columns, and floor joists for evidence of bowing or warping.

Check wood structural members, such as joists, beams, and columns, with a screwdriver or pocket knife to be sure wood is solid and free from decay. If you have a moisture meter check wood for moisture content. Wood with moisture content of 20 percent or above is susceptible to decay.

Check the inside and outside of all foundation walls and piers for termite tubes and damage.

Check that the crawl space vapor barrier is in good condition and place correctly. A vapor barrier is usually 6 or 8 -mil polyethylene that covers 100 percent of the crawl space and is sealed at the top of the concrete foundation wall or bottom plate. My preference it to insulate the ground and perimeter walls of the crawl space and condition it like a basement, however that is not always the most practical choice for existing homes. If that is not in your budget I recommend installing a dehumidifier in the crawl space and sealing the crawlspace vents, be sure to drain it outside. Always install and seal the plastic with any choice.

Make certain the basement is dry. Look for water stains or signs of dampness on your basement walls. Even if floors and walls are dry, a damp or musty smell may indicate seasonal wetness.

Make certain that foundation vents are not obstructed by items inside the crawl space or landscaping outside the crawl space. There should be free air flow throughout the crawl.

Make certain that you clean leaves and debris away from the condenser (HVAC/Heat Pump). Any landscaping materials that surround should be trimmed to allow for adequate air movement.

Doorways, below grade window wells, and storm drains should be cleaned of debris.

Examine your deck for signs of wear. Check the finish — changes in color may indicate that the finish is wearing away, fading due to sunlight or mold and mildew growth. Through proper maintenance, decks can keep their original appearance.

Driveways and walks should be checked for cracks, breaks, or erosion that may damage them Un-repaired cracks can lead to further damage. Unless you have the skill and equipment to correct a concrete or asphalt problem, it is often best to hire a reputable contractor.

Fences, gates, and retaining walls should be checked for ease of operation, condition of structure, and materials. Make repairs as needed.

Check bricks or blocks for cracked mortar or loose joints.

Check siding for loose or missing pieces, lifting or warping, or signs of mole, mildew, & leakage.

Check painted surfaces for signs of paint failure (including peeling, chipping, blistering, chalking), water damage and mildew.

Examine all trim for tightness of fit, damage, or decay.

Check the condition of caulking where two different materials, meet, such as where wood siding joins the foundation wall, at insides corners, and where window and door trim meets the siding. Check the windows for cracked or broken glass, loose putty around the glass panes, holes in screens, and evidence of moisture between panes and storm windows. Check that windows and doors close properly. Examine all hardware on windows and doors, and lubricate moving parts. Check weather stripping on windows and doors for damage and tightness of fit. Make sure that all window and door locks work properly. Each exterior door should have a one-inch deadbolt lock for safety.

Trim back tree branches that scrape against or overhang the roof. Keep branches away from chimney to avoid fire hazard and allow proper draft for safe and efficient chimney operation. Check for curled, damaged, loose or missing shingles. Check the lower edge of roof sheathing for water damage. When re-roofing a metal drip-edge should be installed at all perimeter edges.

Examine all roof flashing and the flashing around chimneys, vent stacks, roof edges, dormers, and skylights. Make certain the chimney cap is in good condition and that it is tall enough to prevent creosote build-up.

Check vents and louvers for free air movement. Clean screens and remove bird nests, spiders, insects and dust. If there are wind turbines on the roof, check ball bearings. Clear gable vents of bird’s nests and other obstructions.

Check for damaged gutters, downspouts, hangers and strainers. If needed, clean out gutters and downspouts. Make sure they are free from leaks and rust. Check condition of paint on gutters.

Check all ceilings and walls for cracks, loose or failing plaster, signs of leaks or stains, dirt and finish damage. Check for cracks where ceilings join walls and where moldings attach to ceilings and walls. Check for odor or visible evidence of mildew or mold, if you smell a musty smell it is mold according to the mold institute.

Check for finish damage around cabinet pulls, traditionally cabinets are finished with a oil based finish and the oils in your fingers and cooking dissolves this finish over time.

Examine all joints in ceramic tiles and laminated plastics for adequate caulking. Look for cracked or discolored tiles. Check caulking around sinks, bathtubs and showers. Some types of caulking (latex) become brittle with age and therefore useless as a water seal. Replace with a long-lasting resilient caulking material, such as silicone. Also around windows, doors and all siding joints.

Check all floors for wear and damage. Notice if floors are level, bowed or squeak when walked upon. Be certain to check areas where one type of flooring materials meets another, such as where carpet or wood joins tile. On stairs, check for loose treads, handrails or carpeting.

Check condition of lamps cords, extension cords, and plugs. Also examine the appliance cords and plugs of all appliances, including washers and dryers, vacuums, mixers, and irons. Check for exposed wires and signs of wear in the “service box.” If you have a fuse that blows often or a circuit breaker that trips frequently, call an electrician to determine the cause and make the repair. Mark each circuit so you will know what outlets or appliances are included on each. If you experience a slight tingling shock when handling or inspecting any appliance or lamp, disconnect the appliance and repair it. Check place where wiring is exposed, such as in the attic. Look for exposed wires and wires with cracked insulation. Replace those in poor condition. If you have ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCI’s) in outlets near sinks, the laundry, and the garage, check them monthly and after an electrical storm.

Have heating and cooling systems checked by a qualified service person at least once a year or according to the manufacturer’s warranty and service recommendations. Failure to do manufacturer recommended servicing may void warranties. Clean or replace filters. Check your owner’s manual for recommended procedures. Some filters should be replaced as often as once a month. Clean dirt and dust from around furnaces, air grills and ducts.

Regularly clean out fireplace ash pit. Have the chimney checked each fall before you use it. A buildup of creosote and soot can be very dangerous. If you use your fireplace or wood stove regularly, a yearly cleaning is recommended. Seek help from professional fire fighters or chimney inspectors if you have any doubt about the chimney safety.

Check faucet and hose connections under sinks and toilets. Look for leaks at shut-off valves at sinks, toilets, laundry equipment, and main water shut-off valve. Make certain the water pressure is adequate and that drains run freely. In the basement or crawls pace, pull back floor insulation and check for leaks and wood damage around water supply pipes, drains, and water closet. Check sinks, tubs, and showers for proper drainage. Remove hair from drains. It may be necessary to consult a plumber for plumbing problems.

Check the temperature and pressure relief (pop-off) valve on the water heater. Open it once a year to see that it is working. You may want to have a plumber to show you how to do this the first time you do it. Check your water heater for signs of leaking or rusting. Some manufacturers recommend that a small amount of water be drained periodically from the tank.

Test smoke alarm and carbon monoxide alarms monthly. Replace batteries at least once a year. If your smoke alarm is over 10 years old, you should replace it. Keep a fire extinguisher handy for use in the kitchen and near any wood-burning stove or fireplace. If the fire is looks easy to control and safe to put out then do so BUT DO NOT put yourself or others at risk, get out and call the fire department or 911. You and those you love are far more valuable than the home anything in it once we stop and think about it. Check the extinguisher gauge for proper pressure (green zone). Keep flashlights handy and in operating condition, candles pose a fire hazard, especially with children and pets.

Make certain outside security lighting is in good repair. Lighting exteriors grounds helps discourage prowlers and provides safety for you and your loved ones.

If you do have to make repairs, you must decide if you will complete them yourself or hire a qualified repair person. The homeowner who does his or her own maintenance and repairs saves money. You can learn about home maintenance and repair from a variety of sources, including:

-- Manufacturers use and care booklets and care guides from repair and cleaning products.
-- Cooperative Extension home maintenance and repair publications.
-- Do-it-yourself (DIY) publications. These are often available for free in builder supply, home improvement or hardware stores.
-- Home maintenance and repair books and videos. These are available from libraries, bookstores, and home improvement stores.
-- Local home improvement stores. These stores offer weekend workshops and websites with home maintenance information and how-to projects.

If you do not have the time, skills or interest in maintaining and repairing your home, we can do the work for you. Regardless of who does the work, regular inspection and maintenance of your home will keep your home in good condition and maintain its value. Remember, a home cannot take care of itself.

Contact us to schedule your healthy home assessment.