Fall maintenance check list from Riggs Home Inspection.

It's finally cooling off enough to get a little work done around the house. I've put a short list of items to check as you are doing your chores.
Smoke alarms Change batteries and test 6 mos.
Water Heater Check connections 6-12 mos.
Flush sediment 6-12 mos.
Check T&P valve At least once per year.
Plumbing Check under sinks for leaks 3-4 mos.
Adjust tank level in toilets 6 mos.
Heating and AC Change filter 30-90 days
Check compressor 6 mos.
Check condensate drain line 6 mos.
Gutters and exterior Clear gutters 6 mos.
Check condition of paint, mortar and caulk 6 mos.
Tree limbs Trim during the hottest and coldest months

With the extension of daylight savings time this year it is actually past time to change those batteries out. Smoke alarm batteries should be changed every 6 months, usually at the time change. If your alarms are close to 10 years old or older it is recommended that you replace them. Warn the kids and put the dogs out and test those smoke alarms with the new batteries. Don't forget to check your Carbon Monoxide detector too.

While we are at it check the water heater. Many water heaters are in an attic, closet, or hidden behind a mountain of storage in the garage, so that we don't see them on a regular basis. Check the connections for mineral deposits or other signs of leaking. Also check around the base of the heater for signs of leaks. If you have a gas water heater open the inspection port and check the burner for signs of rust and debris. If the flame is not a consistent clean blue it is time for servicing and possibly replacement. It is also a good idea to drain the sediment from the tank. Hook a hose to the bottom spigot and drain the water heater until the water runs clear. Refer to your owners manual for more detailed directions. The T&P valve (temperature and pressure relief valve) should be checked at least once a year for proper operation. To do this simply operate the lever allowing some hot water and steam to escape. Be careful to be clear of the T&P drain pipe when you test. If the valve sticks or does not allow pressure to escape it is time for replacement.

Take a few minutes and check under all the sinks for any signs of leaking. Then lift the toilet lid and make sure that the water level in the toilet is about 1" below the top of the over flow tube.

The furnace is soon to get a work out so it is a good idea to change out the filters and inspect the burner compartment on gas furnaces to make sure that it burns cleanly and there is no excessive debris. If the compartment looks dirty, the flame burns yellow, has any black soot around the opening, or if the duct work is loose, call a qualified heating and air conditioning technician.

Outside take a look at the air compressor, make sure that the insulation on the freon line is in good condition. The compressor should be sitting level on the pad and be free of debris and plant materials. Check the condition of the paint on the exterior of the house. Is there any water damage to the trim or bare wood showing that is not protected? And finally look up. Are the gutters clean and the downspouts extended properly. Tree limb damage is the most common preventable cause of roof problems that I see during roof inspections. Trim those limbs away from the roof and clear off any accumulated debris on the roof surface that can cause premature aging of the roof surface.

A little routine maintenance will help protect your family and your investment.

For further information check out my links page at www.riggshomeinspection.com

And if your house suffered flood damage, contact professional flood damage cleanup experts to assist you. Then of course obtain a home inspection afterwards to ensure the work was done correctly.