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February 6, 2014

How to Conduct Your Own Annual Home Inspection

Suburban HomeOwning a home is a big investment and in order to protect that investment, it’s recommended that you perform an inspection each year to check for potential problems. It’s much cheaper and easier to fix small problems before they grow and become more noticeable. You might be thinking that the expense of hiring an inspector isn’t worth it, but this is a task that you can easily accomplish yourself.

Start by gathering a few supplies. Create a checklist of the items mentioned in this article, along with any other areas you want to keep a close eye on. Put on sturdy rubber-soled shoes. Also bring rubber or work gloves, a flashlight, a ladder and a couple screwdrivers.

Start outside in front of your home and work your way around, scouring each face from top to bottom. Look for any cracks in the walls and the foundation. Check for gaps around doors and windows that may need to be resealed. Take note of the condition of any exterior paint; if it’s peeled or chipped you may consider a fresh coat. If you can, go up onto your roof to inspect its condition. Check for shingle damage, including wear, curling, blistering or missing shingles. Also look for loose panels, screws, visible leaks and any other signs of damage. While you’re up there, take a look at your gutters to see if they need cleaning.

Once that’s done, go back inside and inspect each room starting with the floor, moving up the walls and ending with the ceiling. Begin in the attic and inspect the trusses for signs of rot or wear, which can impact the structural integrity of the entire house. Check for roof leaks (this is best done during rain) and make sure there is adequate insulation and that it’s not covering vents or recessed lighting. If you find peeling wallpaper or stained drywall, it’s important that you find and repair the source of the problem rather than covering up the evidence. Once you reach the basement, inspect the floor joists for any signs of wear or rot. Any soft spots will need immediate attention.

This inspection can be completed in an afternoon and will alert you to any potential problems before they get out of hand. If you find any damage, be sure to call a professional as soon as possible to come repair it before it has a chance to worsen. An annual home inspection goes a long way toward keeping your house in great condition for years to come.

Protect your investment on the house that you and your family call home. Call Cloverleaf Insurance at (800) 530-5822 for more information on Illinois home insurance.

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