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A New Year and A New Plan

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If you are getting ready to sell your home or considering general maintenance repairs here are some suggestions to help you assess your home. You may consider taking the time to have a pre-inspection of your home by a licensed Home Inspector to help keep you from being blindsided by costly repair items that should be addressed to maintain your home or if selling that would be discovered during the buyer's home inspection. So here are some of the most common and potentially expensive conditions that home inspectors discover:


1. Rodent and/or other animal related damage to insulation and heat ducting in the substructure crawl space.

Check for damaged foundation vent screens, openings into the substructure and crawl space access covers that don’t fit well or are rotted out. If there are open points of entry, have the substructure checked out for possible issues. Be sure to repair and seal these entry areas as well.


2. Water in the sub-structure crawl space.

Look for bad soil grade around the house, wet, boggy areas and downspouts that don't drain away from the house. If present, it would be a good idea to have the crawl space checked out for possible water issues which might require further mitigation.


3. Siding that is failing or rot damaged.

Rot damage is often discovered along the lower edges of siding, around windows, doors and places where siding contacts the dirt, concrete or foliage. You can't do much about siding touching concrete, but you can clear foliage and dirt away from the siding. Check the suspect areas for siding that looks damaged, swollen or growing mushrooms. If you see such evidence, further evaluation is probably indicated.


4. Roofing that is failing/leaking.

In real estate, the benchmark is whether the roof will last five years. Typically, a 3 tab shingle will last 17 – 18 years, a 25 year laminated shingle about 25 years and tile, perhaps 20 - 25. Knowing how old your roof is will give you some sense about how much life it may have left. Look for leak evidence in the attic and the eaves especially below the valleys. If you have any uncertainty about life span, if your roof is covered with moss or debris, or is leaking, have a licensed roofing company check it out.


5. Mold in the attic.

Dark or white discoloration on the underside of the roof sheeting in the attic indicates a possible mold condition. Because of the liability associated with mitigation, this is a job for a mold remediation expert. Because the newer homes have been built so tight this is a condition we are starting to see quite often and does catch home owners by surprise. If you are going to stay in your home this is important to catch so you are not putting yourself in danger as well.


6. Rodents in the attic.

Rodent droppings, urine stains and odor and tunneling in the insulation could equate to costly mitigation by a pest control company and insulation contractor.


7. A Few Other Common Issues

*Consider having your furnace serviced. Most companies have a four or six month service plan that will help you to maintain your heating system.

*Check your hot water heater for leaking. Hot water heaters lifespan have decreased to approximately 10 years so as your hot water heater ages, you may want to keep an eye on it for any concerns.

*Check your bath and kitchen sinks for leaks.

*Check your toilets to make sure they are not loose or leaking and that you do not have soft flooring around the fixtures.

*Failed or missing windows and screens

*Be sure to check your Smoke Detectors, if they are over 10 years old you may want to replace them.

*Also be sure that you have Carbon Monoxide Monitors in place, if you have a two story home you should have one on the main floor and one upstairs.


If you would like a list of trusted professionals please contact

Cheri Wilkins, Realtor 360-451-5556

VanDorm Realty 1530 Black Lake Blvd SW Olympia,WA 98502

Information provided by Cameo Home Inspection Services