5 Things You Need to Know Before Performing an Exteriors Inspection

Professional home inspectors utilize years of experience and wisdom to make a thorough review of a property. And while many homeowners prefer the peace of mind that comes with a professional assessment, some DIYers would rather do the work themselves. If you’re among those individuals who likes to get their hands dirty, here’s what you need to know about performing your own home exteriors inspection.

Start with a Plan

A thorough home inspection should cover a lot of ground, so make a list of all the features and surfaces that need to be investigated. Next, come up with an order of inspection that will help you perform all the tasks in a timely yet efficient manner. Having a plan of action ensures nothing will be missed during your sweep, and it will help you plan for any accessories you will need, so you won’t waste time by stopping the inspection to search for tools, flashlights, or other items.

Be Safe

Part of preparing for a home inspection is following recommended safety precautions. Dress appropriately in comfortable pants and long-sleeved shirt but avoid loose-fitting clothing. Sturdy hard-soled shoes are a must, as is a good pair of work gloves. Have an extra flashlight on hand when working in attics or crawlspaces, and a breathing mask might be in order if you expect to encounter patches of mold or mildew. Always inspect your ladder before using it, and never climb in the rain. When on a ladder or roof, have a helper nearby in case of emergencies.

Know What You’re Looking for

Some home damage, like missing shingles, warped siding, bulging brick walls and rotten wood, is hard not to notice, but many of the conditions you’re looking for are more difficult to catch. Familiarize yourself with potential problems so you won’t overlook inspecting deck joists, clearing the dryer vent, checking the sealing around a chimney, or looking for minor cracks in siding. Don’t forget to check for tree limbs that are close to power lines or the chimney, or any that are at risk of falling. And when looking for cracks and holes in your exterior surfaces, keep in mind a dime-sized hole is all that is needed for mice to enter a home, and insects can gain entry through far smaller openings.

Know Your Limitations

The roof is perhaps the most important structure that should be inspected, but many people don’t feel comfortable climbing ladders or being on pitched, elevated surfaces. Rather than skipping the roof entirely, consider hiring a professional to complete a roof inspection. A home’s foundations also should be checked, but most homeowners don’t have the training to assess potential foundation issues. This is another case where relying on a professional inspector is advised.

Don’t Forget the Windows

Roofs, walls, gutters, and siding get most of the attention, but window inspection is just as critical. Wood windows may begin to rot internally yet show no visible signs of the deterioration. Windowpanes should be checked for cracks and chips in the glass, and to determine if any leaking or condensation issues are present. The weatherstripping and caulking around windows also should be inspected and replaced when necessary.

Keeping up with an annual home inspection will help your property last a lifetime. And remember, if you find your exteriors or windows need replacing, Schaefer Exteriors is just a phone call away. You’ll especially love our line of durable Simonton windows. They’re the replacement windows the pros use!

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