Today’s Ask the Expert column features Dan Steward, president of Pillar To Post Home Inspectors.
Q: As summer approaches, what do buyers and sellers need to be aware of?
A: With the summer season right around the corner, here are a few critical components that can’t be overlooked by buyers and sellers alike.
- Insulation is often lacking in a home’s attic, leading to excessive heat loss or gain and high energy bills. Consult a professional to determine if more insulation should be added.
- Soot builds up in chimneys quickly, which can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning, in addition to posing a fire hazard. A certified chimney sweep should be hired to routinely clean your chimney to prevent build-up.
- Deterioration and rot can remove caulk and grout around a bathtub, which can cause leaks and lead to extensive damage to the surrounding walls. You can determine if there’s insufficient grout by checking between tiled enclosures for voids. Caulk integrity can be determined by gently pressing and checking for any sponginess, a sign of weakened integrity.
- A loose toilet seat, while uncomfortable, may be a sign of a bigger issue. In fact, a seat that rocks could indicate that the seal at the base has failed, which can allow water to leak to the floor below, causing significant damage. If the seat feels loose, have the toilet inspected by a professional—and have the seal replaced if necessary.
- The electrical outlets in our homes are sometimes incapable of handling the large number of gadgets we now throw at them. To prevent problems from overloaded outlets, consult a certified electrician to install additional outlets to handle the increased load.
- Plants too close to a home’s siding can cause moisture damage and premature wear. Make sure to keep vegetation in control by keeping plants neat and trim.
- Downspouts often release against walls, which can cause the foundation to deteriorate, causing water to enter the basement. Redirect these downspouts away from the structure.
- Like chimneys, oven or range filters can become clogged, posing a major fire hazard. Check filters for built-up grease, and consult a professional to check the connections to determine if the model needs exterior exhaust.
- Seals around kitchen and bathroom sink fixtures can become loose, leading to water damage in cabinets below. Visually examine seals and test them to see if they feel loose. If so, repair or replace them immediately.
- Roofs don’t last forever. When purchasing a home, consult a professional home inspector to determine both the age and condition of the roof. Failure to do so may result in a significant amount of expensive damage to the home.
For more information, please visit www.pillartopost.com.
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