When performing a due diligence inspection on your property, it's helpful to work from a checklist. Here are some ideas:

Foundations and Basements
  • Inspect for signs of termites and for wood decay.
  • Check grading to assure that water will drain away from the building
  • Check closeness of trees to foundation for problems from roots.
  • Check basement and crawl space for dampness and leakage following wet weather.
  • Check driveways and walks for cracks, settling and soil erosion.
  • Clean area wells, window sills and storm drains.
Doors and Windows
  • Check doors, windows and trim for finish failure or rotted wood.
  • Check for broken glass, damaged screens. 
  • Clean screens.
  • Check glazed openings for loose putty.
  • Check hardware and lubricate moving parts.
  • Check weatherstripping for damage and tightness of fit. 
  • Check joints and caulk.
  • Check caulking at doors, windows, and all openings and joints between different materials (such as brick).
Exterior Walls
  • Check masonry for cracks and loose joints.
  • Check painted surfaces for paint failure
  • Check siding and trim for damage and decay.
  • Check stucco
  • Check trim for tightness of fit at joints and caulk.
  • Check for damaged or loose shingles, blisters, roofing sponginess, etc.
  • Check underside of roof where accessible for water stains or dampness.
  • Check for damage or if paint is needed on gutters, downspouts, hangers, strainers and splash blocks.
  • Clean gutter strainers, gutters, downspouts, splash blocks.
  • Evaluate roof for future replacement.
  • Check fascias and soffits for paint failure and decay. 
  • Assure that vents are open and properly vented.
  • Check masonry chimneys for cracks (inside and outside) and for obstructions.
Interior Surfaces
  • Check all painted and natural finished surfaces for dirt, finish failure, and for needed repairs.
  • Check all joints in ceramic tile, laminated plastic and similar surfaces. 
  • Check caulking around sinks, bathtubs and showers.
  • Check for wear, damage, evenness and sponginess. 
  • Check particularly where one floor material joins another (e.g., wood to carpet).
  • Evaluate for replacement or refinish.
  • Check for handrails on stairs. 
  • Make sure handrails are properly attached.
Electrical System
  • Check areas where wiring is exposed, and replace at first sign of damage.
  • If fuses blow or breakers trip frequently, electrician should be contacted to determine cause and make necessary repairs.
  • Check condition of cords and extension cords to all appliances.
  • Check smoke detectors
Heating and Cooling Systems
  • Have entire system (including gas lines) checked by qualified service person.
  • Clean, service or replace filters, humidifiers and dehumidifiers.
  • Unvented gas heaters need to have proper ventilation. 
  • Have a qualified service person check.
  • Remove window air conditioners in winter (if applicable).
  • Check boiler operation
Plumbing System
  • Check faucets, hose bibbs, valve stools, sinks and water heaters for leakage
  • Check for corrosion of plumbing connections and fixtures.
  • Replace all gate valves with quarter-turn ball valves.
  • Have service plumber check septic system.
  • Check sump pumps and grease traps.
  • Look for underground leaks.
  • Check gas lines and make sure no material around water heater is blocking air flow.
  • Check to see that water heater vent is not obstructed.
  • Gas water heaters should be elevated on an 18" pedestal by code.
  • Ceiling insulation should be an R-30 or approximately 10 inches deep.
  • Check attic for proper ventilation at soffits and gable to assure air flow.
  • Wall insulation should be a minimum of R-13 or 3.5 in.
  • Floor insulation should be a minimum of R-13 or 3.5 in.

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