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5 Things You Can Check For Yourself at Home

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Smoke/ CO Detectors

Look for smoke detectors in your home. How many do you have? If you have a gas-fired furnace and/or water heater (most homes do), or an attached garage, you should have an absolute minimum of one Carbon Monoxide Detector and one Smoke Detector on each floor. Usually there will be an expiration date sticker on the detectors, check to see if yours need to be replaced. We also recommend testing once per month for safety. Combination detectors (both smoke and CO) are available at your local hardware store.

Missing Junction Box Covers

Junction boxes, outlets and switches are all designed to contain a connection (or multiple connections) in the electrical wiring of your home. It is common to find missing covers for these components, which is a life safety hazard. If you find any open junction boxes, outlets or switches, we recommend adding covers immediately to prevent touching electrically live components.

Missing Sealent

One of the most common maintenance issues to find while inspecting a house exterior is missing or inadequate caulking. Usually we find this at windows and penetrations such as hose bibs and vents. Check these areas – if sealant is present, push on it to see if it is still doing its job. Sometimes it appears to be sealed, but the caulking is old or the wrong type and no longer adhered properly, just sitting in place. Water is the #1 enemy of houses. We recommend maintaining exterior caulking/sealant to prevent issues related to concealed rot damage and fungal growth.

Missing Traps

A “trap” is a half-circle portion of the drainage pipe that is designed to always hold some water in order to create a seal in the drainage system, which prevents sewer gases from entering the home through drains. The most visible and accessible traps are found below sinks. Check below the sinks in your home. If no trap is visible, you can send us a picture to verify if you need a licensed plumber to evaluate further.

Missing Siding

Missing / Loose Siding

Water is the #1 enemy of houses. The siding on your home is the first line of defense against water intrusion, which can cause rot damage and resulting structural issues in wood frame construction costing you much money. Water intrusion will often cause substantial damage before it becomes visible on the interior of the home, which is is why InspectorTx includes Thermal Imaging as a standard part of all our Home Inspections.

It is common to find loose or missing siding, especially with vinyl and aluminum applications. We recommend immediate improvement of these issues if present – they are often fairly simple to repair, but also very important for prevention.

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