Preparing for a Home Inspection to Your Home Check List
When preparing for a Home Inspection you want the house to show a good history of maintenance. Have any and all documentation available to provide to the inspector and potential buyer's and their real estate agent.
- Remove grade or mulch from contact with siding.
- Preferably 6 or more inches of clearance.
- Clean out dirty gutters or debris from the roof.
- Divert all water away from the house, i.e., downspouts, sump pump, condensation drain, etc.
- The grade should slope away from the structure. Clean out basement entry drains.
- Trim trees, roots, and bushes back from the foundation, roof, siding, and chimney.
- Paint all weathered exterior wood, and caulk around trim, chimneys, windows, and doors.
- Seal asphalt driveways if cracking.
- Seal or point up masonry chimney caps. Install metal flue cap.
- Point up any failing mortar joints in brick or block.
- Install GFCI receptacles; test all present GFCI receptacles for proper operation.
- Remove rotting wood and firewood from contact with the house.
- Proper grading and ground cover are recommended under the deck.
- Check that crawlspace is dry and install a proper vapor barrier.
- Caulk all exterior wall penetrations.
- Where windows are at or below grade install window wells and covers.
- Remove grade from contact with foundation vents.
- Clean or replace the HVAC filter. Clean dirty air returns and plenum.
- Test all the smoke detectors and replace if over 10 years old with like-kind or better.
- Update attic ventilation if none is present.
- Clean the chimney, fireplace, or woodstove (provide a copy for the buyer).
- Seal masonry walls in the basement.
- Don’t do quick cheap repairs, i.e. (giant caulk repairs) this will clue in an Inspector that amateur work has been done and will tend to make him/her look closer at the house.
- Have all windows and doors in proper operating condition, including any replacing any cracked windows.
- Put all plumbing fixtures, toilet, tub, shower, and sinks, in proper working condition. Look for any leaks.
- Install GFCI receptacles near all water sources; test all present GFCI receptacles for proper operation.
- Check the sump pump for proper operation.
- Replace any burned-out light bulbs.
- Caulk all tub/shower fixtures.
- Caulk along tub/floor, tub/walls, and tub/shower/glass doors.
- Remove any visible moisture from the crawlspace. Moisture levels in wood should be below 18%, to deter rot and mildew.
- Check that bath vents are properly vented to the exterior.
- Remove paints, solvents, gas, etc. from the crawlspace, basement, attic, porch, etc
- Check that toilets are secured to the floor.
- Remove any signs of suspected mold or mildew.
- If there is Polyethylene talk to your Realtor about options.
- If there is solid strand aluminum wiring present consider having it corrected to meet the CPSC recommendations
Access and Information:
- Verify any building permits are closed.
- Talk to your Realtor about options if there are permitted improvements such as additions and finished basement.
- Provide any documentation such as recent major updates or purchases and repairs for a potential buyer.
- Have all window treatments (such as the blinds) opened for the inspector.
- Have clear access to all attics, crawlspace, heat systems, garage and other areas that will need to be inspected.
- If the crawlspace has an access panel that requires removal by screws or other fasteners, we recommend having this open for the inspector.
- If the electric panel cover is painted shut have cleaned and ready for removal.
If house is vacant be sure all utilities are turned on:
- Water Heater
- Furnace/Air Conditioning
When a Radon Test is being performed:
- Be sure all windows and doors are closed 12 Hours prior to the inspection!
- Or the Radon Test will have to remain for 12 additional hours.
- Opening windows can actually make the radon level higher by depressurizing the house.
Have your home inspected by Showalter Property Consultants prior to listing.
Stephen Lee Showalter, NACHI® CMI, ASHI ACI
Home Inspector, Environmental Consultant
Maryland State Home Inspector License #29634
ASHI ACI Certified Membership
NACHI® CMI Certified Master Inspector
InterNACHI® CPI Certified Membership
Certified Commercial Property Inspector Association
FAA Certified UAS Pilot #3987636
CRT Certified Residential Thermographer
Showalter Property Consultants providing quality home inspections and environmental testing throughout Maryland since 1988. For a quality home inspection contact us on schedule online.