You bought a new home, finished unpacking, made this space your own! Now is time to explore how the home systems are really functioning and get to know your new home. Every home has a story it wants to tell you on how to care for your home. Here is how you go about reading the messages it is sending out.
- Rain brings about the opportunity to watch where the water flows. Water and humidity are the two primary arch nemesis of the home structure and healthy home environment. But, with good exterior systems, the home and rain can coexist in peace. On a rainy day you should look at the gutter systems, landscape drainage, peek in the attic and look for leaks. You want to make sure water is controlled and being carried away from the home at least 6 feet away from the foundation.
- Step into your basement and attic and sniff around. Humidity is a structures enemy as it encourages WDI (wood destroying insects) and WDO (wood destroying organisms). In the St. Louis are we need dehumidifiers in the basements in summer and good insulation between the top floor ceiling and attic. If things smell moldy, you probably have a moisture/humidity issue that needs correcting.
- Fall season brings about the contraction of building materials. Gaps can open up where dissimilar materials meet, or they join from different planes. Look around roof or wall penetrations, chimney, window or door flashings. Caulk and seal with paint to keep water out.
- Weatherstripping at doors can become loose, or door openings can expand during seasonal changes, requiring weatherstripping adjustment or replacement.
- Fire Extinguishers are important to have in your home. Grease fires and electrical fires require a fire extinguisher instead of water. Do you have a fire extinguisher far enough away from the cook stove, but close enough to grab in a hurry? Pick one up today at your local building supply store, the disposable models are very inexpensive. Fire safety is also one of the most important aspects in knowing how to care for your home.
- If you can see cracks in your foundation, measure them. Watch for movement, expansion, or water intrusion. The foundation and any cracks in the interior walls are often the tell tale signs of foundation movement. While some foundation movement is expected during the first few years, a 1/4″ gap in the corner foundation wall can lead to 2″ gap on the second story. Foundation movement later in a homes life can often be tied back to years of poor water drainage management on the exterior. The sooner you catch these changes, the easier they are to fix.
Listen to your home, it’s talking to you and telling you how to keep your home happy and maximize your investment!
Evergreen Property Inspectors provides inspection services to the Greater St. Louis and the Metro East Illinois areas with a mission of helping our neighbors accomplish their real estate goals. Contact us to book our services.