SafeGuard Home Inspection
It's Your Dream ... Protect It!
(312) 848-8655

Home Maintenance

Home Maintenance Tips:

•  Air Conditioning:  Check that the unit is level and clean and has proper clearance
                                from  treesand bushes.  Contact a HVAC professional to service
                                the system annually.
   Furnace:  Change air filters as recommended by manufacturer guidelines.  Keep all 
                   combustibles away from furnace.  Contact a HVAC professional to service
                   the system annually.

•  Humidifier:   Summer:  Turn off unit and water supply.  If applicable, switch humidifier's
                       duct damper to cooling/summer setting.  Drain any remaining water
                       from humidifier.  Clean calcium deposits.  Remove old pad.
                       Winter:  Install new filter pads.  If applicable, switch humidifiers
                       duct damper to heating/winter     setting.  Restart system and have serviced 
                       by licensed HVAC contractor.

•  Air Supplies and Returns:  Blocked air supplies and air returns will decrease the efficiency
                                              of your furnace and affect your comfort.  Inspect to confirm
                                              supplies and returns are not blocked by furniture, drapes, boxes, etc.

•  Whole house fan:  Check fan belt, lubricate and clean.  Insulate attic opening in winter.

•  Roof:  Check for damage and trim trees as needed.
  Gutters:  Keep all gutters and downspouts clear of debris.  Ensure downspout extentions
                 extend a minimum of 6' away from foundation.  Inspect all gutter fastners to 
                 ensure they remain securely fastened.

•  Roof vents:  Check for damage and holes in screens.  Repair/replace as necessary.

•  Chimney:   Inspect for damage to crown, flashing, mortar and masonry.  Install flue
                     caps on all chimney flues.

•  Exterior:   Check condition of masonry, siding, paint, caulk, putty and mortar. 
                    Check landscaping to ensure that grading slopes away from the
                    foundation.  Check that all bushes and shrubs are not in contact with the exterior siding.

•  Attic:    Check for signs of leaks, mildew, or condensation.  Check for proper insulation
                levels (approx. 20" = R50).  Ensure no bath or range vents discharge into attic.

•  Basement:    Check for signs of leaks, cracks, movement, or mildew.  

•  Dehumidifier:    Clean coils and drain.  Prepare for use as necessary in summer.

•  Plumbing:  Check under sinks, behind laundry and around tubs/showers for any signs
                     of leaks.  Repair leaks immediately.  Insulate main interior hot water distribution pipes.
        Winter:  Shut-off outside spigots.  Disconnect and drain all hose lines.  Install insulating
                     cap over exterior spigots.

•  Sprinkler system:   
                  Summer:  Service and start system.  Check sprinkler heads for proper
                                 operation and directional alignment. 
                    Winter:  Shut off water supply.  Drain and blow out system.

•  Decks:   Clean and seal as necessary. Check guardrails, deck boards,
                 stairs and handrails for loose boards and repair accordingly.

•  Sump Pump:    Test the operation of the sump pump to make sure that any water that enters
                           the sump pit is removed. Consider installing an appropriately sized  battery
                           backup and secondary pump in case of power outages and/or primary pump failure.

•  Washing Machine:  Check the supply hoses for damage. Consider upgrading rubber
                                  hoses to metal stranded hoses to prevent failure. Check the screens
                                  in the hose connections.  Make sure the water discharge is not clogged,
                                  is properly secured and is discharging into the plumbing system.

•  Doors and Hardware:    Lubricate the hinges and all moving parts.  Ensure all doors close and latch. 

•  Septic System:  Have the septic tank professionally pumped at least every two years. 
                             Ensure tank lid is undamaged and securely placed over opening. 

•  Water Softener:  Maintain approproiate level of salt in the brine tank based
                              on manufacturer recommendations.  Clean the brine tank and screens or
                              filters as needed.

•  Well System:  Chlorinate the well system as recomemmded by a licensed Well System
                          contractor as dictated by local conditions (ex. annually).  Have the water
                          tested for bacteria and other contaminants.  Check the pressure tank
                          for operation and proper pressurization.

•  Fireplace:  Schedule cleaning and inspection as needed by a licensed Chimny Sweep.

•  Water Filters:  Replace the water filters as needed per manufacturer's recommendations.

•  Gas Appliances:  Check the flexible gas connectors for the oven, stove, dryer, etc.
                               for signs of crimping, links and damage.  Replace as necessary.

•  Range Hood:  Clean and inspect the filter and fan to allow for proper operation. 

•  Shutoffs:  Periodically review location of all main utility (water, gas and electric)
                    disconnects/shutoffs with your family in the event of an emergency.  Periodically
                    operate all sink and toilet water shut-offs.

•  Insects:  Schedule professional inspections and service as needed.

•  Electrical:  Eliminate the use of electrical extension cords, especially those used for holiday decorations.

•  Water heater:  Follow manufacturer's recommendations for annual cleaning.  Drain 
                           and flush annually.  Wrap with insulating blanket to increase efficiency. 
                           Ensure the pressure relief valve has an appropriately sized copper downpipe
                           that extends to within 6" of the floor.

SafeGuard Home Inspection
Des Plaines, Illinois 60016
 (312) 848-8655
 Illinois License #: 450.003652


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