Start summer with a home inspection checklist

Summer is the perfect time to reflect on your home and how you can best maintain it. Whether you’ve owned your home for 5 years or 20, it’s important to regularly ensure it remains safe for you and guests. Over time, safety guidelines change and regular wear-and-tear can take its toll. If someone is injured within your home, you may be liable if you’re found to be negligent in maintenance.

Here’s how you can look around your home and make fixes – some simple and some by a professional – to ensure your home will last for years to come.

Your annual home inspection checklist

  • Smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors
    • Smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors should be tested at least once a month. Mark your calendar or set a mobile phone notification to remind you to test them.
    • All smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors should be replaced every 10 years. The newer the alarm, the more technologically advanced it will be.
    • The larger your home, the more smoke alarms you will need.
      • You should have at least one alarm on every floor of your home.
      • There should be one alarm placed in every sleeping room.
    • All smoke alarms should be interconnected, so that if one sounds, they all sound.
  • HVAC systems
    • A professional should check your HVAC system twice every year for signs of damage and cleaning of ducts and vents. Additionally, they should clean and service the furnace in the fall and A/C compressor in the spring.
  • Leaks
    • Check under sinks and look up at ceilings on a regular basis for water stains. Leaks may come from sinks, toilets, bathtubs / showers, roof / gutters, walls. While you might be able to fix some leaks yourself, others may require professional help from a plumber.
  • Electrical
    • The National Electric Code is updated every three years for outlets and wiring standards. Understandably, it would be expensive to replace all wiring in your home every three years. However, the most common cause of house fires is bad wiring.
    • So here are some signs when your electrical should be upgraded or replaced:
      • Tripping breakers regularly
      • Blowing fuses regularly
      • Flickering or dimming of lights
      • Burning smells from a room or appliance
      • Sparking outlets
      • Tingling sensation whenever you touch an appliance
    • Chimney
      • Even if you do not regularly use a fireplace, your chimney should be inspected on an annual basis by a professional. This is because a chimney often carries dangerous gases from inside your home to outside that could be harmful if breathed.
      • A chimney should be cleaned periodically depending on how often you use it.
    • Stairs / walkways
      • Rugs and carpets should be properly glued and nailed to ensure they are not tripping hazards.
      • Stairs and ramps should have railings. Ideally, they should also have anti-slip treads or tape to help make sure no one will fall on your premises.

If you or a loved one was involved in an accident through no fault of your own, contact one of our personal injury attorneys to get the Results You Deserve®.