As a Nashville home inspector I see all kinds of issues. A lack of home maintenance seems to be one of the bigger problems. A properly maintained home will likely cost less money over the years and sells faster when it’s time to sell your home.
Now that winter has arrived, what can you do to prepare your home? Winter home maintenance tips are very easy and when completed can help reduce potential damage to your home. Yes even in
Nashville we need to prepare our homes for dealing with the cold weather from mother nature. These tips start at the roof and work their way down to the ground and should help to reduce exposure to leaks and freezing pipes.
First you want to make sure your roof is clear of debris from leaves and tree limbs. Make sure there are no areas which have debris built up, clear those valleys to allow water to flow without obstructions. Obstructions to drainage on a roof can lead to leaks. Clean the gutters so there are no obstructions. Something as small as a broken shingle can lead to downspout obstructions and leaking gutters so make sure to thoroughly clean the gutters. This may also be a good time inspect the roof to confirm the shingles, flashing and sewer vent boots are in good condition. If you aren’t comfortable getting on a ladder hire a professional, most competent repairmen can handle these tasks.
So you have taken care of the roof, now lets work our way down the house. The gutters and downspouts should be secure. The downspouts should drain without any obstructions. If the downspout lines are buried, clean them out, the lines should drain to daylight. The outlets of these lines should direct water away from the homes foundation. Improperly maintained gutters and downspouts pose issues in all seasons and they should be maintained at least twice a year. I recommend walking around the home during a rainstorm once a year to see how the gutters are performing.
Hoses and their faucets are another source for water leaks. You need disconnect the hoses. If you have a frost-free faucet you still need to disconnect the hose. Most newer homes in our Nashville area have frost-free faucets which have the shutoff valve in the faucet inside the wall. These frost free faucets require a pitch to the line so it will drain the water out when shutoff. Also, adding those foam insulated boxes over their faucet handles to add insulation around the handle may help. Closing off the crawl space vents will help reduce potential for cold air to enter the space. Cold air entering the crawl space could reduce temperatures in the space around your water lines. Lastly adding insulation to the exposed pipes in the crawl space or garage can help to reduce potential for freezing pipes.
- Inspect and clear the roof
- Inspect, clean and adjust the gutters and downspouts
- Disconnect hoses and make sure the water lines are shutoff where possible
These simple steps will help to reduce potential for water leaks. If you hire somebody to do these tasks for you I recommend you check with your neighbors to see who they recommend. Check out the companies reputation online. Then get out their and maintain your home. These things will not repair or correct themselves, proper home maintenance is required on every home.
Jason Daley is a Nashville area home inspector who has been inspecting or working on homes for the last 20 years. If you are in need of a home inspection in the Nashville area Daley Home Inspections can help.