After the not-so-cold Phoenix winter, many homeowners forget that their roofs, pipes, walls, and floors have still undergone changes in temperature and air pressure throughout the season that might have left some things unstable. We recommend taking a walk around your home before the summer begins to ensure that you won’t have any headaches in the heat! Here is the One Ave Spring Cleaning home inspection checklist:
1. Flash Floods: Check Your Gutters
Gutters that aren’t checked seasonally can clog or become damaged, diverting water under roof tiles or through the floor panels into the basement (aka very costly damage). The change in temperatures and occasional freezing we experience in the winter can weaken the metal gutter or shift the unit entirely. On a dry, windless day, grab a ladder and remove all the debris from the gutters, starting with the downspout holes. Always have a second person there as a spotter while you’re up on the ladder and wear protective gloves as you never know what kind of creepy crawlies you’re going to find. Finish by flushing the gutter with your hose, which will help you find crack and blockages as well as rinse the dirt/debris.
2. Look Up: Check Your Shingles
Whether you have ceramic tiles or asphalt shingles, the changes in weather and temperature over time cause them to expand and contract, growing brittle. Before the extreme heat of the Phoenix summer hits, it’s best to make sure that roof over your head is there to stay! From the ground, you can check for missing or loose shingles, any cracks or tears, algae or plant growth, sags in the roof, and a loss of granules used to protect against ultraviolet rays (often these roll into the gutter). While you can check them from the ground with binoculars, the best way to inspect is to use a ladder and get up there. We don’t recommend this for most homeowners as it is highly dangerous without professional training. Contact One Ave for assistance with your roof inspection.
3. Don’t Sweat: Check Your AC Unit
Perhaps the most important (and easily noticed) home inspection goal on this list: your air conditioning. In Phoenix, you want your unit to be up to par before heading into summer. Remember that your AC unit has been exposed to elements that may have damaged its filters, coils, and fins necessary for the unit to function effectively. First, change your air filter routinely as clogged and dirty filters obstruct air flow, raising your home’s temperatures and costs. Your unit’s energy consumption can change by 5% to 15% just by changing the filter! Next, check your evaporator coil and clean all dirt and dust from it. Sweep away all debris, leaves, and plant life from around your unit (if it is on the ground in your yard).
4. Fill in the Gaps: Check Your Windows
With your AC unit running efficiently, you don’t want to lose air from your home because of leaks in the window’s creases. Take a walk through your home, running an incense stick or thin streamer (or something similar) along the crevices to check for changes in air pressure. If you find a leak, some caulk and a few nails will probably do the trick (if the problem is around the frame). You might have to replace the glass, however, if there are chips or cracks.
5. Creepy Crawlers: Check Your Attic
If you have an attic or crawl space, as many older Arizona homes do, we recommend climbing up there once or twice a year to check for air leaks around the pipes and in the insulation. Check the backsides of your electrical fixtures, fans, and pipes around the base and add additional insulation or caulk where necessary. Low-expansion polyurethane foam in a can, silicone, or acrylic latex caulk usually work best for plugging small to medium sized gaps. If there is any kind of animal or plant life in your attic, call a professional or exterminator. Remember to always wear protective eye gear, face-mask, and gloves as the insulation and dust can be dangerous!
Even if your home is new, you should get it inspected at least once every five to seven years. There’s nothing better than a home inspection to catch potential maintenance problems before they catch you. Remember, you can always give yourself a break this year and trade out spring cleaning for a spring home inspection! Give One Avenue a call to get going. 623.299.2142