Annual Maintenance Inspection Checklist
The Building Services Department recommends the homeowner use the following checklist as a guide to examine their home and property.
The most important component of a house is the foundation. It supports the entire house, and failure of the foundation can have serious effects. Most foundation walls of poured concrete have minor cracks that have little effect on the structure; however, open cracks indicate a possible failure that may get progressively worse. Whether a crack is active or dormant can be determined only by observation over several months.
Paint & Other Finishes:
Faded, blistering, cracking, scaling, or peeling paint most commonly result from excessive moisture in the wood, either from direct infiltration of rain, or moisture vapor condensing in the walls. Poor paints, improper surface preparation or application of paint, or incompatible successive coats may also cause finish failures. One reason for repainting is to improve your home's appearance, but another important reason is to protect its surfaces.
Siding and Trim:
Exterior wood and siding on a house will last many years if it is kept free of moisture and is given reasonable care. The most common problem with siding and wood is decay due to excessive moisture. Failure to replace rotted or damaged siding and trim results in further decay, and possible weakening of the supporting members of the house.
If the roof is actually leaking, it should be obvious from the signs inside the house. A look in the attic may also reveal water strains on the rafters, indicating small leaks that will eventually cause damage. The most obvious deterioration of asphalt shingles is loss of surface granules. The shingles may also become brittle. More important, however, is the wear that occurs in the narrow groves between tabs or sections of the shingles. A good asphalt shingle should last 18-20 years.
Built up roof on flat or low-slopped roof should be examined by looking for bare spots in the surface and for separations and breaks in the felt. Bubbles, blisters, or soft spots indicate that the roof needs major repairs. The life of a built-up roof varies from 15 to 30 years, depending on the number of layers of felt and the quality of application. Built-up roofing generally requires professional inspection and maintenance.
Chimneys & Plumbing Vents:
Exposed metal surfaces should be protected against decay or rust by periodic application of weather-coating materials. Masonry chimneys should be checked for cracks or loose mortar.
The flashing around the chimney, stacks, or plumbing vents should be checked for looseness and corrosion. Some flashing repairs can be made by caulking the joints, while others can be complicated, and many require a professional roofer.
Windows usually present one of the most challenging maintenance concerns. If they are loose fitting or cracked, they will be a major source of uncontrollable drafts and cause of high heat loss. Check for tightness of fit and examine the frame for decay.
Where the wood in the windows is showing signs of deterioration, but the window is still in good operating condition, a water-repellant preservative may arrest further decay. If windows require extensive repairs, it will probably be more economical to replace them.
Exterior doors should fit well without sticking. They should be weather-stripped to avoid air infiltration. The lower parts of the exterior doors and storm doors are particularly susceptible to decay and should be carefully checked. Also check the condition of the threshold and door frame. If the doors are badly weathered, it may be desirable to replaces them rather than attempt a repair. Door hardware should also be checked for safety and security.
Wood Porches, Decks & Steps:
One of the components of a house most vulnerable to decay and insect attack is the porch, because it is always open to the weather. Check all wood members for decay and insect damage, with particular attention go the base of posts or any place where two members join. If examination of the porch shows all parts to be in a generally deteriorated condition, complete removal and replacement is recommended. However, it may be feasible to replace individual components, such as steps, floor, posts, or roof when other components are in good condition.
All addresses must be displayed in numerical symbols at least 4" in size. They should be easily observed from the street so that your house may be located quickly in the event of an emergency.
Accessory Buildings & Fences:
Accessory buildings such as garage, sheds and fences should be examined and maintained structurally sound, and in good condition.
If you would like additional information concerning the Property Maintenance Code, or have observed a situation in the Village that might be addressed through the Code, please contact the Code Enforcement Officer at 708-202-3457