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Home Maintenance


Foundation Walls:

Foundation walls should be checked for evidence of deterioration, dampness and movement. Limited dampness from slow moisture migration can be anticipated with most older foundation walls. This will often result in minor surface deterioration. Semi-annual inspections allow for monitoring of this situation. Cracks and voids should be filled. Filling cracks allows for easy monitoring of movement between inspections.

Access hatches should be provided to all crawl space areas.

Exposed Foundation Walls:

Foundation walls should be inspected for deteriorated brick, block, mortar or parging. Cracking due to settlement should also be noted and monitored.


The grading immediately adjacent to the house should be checked to ensure a slope of one inch per foot for the first six feet away from the house (where practical). Catch basins should be cleaned and tested.


Shingle Roofs:

Roofing should be inspected for damaged, loose or missing shingles. Special attention should be paid to areas where there is significant foot traffic below or areas where downspouts from upper roofs discharge onto lower roofs. Flashings at dormers, plumbing stacks, valleys, et cetera, should be carefully inspected. Supports for television antennas or satellite dishes too.

Accumulations of leaves and debris can result in the premature failure of the roofs shingles. Tree branches should be kept cut back to avoid damaging the roof surface.

Flat Roofs:

Flat roofs should be inspected for blisters, bubbles, and flashing details. Tar and gravel roofs should be inspected for areas of gravel erosion. Tree branches should not contact the roof surface.

Gutters and Downspouts:

Gutters and downspouts should be checked for blockage, leakage (from rust holes or leaking joints) and for areas requiring re-securing or re-sloping. Paint deterioration should also be noted. Downspout seams should be checked for splitting (the seam is usually against the wall). Insure that roof runoff discharges at least 36 inches from the base of the foundation


Soffits and fascia should be inspected for loose and rotted areas as well as areas damaged by vermin. Note paint condition. Wood should be painted or stained as required.


Chimneys should be inspected for loose or deteriorated bricks or mortar. If covered with stucco or parging, look for cracks or loose sections. Chimney caps should be inspected for loose or broken sections as should the protruding clay chimney liners. Chimney flashings should be inspected for leakage. Metal chimneys should be checked for rust, missing rain caps and loose braces.



Attics should be inspected annually for water stains on the underside of the roof sheathing. One should also look for rot, mildew, and fungus indicating high humidity levels in the attic. Check to make sure the insulation is not wet. Some types of loose insulation are prone to being blown around during periods of high wind. Check for bare spots and ensure that insulation is not covering pot lights. Attic vents should be checked to ensure that they are not obstructed. Often, birds build nests in these vents. Vents at the eaves are often plugged with insulation. Watch for evidence of pests (squirrels, raccoons, etc.).

Rafters and Collar ties

Rafters and Collar ties should be inspected for rot and movement.


Be careful walking around. Don't fall through or step on wires. Insulation looses much of its insulating value when compressed.



Masonry walls

Should be checked for deteriorated brick and mortar. Stucco walls should be inspected for cracking and separating. Wood walls should be checked for rot, loose or damaged boards, caulking, and wood/ soil contact. Note paint condition. Wood should be painted or stained as required. If paint deterioration is the result of blistering or bubbling, the cause should be determined. It may be due to outward moisture migration from the interior of the house, indicating more serious problems.

Exterior Siding (Metal, Vinyl or Wood)

Should be inspected for mechanical damage and loose or missing components. All walls should be checked for indications of settling. Vines should be kept cut back from walls. Vines cause damage to the wall surface.

Wood Framing:

Exposed wooden structural components should be checked for evidence of rot and insect infestation. Deterioration usually results in sagging structural components.

Wall and Ceiling Surface Cracks:

Wall and ceiling surface cracks should be monitored for evidence of significant movement. Minor movement due to normal settling and shrinkage should be anticipated.

Door Frames:

Door frames should be checked to determine their "square"ness. Door frames showing significant movement over a six month period are normally indications of more serious problems.

Doors and Windows:

Caulking and weather-stripping should be checked. Broken or cracked panes of glass should be replaced. Note paint condition. Wood should be painted or stained as required. Finishes should be checked for paint deterioration and rot (particularly sills). Window wells should be cleaned.



RoadRunner Inspection Service has provided the above informationin an attempt to inform new home owners about general home maintenance. The maintenance suggestions listed above are by no means comprehensive and inclusive of all items that need maintenance in a home. These statements above are only a compilation of maintenance suggestions based on our experience in the business of Real Estate property management, ownership and renovation.