Home Maintenance and Upgrade Suggestions

Key Home Inspections
Home Maintenance and Upgrade Suggestions

Dear Client,

I hope all is well with you and your family. We are writing to share with you some tips on general maintenance, safety and home improvements and upgrades for your home which can be done to improve the enjoyment of your purchase after the close of escrow:

1. All appliances and their components are mechanical machines and can and will fail without notice. You should consider purchasing a home warranty to cover any defects that may arise after you move in.
2. Familiarize your family with all main shut off valves, (water and gas) and electrical power switches so that in an emergency these can be turned off.
3. If this is a secondary home for you, we recommend hiring a plumber to show you the proper steps of winterizing the home so that there are no problems of freezing water appliances, components or pipes which can seriously damage the home while you are away. Winterization should begin October through mid-April. Call us for a referral.
4. Change all keyed locks
5. Keep extra light bulbs and flash lights on hand in case on a power surge or outage.
6. Locate emergency phone numbers for the fire department, utilities companies and hospital and post them behind one of your kitchen cabinet doors.
7. Create and teach your family an emergency plan. Where to meet in case of a fire, how to exit the house quickly from the second floor or basement.
8. Get to know your neighbors to encourage neighborhood security as well as congeniality.

Preventive maintenance
No matter the age, every home will have some general, monthly and annual maintenance. Here are a few annual and monthly preventative maintenance tips which will keep your house running smoothly.

Annual maintenance
1. Inspect and clean out the chimney and gas appliance heat vents each Fall by a qualified professional. Secure rain caps, spark arresters and flues and caulk the heat vents at the roof line with sealant to prevent water intrusion into the home. Make sure the heat vents at the seams are sealed with silver tape to prevent carbon monoxide leaks.
2. Inspect the roofing material for damage and repair as needed. Check the flashing and tarred areas for potential leaks and re-seal as needed.
3. Clean out rain gutters and down spouts of debris as needed and make sure they direct water away from the foundation.
4. Dig out any earth to wood contact to prevent rot and insect penetration to the house.
5. Replace all smoke and CO2 detector batteries in the Fall and Spring when the time change occurs.
6. Replace all air filters. Service the heating and cooling units before each respective season. See http://thefurnacefilters.com/replacing-your-furnace-air-filter/
7. Trim trees within 10 feet of the home as to not rub on the roof or entangle with the electrical and or overhead wires.
8. Test all exterior and interior electrical GFCI outlets for proper operation. See http://home.howstuffworks.com/question117.htm for more information.
9. Re-caulk shower and tub enclosures, window sills and backsplashes at sinks when needed. See http://www.diynetwork.com/topics/caulking/index.html for more info.
10. Inspect and caulk all wood products on the exterior at any gaps to prevent moisture and/or air intrusion into the home.
11. Flush the water heater to clean it of any sediment build up in order to keep it running efficiently. For further information on the care of gas and electric water heaters see http://www.asktooltalk.com/questions/faq/plumbing/water_heaters/index.php.

Monthly maintenance
1. Test all smoke and CO2 detectors. Check that all fire extinguishers are fully charged. Have your furnace and other gas appliances professionally maintained every year especially concentrating on any gas or carbon monoxide leaks. Plug in CO2 detectors, per industry standards, should be placed near the gas appliances and in each bedroom at about 2-3 feet above the floor level for maximum protection as carbon monoxide is heavier than air. Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are similar to the flu without fever: dizziness, nausea, fatigue, headache and irregular breathing. If you have these symptoms or smell gas, immediately open windows, shut down furnace, vacate the home. For further information see: http://www.epa.gov/iaq/pubs/coftsht.html
Never ignore the smell of gas! If you smell gas, take action immediately. DO NOT turn off or on any electrical switch, leave the home and call your gas company for emergency service. If you have natural gas call UniSource Energy Services at 1877-837-4968.
2. Inspect water components such as faucets, hose connections for any leaks. Repair when needed.

Home Improvements and Upgrades
1. If there are uninsulated, hot and cold potable water pipes running through unheated space such as crawl spaces or attics, you may wish to insulate the pipes in order to guard against freezing and energy loss. See
http://www.energysavers.gov/your_home/water_heating/index.cfm/mytopic=13060
2. If your water heater is in an unheated area, I recommend installing a insulation blanket around the heater to improve its efficiency. According to the industry, installing an insulation blanket to your water heater can reduce energy loss by 25% to 45% depending on the thickness of the blanket. http://www.ehow.com/how_5567815_insulate-hot-water-heater.html
3. If there are no gutters on the home, install them with area drains or swales to ensure moisture diverts away from the home’s foundation.
4. If there is no floor insulation, which would not have been required when this residence was constructed, it is recommended, for best insulation value, to insulate around the rim joist, stem wall and between all floor joists with unfaced insulation. http://www.bpa.gov/energy/n/energy_tips/weatherization/insulatefloor.cfm

I are always attempting to improve the quality of our service to give first class home inspection service which adheres to the highest standards of the real estate home inspection industry and to treat everyone with kindness, courtesy, and respect. If you found our services to be first class, we would appreciate your referral to your friends and family for any light commercial or residential inspection needs. Rest assured we will give them the same level of service you have come to expect from us.

Any questions please feel free to call Key Home Inspections for advice and/or a referral to a specialist who can assist you further. Again we thank you for your referrals for any friends or family who need a home inspection!
Sincerely,
Dave Goedecke
Key Home Inspections
P.O. Box 1022
Pinetop, AZ 85935
928-242-1898
keyhome@frontiernet.net

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