May 20, 2024
Things to Do Before a Home Inspection

Things to Do Before a Home Inspection

When selling a home, the buyer will likely ask for a home inspection. If that happens, there are some things you need to do. Before the inspector shows up, you can minimize the number of items that will be found during the inspection process. You want your home to be a safe place and a location that the next owner will enjoy when they buy it. An inspection report with very few items on it is one way the next owner will feel safe and secure buying the home from you.

Here are Ten Things You Need to Do Before the Home Inspection

1. Make Sure the Smoke Detectors Work

Most likely, you have smoke detectors in your home that work and give you the warnings needed to make sure you know when your home has smoke inside and potential fire. Check the local code and make sure your smoke detectors are located where required. The International Residential Code requires these items to be in every sleeping room, outside of these areas, or in the local vicinity of the bedrooms. Every floor of a home requires smoke detectors and they need to work properly.

2. Seal the Exterior of Your Home

It doesn’t take very long to figure out how to seal your home and make sure things are tight and right for the next owner. Before the home inspection, you should take a couple of hours walking around sealing the areas around windows, light fixtures, plumbing pipes and electrical panels. These areas commonly are forgotten and need to be sealed shut to pass the inspection. This is an inexpensive way to give your home the sealed look and feel you deserve.

3. Do Your Exterior Faucets have Anti-Siphon Devices?

The locations where you attach your garden hoses should have an anti-siphon device. This device is also called a backflow prevention device and it is a valve that prevents water from the garden hose from returning to the water supply. For about $5 each, you can fix this part of your home and let it be right before the inspection occurs. This could be a good thing to add to your exterior plumbing faucets while you live in the home before you sell it.

4. Some Light Bulbs Require Cages

It might not be something you’ve ever heard of before, but there are exposed light bulbs in areas of your home that should have a cage on them. Some locations don’t require this item, but if your locale does, you’ll want to install these items before the home inspection. Areas where these cages are required include closets, attics, pantries, and garages. These plastic or metal cages attach to the bulb and protect you and it in case of accidental bumping when in these areas.

5. Have your HVAC System Cleaned and Serviced

One of the most expensive items on this list is a cleaning of your HVAC system. There could be several comments on the inspection report related to the HVAC system. Ask a contractor to clean out the various lines, ductwork, and areas that need to be cleaned and serviced. They should ensure the refrigerant line is insulated and the outdoor AC coils and fins are cleaned. A clean system can go a long way toward the report having fewer items listed on it.

6. Do You Have GFCI Outlets Where Required?

All electrical outlets requiring GFCI protection should have it and you need to make sure that’s the case. Some places where you need to have this protection include outlets around the kitchen countertops, bathrooms, and wet bars. Outlets that are outside and in the garage should also have GFCI protection. This protection allows you to avoid problems if moisture gets into the outlet with the safety switch that will trip when moisture is detected.

7. Make Sure the Roof Fasteners are Sealed

This sounds like a big job, but it truly isn’t. Many roofers don’t seal the nails and staples used to hold down your shingles on asphalt roofing, but they should be. Thankfully, all you need to do is head up to the roof with a roofing sealant and a caulking gun to apply a dab of this sealant over the fasteners to make sure they are sealed. This helps to protect the roof and offer a longer life to this top of your home.

8. Ensure There Aren’t any Plumbing Leaks

Before the home inspection you’ll want to ensure there aren’t any plumbing leaks. Water leaking from anywhere is often a big red flag to potential buyers. These leaks can be easy and inexpensive to fix and you don’t want them adding more line items to the inspection report. Check all the plumbing fixtures and valves to get rid of any potential leaks including laundry connections, kitchen, and bathroom fixtures, and drain waste pipes under the sinks. Don’t forget to check the toilets and the connections there.

9. Add a Coat of Paint to Your Plumbing Vent Pipes

If you want to impress the inspector when they arrive at your home, you should add a coat of latex paint to protect these exterior pipes. This is important for PVC pipes and it helps keep them from deteriorating due to UV exposure. Adding a coat of paint to these pipes will certainly play in your favor because most homeowners don’t do this. You’ll earn a few brownie points with the inspector by adding a coat of paint to the vent pipes.

10. Ensure Downspouts Send the Waterway

The gutter downspouts on the exterior of your home need to send the water away from the foundation to avoid future water damage. If you don’t have a way to divert the waterway from the foundation you can easily buy a simple splash block that allows the water to funnel away from the home and out into the yard. If you don’t have these items on your downspouts, you’ll find this particular item on the home inspection report as a negative.

Put these ten items to work to make sure the home inspection goes well and the buyer doesn’t have many items they want you to fix before the sale closes.


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