Spring is here and with it the infamous phrase, “Spring Cleaning,” but according to a recent survey conducted by Synovate Inc.,* less than 35 percent of consumers actually complete an annual spring cleaning. This year, the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) reminds homeowners that there’s an alternative to traditional spring cleaning – a home inspection.
“Despite all the hype surrounding spring cleaning, the simple fact is that a majority of home owners don’t want to spend the weekend cleaning out storage spaces and reorganizing their closets,” said Frank Lesh, 2007 ASHI President. “Still, spring is a good time for home owners to take stock in their home and identify potential maintenance issues. There's nothing better than a home inspection to help identify minor issues before they become major repairs.”
Spring Home Inspection Tips
In addition to inspecting a home’s major systems, a typical spring home inspection should include an inspection of the roof to identify curling, shrinking, broken or missing shingles that may lead to costly leaks; an inspection of the perimeter of the home to look for signs of settling and for voids that will allow rain to enter through the home’s foundation; as well as a thorough inspection of the air conditioning system.
“While we don’t recommend that homeowners conduct inspections themselves due to safety precautions, there are several areas of the home that homeowners should pay close attention to,” added Lesh.
Lesh encourages homeowners to visually inspect hose bibs (the threaded end of the outside water tap or faucet where a hose can be attached) for signs of frost damage, separated joints or splits in the pipes; tears and holes in window and door screens; broken, loose or clogged gutters; and cracking or peeling paint and caulking.
April is Home Inspection Month
While 62 percent of Americans say spring doesn’t last long enough to merit spring cleaning, according to the Synovate survey, the truth is, you only need one month – April.
“April is the perfect time for a routine maintenance home inspection and the perfect alternative to spring cleaning,” said Lesh. “The buying and selling season is not yet in full swing, and it is just after the winter months when weather can be especially tough on a home.”
To assist homeowners who may not be familiar with a home inspection Lesh outlines a list of general questions and answers below:
What is a home inspection?
A home inspection is an objective visual examination of the physical structure and systems of a house, from the roof to the foundation.
Why do I need a home inspection if I’m not buying or selling my home?
A home inspection can identify problems in the making and the inspector can suggest preventative measures that might help you avoid costly future repairs.
Why can’t I do it myself?
Even the most experienced homeowner lacks the knowledge and expertise of a professional home inspector. An inspector is familiar with the elements of home construction, proper installation, maintenance and home safety. He or she knows how the home’s systems and components are intended to function together, as well as their expected life and why they fail.
Can a house fail an inspection?
No. A home inspector will not fail a house, but rather the inspector will provide a report describing its physical condition and indicate what components and systems may need major repair or replacement.
About the American Society of Home Inspectors
In its 31st year and with nearly 7,000 members, ASHI is the oldest and most widely recognized non-profit, professional organization of home inspectors in North America. Its Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics are the industry standard. ASHI’s mission is to meet the needs of its membership and promote excellence and exemplary practice within the profession. For more information, visit www.homeinspector.org or call 800-743-2744.
* Survey results were provided by Synovate Inc. A global leader in market intelligence, Synovate Inc.’s online Global Opinion Panel was used as the sample source for this study which included a sample size of 1,000 nationally representative U.S. interviews. The study’s margin of error is +/- 3.1 %.