Most homeowners don’t or can’t periodically inspect their own homes for minor defects and changing conditions. Discovering these conditions, or potential defects early, can save you big money later. The reality is that people get busy, or don’t have the skills to keep up with the maintenance that most homes require.
It’s important to understand that your homeowners insurance policy typically only provides coverage for damage deemed by them to be “sudden and accidental”. The damage caused by tree branches, that you didn’t know where rubbing holes in your roofing shingles when the wind blows, are typically NOT covered. The damage to facias, soffit boards, siding, substrates and framing caused by blocked gutters or blocked drainage valleys are typically attributed to “seepage” and also not covered. Something as simple as knowing your dog is urinating on your exterior A/C aluminum cooling fins (very common), can allow you to isolate the unit with chicken wire and save several thousand dollars later. The small void at the metal flashing where roofs interface with eaves can be corrected, before the squirrels enter and chew the insulation off your wiring in the attic space.
Having your home inspected by a professional can provide you with a “honey do” list that is prioritized, with photos of existing conditions, in most cases, for $325-$450. A small price to pay considering the large area of negative grading around back, or the detached gutter downspout extension allowing water to pond around the basement window well, will cost you at least your minimum deductible, when a portion of your basement floods, as restoration contractors aren’t cheap.
Many of our Client’s choose to save money by taking their own notes during the inspection, eliminating the need for a report. Either way, a homeowner can make informed decisions to minimize future costs.
Hiring a professional for periodic home inspections is not unlike going to the doctor for a checkup, or having your car inspected before the family vacation. As the old adage goes; An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
Chris Elliott – Homeland Inspection Service
Fort Collins CO