How to Inspect Your Home's Interior
Home maintenance can prevent problems before they begin -- learn what you should regularly check for signs of potenial issues.
From: DK - Do It Yourself Home Improvement
Many parts of your home’s interior can be affected by the exterior problems. For example, a damp area on the inside can be a result of exterior issues that need addressing. When carrying out an interior inspection, always bear this in mind. Many other interior problems relate to aesthetics and safety. Poor paintwork won’t affect the structure of your house, but it will certainly detract from its look. Other issues, such as leaking faucets, require more urgent attention.
Since you cannot physically do everything at once, prioritize the most important tasks. Tackle problems related to safety first. For example, ensure that all smoke detectors function correctly. Be certain that you have regular servicing schedules for items such as boilers and any other gas- or oil-fired appliances. Aside from these more obvious items, appliances such as water softeners also require regular checking and in many cases periodic servicing. Also, if you have air-conditioning systems, be sure to check the manufacturer’s recommendations on servicing. Remember that many problems will require professional help, particularly those involving gas. With all such items, servicing may not only ensure safe operation, they may also avoid costly breakdowns and repairs or replacement. Make schedules and budgets for improvements to decoration and/or permanent appliances and make sure you follow through on them. Also consider whether the improvements you make would be appreciated by anyone buying your property.
Keep a House File
It is a good idea to keep a record of checks, important phone numbers, service schedules, and general information about your home and its appliances, but organization is key. One good way to keep track is to have a house file where all such information is kept. People often buy notebooks with a plan to transfer all the important details into them, but a ring binder is an easier alternative since scraps of paper, schedules, and instructions can simply be clipped into place. At the very least, keep a drawer in your home that is the sole place for accumulating household maintenance, repair, and improvement information.
1. Smoke Detectors
Place units in open spaces. Make sure the batteries are working.
Check that they open and close freely.
3. Joists and Floorboards
Floorboard supports should be firm; check ceilings for sags or cracks. Floorboards should be checked for signs of rot or infestation.
Check these regularly for smooth and efficient operation.
5. Woodwork and Walls
Ensure that both structural and decorative woodwork is in sound condition. Walls and ceilings must be sound, with no cracks or holes. Drywall should be smooth for decorative purposes.
Safety is a priority. Creaking treads or risers should be attended to. Banisters must also be secure.
7. Cellars and Basements
Check these areas for signs of damp. Preventing damp is straightforward; treating it is more difficult. Concrete floors should be dry. If wet, you may need to waterproof. Moisture can be the result of a flood or lack of ventilation, and can lead to mold. Treat it immediately
The circuit breaker box and appliances should be up to date and serviced as required. Cables and cords should be in good condition, with no signs of fraying or damaged sheathing.
9. Water Pipes
Corroded pipes should be replaced. Check that pipes in roof spaces are insulated. Radiators should heat up correctly and have no cool spots, leaking valves, or broken thermostats.
The shower should operate efficiently, and not drip or leak at joints. Toilets should flush easily. If not, replace the relevant valves. Faucets should operate efficiently and not leak at joints or drip.
11. Rafters and Insulation
Check these for general condition and insect infestation. Roof space insulation should be checked for general condition and depth.
Copyright 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited
Text copyright 2009 Julian Cassell and Peter Parham