Main Content

Home Maintenance Items

Nick Pfennigwert is a Home Inspector with ProSpect.  As a home inspector, he looks at houses every day and sees a lot of home maintenance items that often get neglected.   Your house is likely your biggest investment.  Taking care of it protects its value!  Nola & Associates spoke to Nick to get his recommendations on items to monitor.  His suggestions:

  • Chimney – You should have the interior flue of your chimney cleaned annually if you are burning wood products in a woodstove or fireplace.    You should also have a weather cap installed at the top of the chimney to keep our rain and pests. 
  • Furnace – have your furnace cleaned every year to maximize efficiency and to anticipate problems before they occur. 
  • Exterior paint – Peeling paint on siding and trim should be scraped and painted. Rot can develop fairly quickly and then you have a worse problem and possibly an expensive one!
  • Shrubs and Mulch – Shrubs and other growth should be trimmed back so that it is not touching the house.  This is important regardless of whether your house is sided in wood or vinyl.   Shrubs can transfer water and insects to your house which is undesirable.  Mulch should also be kept away from the foundation of the home.  It is a fire hazard, and mold spores can transfer to your siding and leave black spots which are very difficult to remove.  Leave a couple of feet between mulch and your foundation. 
  • Bathroom Fan – Check to confirm that your bathroom fan is NOT exhausting into your attic.  It should be exhausting to the outside of your house through a vent in the roof or the exterior wall of the house.  Your fan should absolutely NOT be exhausting into your soffit vents.  Soffits are designed to pull moist air up the ridge to vent, so if you are exhausting hot moist air into the soffit, you are adding to the problem the vent is trying to address!
  • Toilets – If your toilet seems to be loose at the base, it should be repaired.  This could result in waste leaking over the wax seal and causing rot in your subfloor. Yikes!
  • Electric panel – check that there are not missing knockouts (holes) in the metal face of the electrical panel.  This can become a place for mice, carcasses and feces and no one wants that!
  • Septic System – Your septic tank should be pumped every 2 years or so.  The build-up of solids over the long run can be harmful to your leach field and shorten the life of the leach field.   In next month’s newsletter, we will be featuring more information about caring for your septic system. 

If you need to hire a contractor to help you with any of these items, give your agent a call.  We can share some of our tried and true contractors with you!

ProSpect performs home inspections, septic inspections, radon testing, water quality testing, and more.  Check them out at