After Your Building Inspection... a Maintenance Checklist for the Home You’ve Just Purchased
Once you’ve received your building inspection report and proceeded with purchasing your property, it is important that you not only implement all your report’s recommendations in the timeframes suggested but also to maintain your home in a comfortable, safe and secure condition your building inspector would recommend doing the following simple things:
Regular housecleaning to prevent mould, staining and pest infestation and detect dampness which may be a sign of problems.
Clean and remove air conditioner filters in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions for efficient operation.
Check that indoor and outdoor air vents are not blocked.
Test smoke alarms and replace batteries or the entire unit as necessary. Check carbon monoxide detectors, fire extinguishers, and all ground-fault circuit interrupters.
Flush water through unused drains to replenish the trap and contain sewer gases.
Test temperature and pressure valves on hot water tanks according to safety instructions to prevent valves from seizing and tanks from exploding.
Check water heater for leaks.
Inspect sink, tub and shower drains for debris to prevent blockages.
Inspect electrical cords for fraying and wear.
Wash windows, screens and external walls.
Service pool and water supply pumps for tank/bore water should according to manufacturer’s instructions.
Clean exhaust fan grills and range hood filters to extend their life.
Check around kitchen and laundry cabinetry and toilet for leaks/cracks to prevent decay damage with damp.
Inspect, clean and oil external decks, landings and stairs to prevent rotting, cracking or warping which may pose a safety hazard or create conditions conducive to timber pests.
Check that pool fences remain compliant with safety legislation.
Inspect trees to determine whether they or their roots harbour timber pests or pose a threat to foundations, overhead power lines, plumbing, roofing or retaining walls.
Check eaves, walls, subfloors for holes that may provide entry points for birds, rats, mice, possums and other pests.
Check termite barriers for evidence of infestation.
Clean washing machine inlet hose filters, mixer tap aerators and shower heads to prevent mineral buildup.
Inspect exterior door handles and locks
Mend cracks and gaps in driveways and walkways
Clean external walls to protect their condition, more regularly if near the seaside or heavy industry.
Sweep chimneys and flues to prevent blockage causing carbon monoxide poisoning or fires.
Clean fireplaces and slow combustion wood heaters to prevent build up of soot.
Clean carpets to keep them in good sanitary condition.
Clean ceiling fans to prevent buildup of dust and grime.
Check all metal elements around the home both internally and especially externally e.g. brackets and screws to prevent corrosion which may result in a safety hazard. Prime, repaint, repair or replace as necessary.
Check for signs of concrete cancer which can occur when metal reinforcements within concrete expand due to corrosion with exposure to moisture which may get into cracks causing the concrete to disintegrate.
Clear guttering, traps and down pipes of leaves and debris to prevent blockages which may result in corrosion, backflow of rainwater into the roof space and conditions conducive to timber pests.
Inspect roof for missing, loose or damaged tiles, bedding or capping, metal sheet corrosion, deterioration to metal flashings, and leaks.
Check the subfloor for adequate ventilation, signs of timber pests, settling soil which may affect stump stability and whether concrete slab foundations need stabilising or repair.
Service air conditioners as recommended by manufacturer.
Seal cracks and gaps around windows and doors with caulking and/weather strips to ensure efficiency of heating/cooling systems.
Touch up external paint.
Paint interior and exterior walls to protect and extend life of cladding.
Reseal timber or stone floors to protect them from damage.
Replace smoke alarms which have a finite life.
Replace vinyl flooring as necessary.
Replace carpet as necessary.
Replace light bulbs for comfort, safety and security.
Lubricate door and gate hinges to prevent them becoming stiff and unserviceable.
Service door locks and handles to keep them serviceable.
Replace cracked and drummy tiles and repair tile grouting and silicon sealant in wet rooms promptly to prevent water ingress, decay and conditions conducive to timber pests.
Replace tap washers as required.
Inspect the roof particularly after heavy rains and storms for cracked or missing tiles/capping mortar, dents or holes and consult a roofing specialist to prevent water ingress.
Call pest controllers to deal with signs of infestation by rats, mice, possums, snakes, cockroaches, termites etc. which pose health and safety risks.
Call a plumber to deal with water hammer which may occur when pipes are not securely fastened and can result in leaks, water damage, decay, and conduction conducive to timber pests.
Call a plumber to deal promptly with leaks and water stains which may signify larger issues and may result in decay and conditions conducive to timber pests.