Periodic Maintenance Inspections

    If you’ve owned a home for more than a few weeks, you know that there’s always something that needs to be fixed. It’s a fact of life that while a home is often a valuable and rewarding investment, it can also be time-consuming to make sure that every component in your house is working the way it should.
 

    That’s why it’s a good idea to hire a home inspector—because contrary to what you might think, inspections are useful even after the home-buying process is over.

 

What is a home maintenance inspection?
    A home maintenance inspection is like a checkup for your home. It’s done by a professional home inspector, who examines the entire property’s structure, components, and systems to look for anything that might be in need of replacement or repair.

    Your home inspector will conduct a thorough examination of the home, looking at things like:

  • Walls, floors, and ceilings
  • Windows
  • HVAC system
  • Roof and attic
  • Basement and foundation
  • Plumbing and sewage
  • Electrical system
  • Chimney
  • The exterior of the home

    

    This visual inspection typically takes anywhere from two to four hours, or even longer for large properties. It’s standard for the client to be present while the inspector does the walk-through of the home.

Afterward, the inspector will create a detailed inspection report and send it to the client within a day or two. This report will include all of the inspector’s findings, from minor issues to major problems. As a homeowner, you can use this report to make decisions on what types of repairs need to be completed to keep your home in good condition.

 

What’s the difference between a maintenance inspection and a standard home inspection?


    Usually, when people reference a home inspection, they’re talking about the kind that’s performed before a home changes hands.

    A standard home inspection is most commonly ordered by home buyers in the time period between when their offer on the home is accepted and when the purchase is finalized. This type of inspection helps buyers understand any visible issues with the home, including glaring (and potentially costly) problems that might need to be addressed before the sale is completed. (If this is you, please click here)

    A seller may also order a pre-listing inspection before listing the property on the market. The seller might use the inspection results as a checklist of items to address or fix before putting the property on the market, in order to get the most money from the sale as possible. (If this is you, please click here)

    A home maintenance inspection, by contrast, is one that’s ordered by the homeowner as a preventative measure to make sure their home doesn’t have any lurking issues that need to be dealt with immediately. Like its name suggests, this kind of inspection is part of the regular maintenance and upkeep of the home.

 

    But regardless of the reason for the inspection, the process should look the same. In a home maintenance inspection, the only differences may be:

  • The inspector may skip over your appliances. In a usual inspection, the inspector might run the dishwasher or test the washer and dryer if they’re included in the home purchase. But if the home isn’t changing hands, this type of testing usually isn’t necessary, since you’re already familiar with the appliances and know whether they work.
  • The inspector may get a little more invasive. If the inspector spots something suspicious that can only be checked thoroughly by getting behind a wall, they’ll usually note the finding and suggest that the client hire a specialist to do further digging. But with a home maintenance inspection, the homeowner is right there and can give the go-ahead for a more invasive look. 


Why should I get a home maintenance inspection?


    A home maintenance inspection is to a house as a medical exam is to the body. You’re checking in on the systems and components of your house to make sure everything is as it should be.

    Like a checkup for your health, you could avoid it and just wait until something goes wrong—but often, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

    According to the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI), homeowners should have their homes inspected annually. And if that seems a little too often for you, try to at least order a maintenance inspection every 3-5 years.

    Especially if your home is older, you’ll want to stay on top of the aging systems and structural components to make sure you know when it’s time to do maintenance or replace anything that’s broken.