Now that summer vacations are over and you have a bit more time, schedule the annual maintenance inspections for your home in September. Such inspections include termite, furnace, and fireplaces. Remember, these are not one-time inspections at the time of purchase. We recommend doing these items every Fall.
Making the time for these annual checks can save you a great deal of time, money, and frustration down the line.
If you see any of the warning signs of termites, call a professional immediately. Other clues to an infestation are these three common termite sounds that you might hear.
However, a termite problem is not always obvious. Undetected problems can lead to treatment and repairs costing several thousand dollars. Consider a monthly protection plan with a service company so you don’t think of this as an added annual expense. If your inspector finds your home is termite-free, it’s still a worthwhile investment. A good inspector can provide you with advice for keeping it that way.
You can lower your risk of a termite infestation by eliminating moisture problems in and around your home. Also, remove potential food sources that termites love–anything with the organic compound cellulose. Such items include plants, plant byproducts, cotton fibers, paper products, and wood.
Without an annual cleaning and inspection, your HVAC system can wear itself out quickly, pump deadly carbon monoxide into your home, or simply stop working. Don’t wait until it breaks down to call for service. This often occurs when you’re freezing and the contractors are in their busiest season. A clean and well-maintained heating system will save you money on fuel and extend the life of the furnace. The cost of annual servicing is relatively inexpensive (about $100), especially when when compared with the price of a new furnace.
Click here to see what your inspector should check for in this visit. Be sure to clarify with your service company if you are getting a safety check, tune-up, or annual maintenance visit as these services do vary. Again, consider an annual contract with an HVAC company so you don’t think of this inspection as an extra expense. And, more importantly, you will be at the top of the list for servicing should your furnace falter on the coldest of days.
CHIMNEYS AND FIREPLACES
Did you know that 98% of all home heating fires are caused by equipment that has not been cleaned and/or maintained? An annual chimney inspection by a certified chimney sweep is an investment that can greatly reduce this risk and save lives.
Your inspector will primarily check flue liners for maintenance and creosote buildup. Burning wood in a fireplace creates tar, soot, and creosote. When these substances collect, they can ignite and result in chimney fires. Such fires burn at extremely high temperatures and can easily spread to the rest of the house. Your inspector will also check for carbon monoxide buildup that occurs when the flue is not venting properly.
Use this opportunity to also have all fireplaces – including gas fireplaces – in your home professionally cleaned in advance of their winter workout. Even though gas fireplaces burn clean and seem very low maintenance, most people assume that they don’t require cleaning. This is NOT the case. Even if you don’t have a fireplace, your furnace and water heater likely vent natural gas or oil emissions through a chimney.
As always, if you have any questions or need any recommendations for any service providers, please ask. We are always happy to help with anything related to your home (or those of your friends and family) – long past your settlement! We want to be your Realtors for life.