Advanced Home Renovation Visualization Tools

How to do a fall exterior home inspection

“NOTES TO THE NEIGHBORS”                                                                      November 2016





I hope that my house maintenance tips last month were helpful to you; here is some more useful information for you. If you have any misc questions, feel free to email me ----


This month I will cover how to do a fall exterior home inspection.

Each year I like to remind everyone to complete an exterior inspection before the weather changes to freezing icy temperatures. So, grab a notebook to log your findings and create a punch list. Decide what needs to be done now and what can be addressed in the spring.

I recommend that you walk around the home in one direction and inspect your home and then turn around and do the same thing in the opposite direction. You may be surprised what you can miss the first time around. Start high and work your way down the wall to the foundation. Next, do the same to your yard. Water infiltration is the enemy of your home and it causes the worst damage next to fire. Look for standing water near your home and add fill to correct this before it forms into ice.

Look for missing roof shingles, gutter accessories, siding, trim boards, flashings, and sealants. Check for any holes in the siding and seal them closed. Check wires to be sure they are secure. Correct them before the blustery winter winds take them down. If you notice nails sticking out in trim boards, remove them and replace them with a longer exterior grade ring shank nail or trim screw. If your home has aluminum soffit and fascia, check for loose pieces and they can be re-nailed to the wood beneath or riveted to adjoining aluminum pieces to secure them.

Check the weatherstripping for your windows and doors. Add or replace worn sections as needed. Check the latches for your windows and doors so that they are adjusted and operating correctly. Many windows will not seal even with good weatherstrip if the latches do not pull the window closed tightly. Door strike plates can have the same affect. The entrance door bottom seal is one of the most important weatherstrips to inspect. Cold air will rush in and keep your floors cold if it is damaged or missing. If you have an entrance door without a storm door consider having one installed. The storm door will help block heavy winds and provide moisture protection to the more expensive wood, fiberglass, or steel entrance door. 

Remove interior covers to bathroom and kitchen exhaust vents. Vacuum out the dust and clean any grease or grime forming that could become a hazard. While the vents are on check the outside wall or roof outlet for airflow. Make sure that the vents are vented to the outside. Let's inspect your dryer exhaust vent. Pull the machine out and vacuum the wall and floor if lint has formed. If lint is on the floor and wall, your exhaust pipe may be clogging or not sealed properly. Remove the piping from the dryer. Place your leaf blower into this end with a rag filling the open space inside the vent. Have someone stand outside at a safe distance to watch the lint blow out as you turn on the leaf blower. Let it run until no lint is coming out. Next, brush out the exterior vent flap so it can close on its own. If it remains open, small rodents may want to enter. Re-attach the vent piping to the dryer and connect it using an adjustable pipe clamp or heat rated aluminum tape. Do not use screws to attach the piping as lint will catch on them on the way out.

While you have your leaf blower out put it into the end of you downspouts that drain out onto the yard. Turn it on and it will blow out obstructions caused by leaves and twigs. It may be necessary to remove a section of elbow if the leaves have composted and sealed the clogged area shut. There are extension attachments available for leaf blowers at hardware stores to blow leaves out of your gutters without going on to a ladder. you may want to try this out.

If you have a patio butted against your foundation check it for negative slope. This means it pitches toward your home. It could be corrected with mudjacking before the temperature is below freezing. Check your exterior lighting fixtures for burnt out bulbs and damage. Test your GFCI protected outlets for proper operation. Outlet covers that seal out the weather are the best choice. Look for rust at all outlets and fixtures, It may be necessary to seal around them to prevent water from entering and damaging you wiring. If the water travels through the piping it can also damage your service panel.

If you are willing to take a few minutes of you day to look over your home thoroughly, it will pay off with minimal repairs and peace of mind. Have a great Thanksgiving!


Jim Houghtaling C.R.4311                                                                  


        Renew View Custom Trim LLC

Stands for Quality Craftsmanship”