Home inspection findings by Frank Schulte-Ladbeck, Professional Real Estate Inspector TREC# 9073

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What you can do to avoid future problems with your home

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Having a qualified firm come out and inspect your HVAC, pool, or other equipment in your home on a regular basis is a great way to prevent major problems with their minor service jobs. If you use your fireplace, then have it cleaned to prevent creosote build-up or birds’ nests. Cleaning your HVAC ducts may be needed. These are jobs for professionals.

I realize that these jobs being performed by firms may not be an option for everyone, so you should at least look at the equipment once in a while to check if you should call some one in. If you feel that something is wrong, it probably is.

The following list is meant for anyone. These are tasks which all of us can do. Although we spend quite a bit of time in our homes, you should take the time to look around the home to see if everything looks all right. If it does not, have it repaired.


1) Keep the moisture level the same around the foundation to help prevent movement (for example watering when it has been dry for awhile, and making sure that water does not sit along your foundation after a rain).

2)When adding mulch to your garden beds, you should not build up your bed to the level of the siding of the house to help prevent damage to the foundation or siding.

3)When creating new garden beds, think about how water can run out away from the home. For example, retaining walls will need weepholes to let water out.

4)If your walls have green or dark spots over them, clean them by either pressure washing or with a little bleach and water; this helps prevent deterioration to your siding.

5) Keep gutters clean, and downspouts fixed to ensure that water is going away from your home.

6) Clean debris off your roof to prevent damage to your roof covering.

7) Keep plants away from your walls and condenser(outside air conditioning) unit, to help maintain their function.

8) Repair or replace window or door screens around your home. This will keep insects out when you need to open the

windows or doors, like when dinner is accidentally burned.

9) Caulking around windows and trim can help maintain energy efficiency and water damage. Remember the holes in your brick siding running along the bottom of your house are for letting water escape from behind the siding.


1) Change or clean your air filter as needed, which frequently is around every six months; however, it is suggested that you should check filters monthly. This helps maintain your HVAC system.

2) Clean the filters for your range hood every so often as well to maintain its function.

3) Fix faucet and pipe leaks as soon as possible to prevent higher water bills and potential damage to cabinets and

structure. Faucets sometimes just need a new washer.

4) Check and replace batteries in your smoke detectors for your safety.

5) If you do not use your dishwasher, use it every so often to help maintain its seals to prevent it from leaking.

6) Make sure all of your switches and outlets have a coverplate.

7) Drain your water heater once a year to remove the sediment which builds up on the bottom .

8) Check the seals of your refrigerator by placing a bill between the door and body of the unit when you close the door. There should be some resistance when you pull it out. The coils in the back and the equipment below the unit should be kept clean to keep the refrigerator operating well.

9)Check and add attic insulation. If your insulation is not as deep as your rafter boards, you should add more.

These tips should be in most people’s ability range. I would like to stress again that you should have a qualified professional check your home’s equipment every so often; these check-ups can extend the equipment’s life and performance, but doing small things to keep up your home can save you money as well as preventing future costs.

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© Frank Schulte-Ladbeck Professional Home Inspector Houston, Texas
Frank Theodor Schulte-Ladbeck
home inspector, TREC# 9073
Houston , Texas , 77063 United States

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