As a homeowner, you know how expensive major repairs can be when something goes wrong. But often, we ignore warning signs that could be caught early with due diligence instead of waiting for something to break down. Here are five important inspections you should be making for your home each year to catching potential problems early.

Roof

A roof inspection should be high on your list of annual priorities. Windstorms, ice buildup, heavy snows, and pouring rain can take a toll on any roof, no matter how new it is. Check for missing or broken shingles as well as any leaks that may be developing. At the same time, inspect the chimney for damaged bricks, along with the chimney cap and the supporting sleeves to ensure everything is in good shape. The eaves and downspouts also should be evaluated for possible problems.

 

Foundation

Although a home’s foundation is built to last many years, over time it can start to deteriorate for various reasons. If the exterior ground slopes toward the house, moisture can build up and seep into the foundation, causing cracks. Mold can accumulate inside, creating health problems for the occupants. Insects and rodents may be able to burrow into crevices that evolve after seasons of bad weather, leading to pest invasions. If the foundation shifts in homes built on a slant or hillside, that could lead to a costly repair the worse the problem becomes.

 

HVAC

Your home’s heating and cooling system should be routinely checked to ensure everything is working as it should. If you notice signs that trouble may be brewing, such as a strange odor or indoor temperatures not being managed by the thermostat, contact experts to check out the system. Catching a problem early may result in a minor repair rather than waiting for the entire system to break down, which could be costly to fix or replace.

 

Plumbing

Plumbing problems include leaky pipes, stopped-up drains, and low water pressure, among others. Moisture buildup can cause mold to grow inside the home, which may become a serious health issue for some residents. Contact a plumber if you notice water issues in the sinks or water heater as well as moisture in the ceiling or walls.

 

Electric

Electric power in a structure may be impacted by a lightning strike or an equipment failure. Electrical system issues can be dangerous, possibly increasing the risk of shock or a fire. Consult an electrician about any signs of electrical malfunction as soon as notice them. Unexpected buzzing sounds, flickering lights, or switches that don’t work occasionally are all signs of wiring issues or other electrical problems.

 

Taking a proactive approach to your home maintenance is a safety necessity in some cases. It also helps to preserve your home’s operating systems and reduce repair costs. The aforementioned inspections will help identify any potential future problems, as well as help prevent those problems from occurring. Keeping a list of checkups to make or marking on your calendar when you should do an inspection can help you remember these vitally important homeowning tasks.