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Tips for inspecting the exterior of your home

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A person taking care of their yard.

Home inspections are something that every homeowner has to deal with. Whether you have a 15,000 square foot mansion or a 2,500 square foot house, you will have to perform regular inspections if you want to maintain it. But, unfortunately, not a lot of people know how to perform a proper home inspection. After all, there are many aspects to keep in mind and many issues to look out for. So, to make this easier, we will take an in-depth look into inspecting the exterior of your home.

How to go about inspecting the exterior of your home

During home inspections, people often neglect the importance of the exterior. Sure, they are aware that it is crucial to inspect electricity and plumbing. But, by the time they are done doing so, they are probably too tired or too bored to give the exterior of their home the necessary attention. Unfortunately, this can lead to various issues, some of which can cost you thousands to repair. Therefore, make sure to approach the exterior of your home with the same attentiveness as the interior.

Make sure that your trees are safe

Let's start with one of the things that are often overlooked during an inspection. Namely, trees. If you have trees in your yard, you will need to inspect them regularly to ensure overall safety. You first need to see whether any branches have fallen off and got stuck on the tree or if they are about to fall off. Trees in windy areas especially can be pretty dangerous, and dead branches can easily fly off. Even if you don't experience strong winds, dead branches can fall and cause damage. If your trees are near your home, the branches can even cause structural damage. So, do your best to ensure that no dead branches stay up there for too long.

A tall tree near a house, showing you what to keep in mind while inspecting the exterior of your home.

Tall trees can be pretty dangerous if they are near a house.

Another thing to check is whether your trees are getting too tall. The general recommendation is for your tree not to be taller than 40 feet. And to be at least 20 feet away from the house foundation. The danger of having a tree that is too tall is that it can get struck by lightning. When struck, your tree can fall on your home, catch on fire, or even explode and send debris all over. So, if your tree is getting taller than your home, try to find someone to trim it.

Thoroughly check your roof

The second thing that people usually neglect is the roof. Here, it is essential to note that there is no way that you can reliably inspect your roof from ground level. Even if you believe that you have a decent vantage point and you have a pair of binoculars, you still need to climb on top of it. So, get yourself a sturdy ladder and a pair of work boots and work gloves and inspect your roof properly.

What you are looking for here is a clear sign of damage. Any cracks, dents, or missing pieces are a sign of trouble. The sooner you catch these signs, the lesser the concern. Therefore, don't shy away from inspecting your roof after a storm or other nasty weather.

Adjust and reinforce your gutters and downspouts

After you've inspected your roof, it only makes sense to ensure that your gutter and downspouts are in proper order. To make this possible, you will first have to clean them. This is one of the reasons why having branches near your roof is a bad idea. Once you cleaned them thoroughly, you need to inspect whether the water flows through them properly. A healthy stream should go down your downspouts and exit at the same speed as you pour it. While doing so, make sure that the gutters are at a proper level. Once you are done, make sure that no water has collected. Any dents in your gutters can be a sign of trouble, as they will only become worse as time goes by.

Gutters with a gutter guard covered with leaves.

Consider getting gutter guards if your gutters collect too much debris

Check all of the exterior features

By exterior features, we mean windows, doors, and any other piece attached to your home. Also, inspect all your outdoor lamps, switches, and furniture regularly. Keep in mind that they are out there, suffering bad weather and temperature changes. So, even if they are pretty sturdy, they are susceptible to damage. Does this mean that you should inspect them daily to ensure that they are in good condition? No. But, when you perform an extensive home inspection (say once per year), make sure to include them.

Check your shed

A lot of people that have large yards usually keep their gardening tools in a shed. And, while most sheds are sturdy enough to sustain years of bad weather, you should nevertheless check them. If you want your shed to continue providing a safe place for your tools, you need to ensure that no strong wind or a hailstorm will knock it down. The main things to check here are leaks in the roof and ensure that no moisture collects. While gardening tools are resilient, prolonged exposure to water is bound to ruin them.

A gardening shed.

Always check your shed when inspecting the exterior of your home

A final piece of advice regarding home inspections

The last thing to note about inspecting the exterior of your home is that it is not always a DIY project. Every once in a while, it would be best if you had a professional inspect your home and ensure that everything is in proper order. Ideally, you should hire a professional every two years or when you believe that there is something wrong. A professional has more experience than you. This allows them to notice issues that would otherwise fly under your radar. And seeing how useful it is to catch the problems while they are relatively small, you should understand how useful it is to hire professionals.