El Dorado Hills - Homes & News - DeeDee Riley Realtor: Deferred Maintenance

Deferred Maintenance

I do a lot of inspections for investors.  One of the criteria they use to calculate what they will need to do to the house, beyond the broken or damaged things we find on a home inspection, is something they call

DEFERRED MAINTENANCE

Deferred maintenance is exactly that - things that should have been done regularly to a home to maintain its appearance and value.

Calculating the costs of what it will take to bring a house back into a sell-able condition is part of making an offer toward its purchase.

One thing that is routinely let go by homeowners is caulking.

And that inside and out!

Caulking is one of the cheapest and most effective things that can be done toward the energy efficiency of a home.

It should be kept up!

But, since so many are into deferred maintenance, and since spring is right around the corner, here is a list of things you will NOT want to do this spring and summer to maintain your home.

  • Carbon monoxide detector - try the test button
  • Foundation Drainage - be sure water from downspouts, the garden and any rain properly drains away from the foundation. Ideally your yard and gardens should be graded at least 1" for every 4' away from the house.
  • Exterior - clean the siding, caulk cracks and gaps that have opened up during the winter, clean the yard of debris and fallen branches, do a safety examination, cut vegetation at least 1' away from the siding, etc. (Note: caulking is a very cheap and effective way of making the home more energy efficient.)
  • Paint - look for mildewy, peeling or blistering paint. Check for cracks which can be sealed with putty or caulking. Wipe your hand over the paint to see if the powdery chalk comes off. Clean it up, prime it and paint it!
  • Air conditioner - if you don't have an annual tune-up, check your filter (which you should do monthly) and clean or replace as needed, clean bushes and growth from around the compressor so it can breathe properly and adjust your ducts to send more air pressure to the upper level.  
  • The returned air is as important as the supplied conditioned air.  If your return ducts are dusy have them cleaned!
  • Boiler - surprisingly, now is a good time to have your annual tune-up on a boiler because it is often cheaper now than in the fall and your technician is likely to not be so busy.
  • Fire - practice your fire escape plan with the family. Check the charge of any fire extinguishers.
  • Gutters - clean of debris. The helicopters from Maple trees and fuzzy seeds from Oak trees clog gutters as much as leaves do in the fall. Check for loose spikes, seal leaky joints and assure the downspouts are attached to the house.
  • Water heater - drain a little water from the spigot at the bottom to remove sludge and sediment. The burners need to be checked and perhaps cleaned. Be sure you know what you are doing!
  • Window and door framing - check for rot and if wood siding is too close to the soil, get the soil off. If you see evidence of termites, like chewed up or powdery wood, call a specialist.  CAULK AS NEEDED!
  • Trees - trim branches that hang over the house or chimney (especially if large or dead), and where they might rub on the roof.
  • Smoke detectors - test!
  • Roof - check flashing around the chimney or where shingles abut brick or siding, check the chimney mortar cap for cracking, and check for broken, cracked or missing shingles.
  • Chimney flue - check for debris, water staining, soot build up. Have the flue swept if the soot build up is 1/8 inch or more.
  • Garage door - test the mechanism and adjust as needed. The down-force interrupter can be checked with a 2x4 on the garage floor underneath.
  • Check floor drains in an exterior stair way or inside the house. If evaporated, replace the trap water.
  • Indoors - repair caulking around tubs and showers, test GFI outlets, check out the crawl space, check for condensation in the basement, crawl space or collecting on foundation walls. Dry out appropriately.
  • Kitchen - Clean grease from range hood or ducts, clean the refrigerator coils, clean the disposal with baking soda/vinegar and chase it with lemon peels that you grind up.
  • Decks - treat with stain or paint. If you use a stain, use one that provides UV resistance in addition to water-proofing. The sun does more damage to decks than rain and snow. Replace loose nails with galvanized deck screws.
  • Foundation - outdoors - if you are experiencing a drought, be sure to water around the foundation to fill in any gaps created when soil dries out.
  • Termites - check inside for wet wood, visible mud tunnels, flying termites, frass, etc. This is a good time to check for carpenter ants. The little sugar ants can be controlled with small traps or a sprinkle of boric acid in cabinets, under the dishwasher or fridge.
  • Main Water Shut-off Valve - check to make sure it is limber and not leaking. The same goes for the interior hose shut-off valves.

My recommendation:  keep up with your house!  This is a list you should pay close attention to!  I would NOT defer this maintenance, as is so popular today.

Go against the crowd!  Be a rebel!  Maintain your home!

Start a revolution!

 

 

Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

Office (703) 330-6388   Cell (703) 585-7560

www.jaymarinspect.com


Comment balloon 55 commentsJay Markanich • March 04 2011 06:52AM

Comments

Very good information, thanks!

Posted by John Ryckeley (The Platinum Group RE/MAX Around Atlanta) over 7 years ago

Hi Jay, Simple but true in every way. I see homes all the time that look like they just moved into a home that had been vacant for decades.

Very nice post.

Clint

Posted by Clint Mckie, Desert Sun Home, Comm. Inspection 1-575-706-5586 (Desert Sun Home, commercial Inspections) over 7 years ago

Ditto * great post...Several years ago, I started getting the inspector's reports when investors were purchasing rental homes.  I WANT to know what to expect and how to maintain the home properly!!!

Posted by Wallace S. Gibson, CPM, LandlordWhisperer (Gibson Management Group, Ltd.) over 7 years ago

Ditto * great post...Several years ago, I started getting the inspector's reports when investors were purchasing rental homes.  I WANT to know what to expect and how to maintain the home properly!!!

Posted by Wallace S. Gibson, CPM, LandlordWhisperer (Gibson Management Group, Ltd.) over 7 years ago

Jay, I think your list is an excellent one and a good way to engage sellers to consider a pre-listing home inspection.

Posted by Emily Medvec Qualifying Broker, Realtor | Serving Santa Fe & Northern NM (Hello Realty Partners) over 7 years ago

You are welcome John.  Thanks for stopping by!

Thanks Clint also!  It's the simple stuff, regularly attended.

Wallace - an excellent idea.  You of all people would want renters to keep up with maintenance.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

Thank you - great list to share with both our sellers and our buyer clients for keeping up with their new home.

Posted by Bill & Cyndi Daves, TeamDAVES - Your REALTORS In the GA/NC Mountains! (Hiawassee, Young Harris, Blairsville, Hayesville, Murphy and Beyond!) over 7 years ago

I agree Emily.  And those inspections are something I have tried but never gotten to fly in this area!

Bill and Cyndi - I have such a list every change of season.  Stop by again!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

This is a great maintenance list and I've been noticing the caulking looking very poorly around my place.  I'll have to have something done about it.

I'll re-blog for folks in our area to benefit from who may have missed it.

Thanks for sharing.

Sue of Robin and Sue

Posted by Robin Dampier REALTOR®, Hendersonville & Western NC Real Estate Source (Coldwell Banker King) over 7 years ago

 Opps -- I guess I won't re-blog as when clicking on the Re-Blog button I get this message:
"Reblogging is temporarily disabled".

Sue of Robin and Sue

Posted by Robin Dampier REALTOR®, Hendersonville & Western NC Real Estate Source (Coldwell Banker King) over 7 years ago

  This would be a REALLY helpful post if it came with a list of Honey Do ...guaranteed to charm/accomplish the Honey in the house doer...

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce (EXP Realty 414-525-0563) over 7 years ago

Great post Jay.  This list is worth printing and putting on the bulletin board.

Posted by Howard and Susan Meyers (The Hudson Company Winnetka and North Shore) over 7 years ago

A house needs routine maintenance in order to keep its value like anything else in life.

Posted by Harry F. D'Elia, Investor , Mentor, GRI, Radio, CIPS, REOs, ABR (Real Estate and Beyond, LLC) over 7 years ago

That is a very detailed list and a necessary list for people that want to proterct their investment, which is exactly what a home is, or at least used to be. A bit of PM can go a long way to saving big bills.

Posted by Ed Silva, Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally (RE/MAX Professionals, CT 203-206-0754 ) over 7 years ago

Sue - be sure to use the right caulk for the right application.

Sally - I think I see a jar of honey beside your picture!

Howard and Susan - go ahead, make my day!

Yes, Harry, about 1% per year.

Ed - a little bit of this and a little bit of that.  It goes a long way!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

This is an excellent post.  Should be a feature.  May I post a link on my website to this post?

O, may I add clean out the dryer vent.

Posted by Kenneth Cole, NYS Licensed Real Estate Salesperson (Weichert Realtors Appleseed Group, 2043 Richmond Ave. S.I.N.Y. 10314. office phone 718-698-9797, Appleseedhomes.com -) over 7 years ago

Jay,

And here I thought I had a weekend off for the first time in months. My wife saw your post before I could change pages. Good list though...thanks!

Rich

Posted by Richard Iarossi, Crofton MD Real Estate, Annapolis MD Real Estate (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) over 7 years ago

Great list!!!  Sounds like its going to keep my husband busy this weekend.

Posted by Jill Riley (Crye Leike, Chattanooga TN) over 7 years ago

Great post Jay. So many people don't get the concept of deferred maintenance. I'd rather find damage from something that just occurred. Deferred maintenance means the house has been ignored for a while. That's never good.

Posted by Robert Butler, Montreal Home Inspector | Aspect Inspection (Aspect Inspection) over 7 years ago

I think the biggest problem is that when people don't have the money to do the big things they also neglect the small things that don't cost money to do.

Posted by Loren Green, Phoenix Home Inspector & Designer (Greens Home Design L.L.C.) over 7 years ago

Jay, this is a great checklist and a good to do list for the big Spring cleanup. Thanks.

Posted by Michael Setunsky, Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA over 7 years ago

Hi Jay -- Oh so true.  Sometimes the amount of deferred maintenance can be so voluminous in a home inspection that it then becomes material, most of the time, not quite at that level.

Posted by Chris Olsen, Broker Owner Cleveland Ohio Real Estate (Olsen Ziegler Realty) over 7 years ago

Great list Jay! And I LOVE the "be a rebel" aspect.  So many sellers I come across have no idea and then get Whammed at the inspection.  And truly it's often such little things like this that led to the biggg problems.  Caulking is my favorite pet peeve as probably 80% of the homes I bring buyers to end up needing some siding or trim replacement because caulking wasn't there to keep the water out!  Such an EASY prevention!

Posted by Joel Weihe, Helping you to use your VA home loan benefits (Realty World Alliance) over 7 years ago

Great advice, Jay.  But I think I will actually do some of these instead of deferring them.  :D

Posted by Jeremy Wrenn, C.O.O., Winslow Homes (Winslow Homes) over 7 years ago

Great list, Jay. So much of this is stuff we suggest to homeowners, but neglect ourselves. Can't wait til the snow is gone!

Posted by Chris and Berna Sloan, Tooele UT (Group 1 Real Estate) over 7 years ago

Super list.  And all of these things can be done relatively simply and cheaply.

Posted by Kathryn Maguire, Serving Chesapeake, Norfolk, VA Beach (GreatNorfolkHomes.com (757) 560-0881) over 7 years ago

Jay - Isn't it funny that we have to remind people to maintain the most expensive investment they have likely ever purchased? Should be second nature...By the way, this is a great post. Halfway through, I debated forwarding it to my husband, and then decided, Nah. I want to have a good weekend LOL

Posted by Christianne O'Malley, Exceptional Service - Delivering Results in Reno! (RE/MAX Realty Affiliates) over 7 years ago

Very Cool Post. I am printing it up as we speak. Great content to speak to sellers and buyers about even if it is not for investments. WE all learned about deferred maintenance when we got our license. This is one of the topics that we should review constantly. It will serve to show the knowledge you have vs getting vanilla info on line. We need to have a value proposition in order to get clients to use you vs. Mr. Internet

Posted by Robert Schmalz, Cal. Lic Broker (West Los Angeles Real Estate Group) over 7 years ago

Jay, I think it is about time, money, and knowledge, and even effort how all our deferred maintenance piles up on us.

Posted by Gary Woltal, Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth (Keller Williams Realty) over 7 years ago

Great tip...I just touched up my windows last weekend...amazing what you find if you start looking...

Posted by Cory Barbee, Broker (760) 563-4022 over 7 years ago

Thanks Ken.  Of course you can add a link.  The dryer vent is an as is item and not typically on a specific inspection, but geez, add it!

I apologize Rich.   :(    You're welcome Rich!   :)

He can call to thank me later Jill.

Thanks Robert.  And it's pretty common too.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

Loren - and that's how the little things become big things!  It's a vicious circle I tell you!

You're welcome Michael.  Let me know when you're done.

Chris - it surely is material to investors!

Sheree - and if caulking is done, so often it is the wrong material or a really lousy job!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

Good idea Jeremy!  I bet you don't defer too much...

Chris - some things on the list are indoors!

Kathryn - and more easily if we are consistent.

Christianne - lists like this are never second nature!  But good to do...

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

Robert - I am no well-known expert, but have had this list around, and on line, for a long time!

Gary - it does pile up!  Best to go at things each season.

Cory - a body in motion tends to stay in motion!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

Love the list, but my husband is Not going to like it!! I promise to black out all reference to you when I post this on the fridge!

Soryy I missed you the other day when you dropped by with the brochures!

Posted by Renée Montgomery, Northern Virginia Real Estate (Century 21 New Millennium) over 7 years ago

This is a great checklist for any homeowner to use each spring!

Posted by Erica Ramus, MRE, Schuylkill County PA Real Estate (Erica Ramus - Ramus Realty Group - Pottsville, PA ) over 7 years ago

Jay - Keeping up with maintenance on a house is a heck of a lot cheaper than letting something go and then having to pay BIG bucks down the road.  Great, helpful list.

Posted by Barbara Altieri, REALTOR-Fairfield County CT Homes/Condos For Sale (RealtyQuest/Kinard Realty Group, Fairfield and New Haven County CT Real Estate) over 7 years ago

WOW, I was looking forward to spring, not so sure now

Posted by Jeanne Kozak, REALTOR and Broker/Owner in WV and VA (RE/MAX In Action) over 7 years ago

Sorry to have missed you too Renee!  Thanks for blacking out any reference to me.

Great Erica.  I hope many people can use it.

Barbara - maintenance is essential.  It is easy to let things to.

Jeanne - c'mon!  Get on it!  A body in motion tends to stay in motion...

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

Jay,

Well done. Normally I'd re-blog something this valuable, but the system is balking at that. I did the next best thing and wrote a paragraph or two about your post and have linked to you here. I appreciate what you do. Any chance of you moving to the inland empire in SoCal :-)

Posted by Brad Rachielles, REALTOR, CDPE, Upland, CA (CENTURY 21 Peak, Ca BRE# 01489453) over 7 years ago

Jay, what a great list! I just bought a new caulking gun, so I'm gonna holster up! (when it warms up...) ;)

Posted by Peg Barcelo, The FlufftasticStager from Summerland, BC (Fluff My House! Home Staging Inc. 250.486.6369) over 7 years ago

Aw those pesky to do lists keep getting longer. Thanks for the kick in the butt.

Posted by Robert Slick, NRBA, RDCPro, Trident/CCAR MLS (Beach and River Homes) over 7 years ago

Great list Jay, and so important to keep up on!  Thanks for sharing!!!!

Posted by DeeDee Riley, Realtor - El Dorado Hills & the Surrounding Areas (Lyon Real Estate - El Dorado Hills CA) over 7 years ago

Thanks Brad.  Re-blogging doesn't work?  I'd love to move Brad, but don't think I can afford it!  And your new Gov wants to make it more expensive yet!

Peg - good idea.  Caulking wants certain temperatures.

Robert - not intended!  Just a bunch of ideas.

DeeDee - hope it helps!  So, start at the top!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

Jay,

An especially good list for those of us with aging parent.  My Dad has been gone for almost 20 years and Mom isn't able to do all the things necessary.  Between my brother and I when we do make visits, they are often work filled.

It really is necessary to keep up on this though.  Excellent reminders.

Posted by Don Hintz (2D-enterprises / HAUS Design, LLC) over 7 years ago

Great Don!  I hope you guys can use the list.  Been there...

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

A great list Jay. I feel this needs to be reblogged with credit given to you of course.....

Posted by Robert Amato (Bob Amato of Empire Home Mortgage Inc) over 7 years ago

Jay,

We all see too many places where that deferred maintenance led to big problems, like exterior rot

Posted by Steven L. Smith, Bellingham WA Home Inspector (King of the House Home Inspection, Inc.) over 7 years ago

Thank you Bob.  I don't know why the reblog feature is not working.

Steve - for sure!  Wood rot is a frequent and common example of deferred maintenance.  And the repairs sometimes look like patches.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

Jay  -Great reminder to homeowners.  Everything on your list is important, but the items are also easy to overlook or postpone.  Maintenance may take a bit of time, but it pays greater returns than most investments.

Posted by John Mulkey, Housing Guru (TheHousingGuru.com) over 7 years ago

Thanks John.  And you are right!  Geez, which of these things is easy to overlook?

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

Think of deferred maintenance as job security ;) Of course your right and as inspectors we see too much deferred maintenance.

Posted by James Quarello, Connecticut Home Inspector (JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC) over 7 years ago

I kind of like it too Jim!  Not for the buyers though, but my bottom line!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

Jay, great information, so many people are penny wise and pound foolish...

Posted by Chris Smith, South Simcoe, Caledon, King, Orangeville Real Esta (Re/Max Chay Realty Inc., Brokerage) over 7 years ago

They can be Chris.  Sometimes it is just plain ignorance too.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

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