Buying a new home, especially for the first time, is both exciting and stressful, with so many things to consider. There is suddenly a yard to care for, branches to trim back, gutters to clean, home safety to manage, new liabilities, insurance, and taxes. The tasks can seem overwhelming, and priorities have to be set in view of financial circumstances. Be careful to remember, however, that home safety should come first.
Spring Means Setting Priorities
When spring first arrives to the new home, the raised beds and garden patches that were already there beg to be planted. Spots in the yard that are completely bare of grass reveal themselves again, and birds ask to be fed. Although a tidy and well-lit yard is important to home safety, its looks really are not, unless they serve to ‘spring’ a new homeowner into action.
Of far greater concern to the new homebuyer should be thorough inspections of systems only glimpsed by home inspectors. Even the best inspectors do no more than assess what they can see, and they are neither venting nor chimney specialists. Home inspectors have neither the equipment nor the need to look beyond the accessible openings of vents and fireplaces.
Thorough Inspections of the Unseen
This does not make home inspectors bad guys; they perform a critical function in the home- buying process and are typically very conscientious. They are not, however, prepared or required to conduct the systematic examinations that a specialist performs, and that is not typically included in your home inspection. Accordingly, known house-fire starters such as chimneys and dryer vents need to be professionally checked and cleaned, and spring is the perfect time to do it.
There is about to be more laundry, with everyone spending more time playing outdoors in their own ways, and the dryer vent is dangerous. Chimneys need to be creosote-free to allow their safe use, and watertight to prevent damage. Both should be inspected and cleaned by certified professionals as soon as possible to prevent any unnecessary “accidents” this year.