In many cases, big problems start out as small maintenance issues that get overlooked. Developing a regular inspection cycle will help you keep an eye on things, get to know your home’s quirks and catch small issues that can generally be corrected with minimal disruption to your home and at minimal cost.

Here’s an example of fairly common problems that you should try to keep an eye on at least once a year:
Plumbing:

  • Double check that your water lines look ok and are still snug. Any bulges in the line are a problem.
  • Check under the sink for any water that could be leaking from your supply or drain lines.

HVAC:

  • Check the air conditioner condensation line (you know, the plastic pipe that sticks out of your house – it should drip when you’re A/C is running) – ensure it has no obstructions and can drain freely.
  • Look at the drain pan under your HVAC system. It should be completely dry with no evidence of water or rust.
    Either of the above issues should help prevent you running into this:
    mold on ceiling

Exterior:

  • Check the weather seals and caulk around doors, windows and vents. Cracked caulk will allow water to penetrate into the interior wall
  • where it can cause a host of problems for your structure.
  • Take a look into the crawl space. Look for hanging insulation, loose wires or evidence of animals or insect activity.
  • Give the attic a good once over every year. Look for signs of water penetration, dark or light spots in the wood or anything that just looks odd.

Appliances:

  • If you have any gas appliances, test the seals with some soapy water. If you see bubbles, the connection is leaking.
  • Refrigerators with ice makers or water are a common source of water problems. If feasible, check the supply line and its connection.
  • Check the supply lines and that the drain line is secure on your washer.
  • Clean out your clothes dryer duct at least once a year. Lint built up in the duct over time traps heat and moisture and reduces air flow.
  • Also make sure the duct is securely attached to the exterior vent to prevent warm damp air from being dumped into your home or structure or you could end up with something like this:
    Fire damage