January 2020

Preparing A House For Inspection – Part 6 – Save Your Data

Now that you have Cleaned your gutters….

Save Your Data

During the home inspection, the inspector may be required to test circuit breakers and wall switches. GFCI outlets in the kitchen will definitely be tested. During those tests of the electrical system and components, this will turn off kitchen appliances, computers, and entertainment electronics that have clocks or timers in them. These appliances may be in every room of your home including the basement and garage.

Any data in open computer programs that is not saved to your hard drive may be lost. Even a battery backup system might fail at this critical time. I have encountered a home owner’s offices space with several computers all turned on and running. Interruption of the power was not desirable for these always-on digital resources.

When you return to your home, you may find the appliance clocks, digital clocks, and timers flashing at you because they need to be reset. Also remember that timers for exterior lights may also need to be reset. Plan ahead for this before you leave the house for the inspection.

Old Smoke Alarm

Preparing A House For Inspection – Part 4 – Change The Smoke Alarms

Now that you have Cleared the way for the Inspector....

Change The Smoke Alarms

When a smoke alarm (also called smoke detectors) looks as yellow as this one, it is very likely over 10 years old.  According to the NFPA, all smoke alarms that are more than 10 year old should be replaced.

An easy indication that a smoke alarm is rather old is the discoloration of the plastic. But every smoke alarm has a date of manufacture printed on the back side of the device. According to the NFPA, almost 1 in 5 smoke alarms throughout the USA are more than 10 years old.

If you know that the smoke alarms in your home are less than five years old, leave them in place, but make a note of their age so that everyone understands how old they are. When I inspect homes, I will be checking the age of the smoke alarms.

Smoke Alarm Hanging By Wires
OOPS! They forgot to take the old base plate off the ceiling.

Preparing A House For Inspection – Part 3 – Clear The Way For The Inspector

Now that you have all the lights on....

clear the way for the inspector

Attic scuttle panels or crawl space openings should not be obstructed. There may be more attic access locations than you think there are. The main house might have a separate access from the attic over a garage. Each separate level, and occasionally large covered porches, might have an access or scuttle. At times, small or large additions to the home will have separate attic spaces and therefore they will have their own scuttle opening.