It is recommended that home owner complete a home inspection every 10 years. This is useful in helping catch small problems before they become extensive repairs.
The image above shows the brick chimney penetration through an asphalt shingle roof. You can see that the step flashing has been caulked and is now failing as well as the aging/damaged/spalling brick and decaying mortar joints.
The deterioration of this chimney was brought to the homeowners attention because they noticed water damage on an interior wall.
This chimney needs a fair amount repair and the interior damage also needs to be repaired.
A thorough maintenance inspection could have saved a lot time, money and hassle.
Another example: I was performing a maintenance inspection recently and the home owner explained that I didn’t need to test the heating system because it was currently waiting for replacement blowers parts. Upon inspection of the HVAC system I noted that the pipe that carries combustion fumes out of the house was actually depositing condensate water on the interior components of the furnace; including the blower components.
Flue-gas condensate, which contains corrosive acids, can corrode bricks, mortar, and metal. Dried flue-gas condensate looks like is a crumbly white powder visually this ‘white powder’ can accumulate at seams and fittings. The cause can be incomplete combustion and/or inefficient drafting.
A earlier home inspection would have alerted the home owner to the problem and saved her money by correcting the drafting problem prior to replacing the blower components. Additionally, it would have improved the indoor air quality – ensuring that CO was not leaking into the home.