With all the snow still on the ground it is hard to believe that Spring is only a few days away. Because the snow has been sitting on the ground (and your roof) for so many weeks, a Spring do it yourself home inspection is more important than ever.
If you aren’t able to shovel the snow off your roof then go up in the attic and take a look around for any leaks or went spots on the wood. You should do this anyway even if all the snow is off the roof. Most homeowners rarely look around when they are up in the attic other than trying to find more space for their stuff. A slow leak or mold or anything related to water damage usually goes unseen so bring up a flash light and look around to see if there any problems.
Head down to the basement and check for any signs for water especially during the warmer days when the snow starts to melt. Check the walls and floors as well as corners to see if any water has pooled up. Be sure to look in the hard to reach areas behind water heaters, water softeners and heating system. You may not always see the problem when it is happening and may have dried up by the time you go and look. If you see a white flaky powder residue on the concrete in the basement, that is a sign of water or moisture. That white powder coating concrete walls and floors is caused by a mineral salt called efflorescence. This is a powder that's left behind as water vapor passes through the concrete walls and floors. I recommend hiring a professional if there are any signs of a water problem in the basement.
Since it may have been a few months since any windows have been opened in the house, go around the house and check all the windows and make sure they open without a problem. Tighten any screws if needed or spay some lubricant spray if any windows are squeaking.
An often overlooked maintenance item is the gutters and most homeowners never clean them out. In addition to twigs and leaves there could be snow and ice building up and making problems worse. The gutters will not function the way they were intended and well as they can start pulling and hanging away from the house. Gutters help keep water away from the house and foundation and gutters problems can eventually lead to water problems around the foundation. Be sure to clean out any debris that may be clogging the gutters.
If you have a septic system and make sure to have the septic pumped because most likey any buyer you find will ask to have it pumped if it has not been plumped in the last year.
If you are not very handy or just do not have the time then I highly recommend hiring an inspector to inspect your entire house inside and out. Not only will this help you to undercover any problems while you are living there but will allow you to fix them before a buyer does once they do their own inspection.
If you are getting ready to list your home or if it is already on the market be sure to follow these simple steps that can help you avoid larger problems down the road and possibly losing a buyer to a problem you did not even know existed.