Preventative Maintenance Tips for Arizona Homeowners from Arizona Certified Home Inspectors

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As an Arizona homeowner, you know how brutal the desert climate can be on houses. From scorching heat and relentless sun to dryness that can wreak havoc on materials, staying on top of preventative maintenance is crucial. Tackling small issues now can help prevent incredibly costly repairs down the road.

At Advantage Inspection Service, we’re Arizona certified home inspectors with years of experience evaluating properties across the Valley. We’ve seen firsthand how quickly homes can deteriorate when preventative measures aren’t taken. That’s why we’ve put together this comprehensive guide on the most important maintenance tasks for Arizona homeowners.

Let’s start at the top – your roof:

Roof Inspection & Maintenance

Arizona’s intense heat and sunshine can do a number on roofing materials over time. While most roofs are designed to withstand the desert climate, it’s important to keep an eye out for cracking, curling, blistering, or other signs of degradation.

At least once a year, closely inspect all roof surfaces yourself or have a professional roofer evaluate your roof. Look for any areas of damage, deterioration, or excessive granular loss on asphalt shingles. Check flashing details around vents, skylights, chimneys, and valleys.

It’s also wise to have the foam roof coating reapplied on flat, built-up roofing every 5 years or so to maintain its protective qualities. For tile roofs, have any cracked, broken, or slipped tiles repaired or replaced?

During monsoon season, be diligent about clearing debris from the roof and gutters to allow proper drainage. Excess leaves and branches can cause damming that leads to leaks and interior water damage.

Exterior Maintenance

All of that Arizona sunshine can also cause issues for a home’s exterior surfaces over time. Wood surfaces like trim, siding, pergolas, and outdoor furniture will inevitably dry, crack, fade, and deteriorate if not properly protected.

Re-caulking and painting every 5-7 years is highly recommended to keep wood properly sealed. When selecting paint colors, lighter shades tend to better reflect the sun’s heat away from the home. Low-e window coatings and awnings can also help cut cooling costs.

For stucco surfaces, repair any cracks as quickly as possible to prevent moisture intrusion. Have stucco surfaces recoated every 5-10 years as needed to maintain protection.

Expansion joints between materials should be kept properly caulked and sealed as well. These areas are prone to separation and deterioration that can allow in water and even pests.

Pests / Integrated Pest Management

Speaking of pests, dealing with insects, rodents, and other critters is a fact of life in the desert. Stories of mice, rats, termites, ants, and roof rats infiltrating homes and damaging wood structures, electrical wiring, and insulation are all too common.

For serious infestations, professional pest control services will be needed. But for prevention, utilize integrated pest management practices like sealing cracks and entry points, keeping vegetation trimmed back, and moisture control. Laying down pesticides and baits can help maintain a perimeter too.

Keep in mind that packrats can gather incredible amounts of sticks and debris inside attics and wall voids, creating fire hazards. Shake awnings, sheds, and debris piles occasionally to discourage nests from forming.

Irrigation System Checks

With how hot and dry our climate is, most homes require automatic irrigation systems to keep landscapes looking green. However, leaks and other issues with these systems can lead to costly water waste.

Twice a year, inspect sprinkler heads, valves, piping, and timers to make sure everything is functioning properly. Check for any leaks, clogs, misting, or overspray that could be wasting water. Adjust heads and timing as needed based on your specific landscape conditions.

Never allow sprinklers to spray on walls, as this repeated moisture can quickly lead to staining, mold growth, and even structural issues over time. Use drip irrigation for plants near the home instead.

HVAC Preventative Maintenance

With the Arizona heat, our air conditioning systems have to work incredibly hard for most of the year. Having the HVAC system inspected and serviced annually can improve efficiency, prevent breakdowns, and extend its lifespan.

Hire an HVAC professional to do a tune-up on both the indoor and outdoor units each spring. Items like refrigerant levels, ductwork, thermostats, condensate lines, and electrical components should be checked. The coils will also need a thorough cleaning.

It’s also a good idea to have them inspect the system every fall as temperatures cool down for any winter-related issues.

Another crucial HVAC maintenance task is regularly changing out the air filters (typically every 3 months). Clogged filters make the system work harder while also reducing indoor air quality.

Roof and Attic Venting

Proper ventilation is vital in preventing excessive heat buildup in the attic, which can drastically increase cooling costs and cause premature aging of roofing materials and the HVAC system. It’s the #1 issue we Arizona-certified home inspectors see impacting efficiency and home durability.

For optimal airflow, homes should have a combination of soffit vents along the eaves and continuous ridge vents running along the roof peak. Ensure these vents are never blocked by insulation or debris. Additional roof vents may be needed on larger properties.

For even better circulation, installing solar attic fans or ridge vent fans can pull vast amounts of hot air out of the attic. In some cases, simply improving ventilation can reduce indoor temperatures enough to downsize to a smaller AC unit.

Swimming Pools

With so many homes in Arizona having private pools, they require preventative maintenance as well. Keeping up on chemical levels and cleaning the pool regularly is obvious. But there are other pool system components to stay vigilant with:

Inspect the pool pump, motor, filter system, chlorinator, and related piping/valves every few months. Have any leaks, deterioration, or other issues addressed promptly by a pool professional.

The pool deck and coping also need routine maintenance. Fill cracks in the deck surface that may allow water intrusion. Routinely apply new cool deck coating as needed to reduce heat absorption and damage.

Never ignore pool equipment problems or defer maintenance. This can lead to system failures, expensive repairs, water loss, and even structural issues with the pool basin over time.

Hiring Routine Home Inspections

While the tasks above cover many of the major preventative maintenance areas, an annual professional home inspection can uncover issues you may miss. Just as you get routine physicals, think of getting your home inspected routinely as well.

Arizona certified home inspectors like our team at Advantage Inspection Service have the trained eyes to spot underlying issues before they escalate. We’ll check all areas of the home to assess current conditions and identify any defects, potential safety hazards, or needed maintenance.

Our detailed inspection reports will give you a full overview of your home’s condition, accompanied by photos and a priority list for any necessary repairs or improvements. You’ll have peace of mind knowing exactly what areas require attention to keep your home running smoothly.

We understand preventative maintenance may seem like a hassle. But in hot, dry Arizona, keeping up on it is essential for preserving your home’s value, comfort, efficiency, and safety for years to come. Don’t wait until issues become big problems!

When you need a certified home inspector to assess your property, we’ve been the trusted name in the Valley for over a decade. Our experienced inspectors bring a keen eye and professionalism to every job. Let us help you with the preventative maintenance process