Steven L. Smith, Bellingham, WA Home Inspector (King of the House)


Home Maintenance

Home inspectors see many instances of deferred maintenance when inspecting the average home. The newer the house, usually the less of that the inspector sees. We might note oversights and deficiencies that will lead to problems over time, but usually not deterioration at a new house.

At a property that has had time to develop some problems, failed caulking and paint is a commonly seen issue. The photo below is a laminate or plywood siding. Where the hole plug was put into the plywood at the factory, the failed finish is allowing moisture into the material.











In this instance, maintenance was neglected for several years. Decay and de-lamination are present. Furthermore, basic installation of siding and horizontal transitions, lack of proper flashings, has exacerbated the problem. In the long run, neglecting a property will be more costly when repairing, or selling the house, than a conscientious program of diligent home maintenance.

Steven L. Smith

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Comment balloon 4 commentsSteven L. Smith • October 01 2014 07:59AM


A little ABC gum in that hole will do the trick.  I prefer fruit to mint.  Others may disagree.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 4 years ago

Great discription of the problem here Steven. Deferred maintainance can show up in many ways.

Posted by Tom Arstingstall, General Contractor, Dry Rot, Water Damage Sacramento, El Dorado County - (916) 765-5366, General Contractor, Dry Rot and Water Damage (Dry Rot and Water Damage Mobile - 916-765-5366) over 4 years ago

If owner/sellers only realized what deferred maintenance was going to cost them when they sold, perhaps they'd be more diligent.


Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley,, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) over 4 years ago

Thanks for the comments Jay, Lenn and Tom. For some reason I did not receive them by Email and just caught them today.

Posted by Steven L. Smith, Bellingham WA Home Inspector (King of the House Home Inspection, Inc.) over 4 years ago