DIY Home Inspection Finds Small Problems BEFORE They Become Expensive Repair Problems

By: Kim Cox

Here in Damascus, the snow’s gone and you can finally take a stroll around your home.

Curled, damaged roof shingles on this Derwood MD home

Curled, damaged roof shingles

Now’s the perfect time to do a quick spring inspection of your roof, siding, windows, and gutters to make sure the long Maryland winter, cold, snow, and ice didn’t do any serious damage.

Plus… it’s easy, and only takes a few minutes. Time well spent!

So to get you started, here’s a short checklist to go by. All you need is a pen and paper.



  • Look for shingles that are ripped, curled, or completely missing. Don’t break out the ladder to get on the roof, just use binoculars if you need to. I want you to stay safe
  • If you had iced dams or water leaks over the winter, make note of that, too
  • If you have access to an attic or the underside of the roof, check for any black or dark stains on the bottom of the sheathing, which could indicate mold. Mold can be dangerous to your family’s health


  • Just walk around, looking for broken, rotted, or missing siding, which could let water get behind it
  • And you know water and wood causes all sorts of costly repair bills when the problem isn’t quickly taken care of


  • Inspect each window (again… use binoculars if needed) and look for rotted or discolored wood, broken glass or frames
  • Look from the inside, too. Do your curtains move when the wind blows?
  • Window glazing cracking or falling out?
  • Is there moisture between the window panes, or do they look foggy or hazy?
  • Is mold building up on the window frames? Yuk! And dangerous


Old torn down gutter

It’s time to replace this gutter…

  • You do have gutters to keep the thousands of gallons of roof water at bay, don’t you?
  • Check for leaks in, and behind, the gutters. Yep… unfortunately you gotta do it in the rain)
  • Are your gutters damaged, bent, or broken?
  • Check for gutter spikes that are loose, bent, or missing
  • Do your downspouts funnel the water several feet away from your home’s foundation, or is it accumulating on the ground?
  • Is there any peeling paint on the bottom courses of your siding or trim from where water is bouncing back up into it?


  • Look for fogged up or discolored glass (from the ground)
  • Did they leak over the winter?

So this is a quick and easy home inspection you can probably do by yourself.

But it’s crucial it does get done.

Those pesky small problems have a nasty habit of turning into huge and expensive problems when they aren’t noticed and fixed quickly. It’s amazing the extra damage that can happen by ignoring or missing a small problem for even a few months…

Of course, if you can’t, or would simply rather get your Maryland home’s exterior inspected by a professional home improvement contractor like us, we’ll come over and check it out for FREE.

All you have to do is call or shoot us an email.

Happy Spring!

If you notice winter damage to your home, want a second opinion,
or you want a free, no-obligation repair quote, call us at 301-368-3551


On Top Home Improvement, Inc.
10818 Avonlea Ridge Place
Damascus, MD 20872
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