One of the most critical factors in keeping a home healthy is control of drainage water around the home. I perform two passes around the exterior of the home, one in each direction. On my first trip around I focus primarily on the lower half of the home, further assessing the drainage conditions around the home. I plug into exterior outlets, check the building envelope for holes or damage, look at exterior electrical installations, make sure that exhaust and intake vents are clear, working and properly situated, look for low spots around the foundation (where water could be draining toward the home), look for obvious signs of wayward roof water drainage, inspect window wells if present, locate utility service entry points and identify and document exterior appliances like AC condensers or heat pumps.
On the return trip I give more attention to looking up and documenting materials (home exterior cladding materials and surrounding landscape materials). This includes, checking the building envelope (again), looking at the eaves, soffit and underside of gutters and identifying areas where gutters leak or overflow, checking that flashings are present where needed. Also inspected are decks and whatever is visible of their structural components.
On each pass, I’m looking for failing or missing components, any conditions that will, or have already caused damage to the home’s envelope or structure. And any conditions that may present a health or safety risk.