To avoid costly repairs to your real estate investment properties, you or your property management company should have a routine maintenance program. Regular inspections need to be conducted with assigned completion dates. Property management firms should provide written reports of their findings. Here are the areas that require inspection.

Property Mechanical Systems: Check HVAC systems, plumbing, water heaters, smoke and fire detectors, electrical systems, elevators and escalators, electronic garage doors, and sprinkler systems for functionality and wear.

Building Structural Issues: Investigate for condensation problems in attics, crawl spaces, and around doors and windows. Check for seepage through foundations, chimneys, and skylights. Inspect for any major foundation cracks. Examine roofing materials and gutters for damage. Look for floor cracks, mold, wood rot, swollen drywall, and baseboard separation from walls.

Interiors: Inspect the condition of flooring materials, proper lighting, tile caulking and grout, appliances, stair treads, locks, and paint.

Exteriors: Examine for landscaping damage or replacement needs, correct water drainage, debris accumulation, appropriate doggie area supplies, fencing, safety lighting, the condition of recreational facilities and common areas, as well as laundry facilities.

Pest Control: Regular control treatments are recommended, as well as checking for any signs of insect or animal control needs.

Some inspections on your scheduled maintenance list need be conducted only on an annual basis or after major storms. Other items require frequent inspections. By keeping aware of the condition of your property and adhering to a routine schedule of maintenance and repair, you can extend the life of your assets and often avoid system failures. Preventative care can save thousands of dollars in avoidable major repair expenses.