Home ownership is part of the American dream, and the biggest financial step a person can take. While buying your first house can be the most rewarding investment it can also be the most detrimental if simple maintenance is overlooked. Here’s a list of four problem areas to stay on top of that will protect your home and your wallet.
This task may seem less exciting than updating a kitchen or bathroom, but neglecting this are of your house can lead to higher energy bills or extensive damage that will cost you in the end. Watching for these symptoms could save you time and money. Shingles that look cracked or chipped should be immediately replaced before costly damages due to a leaky roof occur. They’re easy to replace and don’t cost much, but waiting to make this repair could cost thousands if not taken care of. Cracked sealants, rusted flashing and damaged membranes are all symptoms of a roof that needs replacing. Shingles are covered with a protective layer of stone granules that protect them from extensive sun damage; when dark patches appear, it’s usually a sign that a roof needs work.
The foundation is the most important aspect of the home, taking all of the loads from the roof, the walls and the floors and transferring them to your soil. Here are some symptoms of a foundation in need of repair: windows and doors that stick, cracks in the tile or flooring, visible cracks in the foundation itself, or fascia board pulling away. When you notice this kind of soil settling, make sure you inspect it first, and then have a professional come and look over it as well. You can have parts lifted back up to keep a foundation stable and working well.
Having a clean water distribution system, and secure waste disposal systems are a necessity to any home. The experts at Ritz Plumbing recommend looking for these common symptoms will tell you when a repair is necessary. If you hear “coughing” in your pipes occasionally there may not be a serious issue; if it happens frequently in multiple faucets in the home, it may be a symptom of a crack or break within a pipe. A bad smell coming from sewer or septic tank can be a common problem, but can actually be hazardous to your health if not taken care of quickly. If you hear a gurgling sound in the sink, shower, or toilet it could be a symptom of a plugged plumbing vent. Water and waste will drain very slowly if it has to struggle to make its way down a pipe.
Most wood is vulnerable to moisture if not chemically treated. As most homes are constructed from primarily lumber, the threat of water damage is hard to avoid. Here are some ways to avoid wood rot in your home. The most effective way to prevent rot is to ensure that openings are properly flashed and sealed. Painting the exterior and caulking cracks will also help protect the wood. In addition to properly staining and sealing deck lumber, flashing all attachment points on the underside of the boards should protect it from rotting. There are many factors that affect the crawl space, including high levels of moisture in the air, poor ventilation, excessive moisture in the ground, and close proximity to the dirt. Running a dehumidifier in these areas can be highly effective in eliminating excess moisture. Make sure the soil drainage system is also working properly.
Being a homeowner can seem overwhelming at times; tackling tasks one step at a time will ensure that your home is well taken care of. Take time to make a checklist of problem areas to inspect every few months, and it will alleviate the stress of home ownership.