When you own a home, it seems there is also something that needs your attention. Regular maintenance can go a long way to extending the life of the systems in your home. There will always be some things that break unexpectedly but regular maintenance can decrease the number of surprises you encounter. While you don’t need to have the handyman on speed dial to address every running toilet, dripping faucet or loose piece of siding, there are many items that can get drastically worse if not repaired right away.
· Roof issues bent or sagging gutters, overflowing gutters or gutters that have separated from the house leaving holes for water to penetrate, loose or missing flashing…all of these are things that should be addressed as soon as you see them. You can’t predict when the next storm might be strong enough to cause damage. Remember, water damage is often taking place for weeks, months or years before there is visible evidence of it so you need to proactively look for issues and address them before you see can lead to major (and expensive) damage quickly if left untreated. Missing or loose shingles, loss of granulation on shingles, gutters full of granules, damage.
· Be aware of any areas in your home that are prone to moisture issues. Bathrooms and kitchens are often at the top of this list but crawl spaces and other areas can have moisture problems as well. Beyond the damage that moisture can cause to surfaces when left unaddressed, damp areas are also a breeding ground for mold and mildew. Don’t freak out if you see mold in your home somewhere, it can grow quickly in the right environment, but address it immediately. Small mold outbreaks can be treated by correcting the issue of the moisture and treating the mold with a bleach solution. When left untreated, mold can take over an area very quickly and require professional (and expensive) remediation.
· Pest infestations can cause significant damage quickly. No matter where you live and if your area is prone to wood damaging insects, it is a good idea to have a contract with a pest treatment company. They will inspect your house regularly and provide preventative treatment to keep the pests away. In the event of an infestation despite your best efforts, the issue will be caught sooner and damage minimized because of your proactive approach.
· If any part of your home is brick, keep an eye on the mortar between the bricks for issues. As the mortar starts to deteriorate, you will need to repair it. As mortar breaks down, uneven settling may occur causing significant problems.
· Clip any loose carpet strands so they are even with the rest of the carpet. Long strands can get caught on something and pulled causing an unsightly line across the entire room.
While few people make repairs to most things right away, some are definitely more high priority than others. Check these items regularly and call a professional right away if needed to make sure these problems stay minor and don’t escalate unnecessarily.
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