As a homeowner, it’s important to make sure your home stays in good condition and lasts at least as long as you live there. It’s even better if you can avoid having to pay for expensive repairs. You want the place where you live to be comfortable and safe. So what can you do to make sure your property lasts and you avoid expensive damage?
Get Regular Inspections
It’s hard to fix a problem you are unaware of. For this reason, it’s a good idea to have regular home inspections done. There are things inspectors can you and things they can’t, so while they’re beneficial and can bring a lot of problems to your attention, they aren’t a cure all. Keep in mind that different parts of your home may need more regular inspections than others. If you have crawl spaces, those should be inspected every few months. If you have a sump pump, plan to do it even more frequently. If you don’t have a crawl space, don’t go more than 10 years without an inspection. Five years is better. Otherwise you may find that by the time problems are brought to your attention they are bigger and more expensive to fix.
Water is essential for life, but can also do a significant amount of damage to a home. Water can leak from anywhere you have plumbing. Kitchen and bathroom plumbing are often culprits, especially the pipes underneath your sink. You may not notice a leak under the sink until it’s big enough that it starts to leak out of your cupboards. Check them regularly and make sure that the seals are still working properly. Make sure any caulking around your kitchen and bathroom is in good condition as well. If you notice a leak, clean up the water as quickly as you can. Mold can start to grow within 24-48 hours, which can do a lot of damage to your home and your health.
Fix Problems When They’re Small
House damage doesn’t go away if you ignore it. It only gets bigger and more expensive to fix. One of the best things you can do to avoid expensive damage and repairs is to address problems when they’re still small. They’ll be far more manageable this way. You might even be able to fix the problem yourself, which can net you additional savings on repairs since you won’t have to pay for labor. If you choose to hire a professional, it will still be less expensive if the repair is minor than if it’s allowed to worsen. Time, materials, and the skill needed to fix a problem all factor into the price point, and the more of each of those that are needed, the higher the price will be.
Take Care of Your Roof
Your roof protects the rest of your house from various elements. Return the favor and take good care of your roof. The cost of damaged roofing is high for homeowners who leave it to get worse. To keep your roof in good condition, keep it free of debris. Look over it regularly and patch it up as needed. Don’t allow moss or mold to grow on your roof. Clean the gutters at least twice each year. If you have trees with branches that hang over your house, remove those branches to prevent them from falling on your house when they eventually break. Otherwise you may be looking at some serious damage to your roof and potentially other portions of your house as well.
Clean the Exterior
Keeping your home’s exterior clean helps it stay in good condition. You’ll pay more attention to the condition your home’s exterior is in as you clean it, which means you’ll notice any damage sooner. This will help prevent damage from reaching a point where it becomes exorbitantly expensive. How you clean your siding will depend in part on the material it’s made from, but regardless of material it’s important to clean it properly. Clean your windows as well. Don’t forget to maintain your walks and driveway as well. This is important as poorly maintained walks and driveways can end up becoming a safety hazard to those walking on them. Low pressure washing in particular is good for getting mold and other dirt off of siding.
Clean the Interior
Keeping your home’s interior clean is also an important part of making sure your home lasts. Cleaning the inside of your home helps discourage pests from finding their way into your home and makes your home less attractive to them. As a result, you’re less likely to deal with expensive pest-related damage. It’s also another way to help prevent mold damage, especially in places that tend to hold moisture, such as a basement or bathrooms. Regularly cleaning your floors will extend their life as well, regardless of the type of floor you have.
Don’t Flush Things Down the Toilet
This might sound a little silly, but don’t flush things down the toilet aside from toilet paper and human waste. There are lots of things you shouldn’t flush down a toilet, but that often doesn’t stop people from doing it anyway. Even things like flushable wipes shouldn’t be flushed. They may disappear down the toilet, but they can cause serious problems down the pipeline. These items don’t dissolve and can create serious blockages in pipes. Once you have this blockage you’ll need to pay a plumber to come fix it. This can be incredibly expensive and is entirely preventable – just don’t flush things that don’t belong in the toilet.
Preventing Other Water Damage
Water damage doesn’t always come from your plumbing. If you live near an irrigation system or in an area where flooding is a problem, you need to take steps to prevent that water from reaching your home. Your landscaping may be your best ally here. Grade your landscape so it directs water away from your home. If you need something a bit more extreme, try digging a trench to redirect the water’s flow. Sandbags may also be helpful at preventing water from making it to your home.
Your house should be an investment so it’s important to take steps to protect it from damage and ensure that it lasts. Make sure you’re aware of any problems that come up and fix them as soon as possible. Follow common sense and take proactive steps to avoid damage. This will help your home last and help keep you from needing to pay for expensive repairs.
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