Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Do NOT ignore these problems in your home.

Go ahead, you can admit it, there are home repairs that you have been ignoring. We all do it.  I teach home improvement classes, I was a home inspector for over 5 years and I'm a real estate broker and I procrastinate about doing home maintenance, too.  We all have busy lives and there are only so many things we can accomplish in any one day.  HOWEVER, there are some things that should NOT be ignored or your home can become a burden rather than a blessing.


Anything to do with water
Water is the enemy of your home and can do an incredible amount of damage if ignored for too long.  The top three things NOT to ignore when it comes to water are:
  1. Failing to maintain good seals in tubs and showers.  You should closely inspect the condition of
    Really???
    the grout between your tiles, the caulk joints between tub or shower pans and walls and any corners or seams.  If you see any gaps or cracks take care of them as soon as possible.  
    • Putting clear caulk over cracks in your grout can serve as a TEMPORARY solution but you should re-grout as soon as practical. 
    • When re-caulking joints and seams remember that new caulk will not stick to old caulk. Remove all of the old caulking and be sure the entire area us clean and dry before applying new caulk. Use a silcone based caulk for tubs and showers. Click Here for tips on how to caulk
  2. Failing to monitor exterior drainage, especially downspouts and gutters.  All gutters should be clean, free of debris and in good condition.  Gutters should also be sloped towards the downspouts with no dips or low points.  Downspouts should be in good condition and should always direct water far enough away from the house to ensure that water does not drain near the foundation, enter into window wells or under concrete. Click Here for more information.
  3. Allowing pipes to freeze in cold weather.
    • Remember to drain your sprinkler system
    • Remove all hoses from hose bibs (outside faucets)

    • Insulate any water pipes that are near exterior walls or in unconditioned spaces (crawl spaces, basements, garages)
    • If you live in an older home you may want to open the cabinet doors under your sinks and leave the faucets on with a very small drip.  Moving water doesn't freeze as easily.
    • Click here for more information. 
Exterior Surfaces 

It is very easy to ignore the outside of your home.  Many of us drive into or garages and rarely give the outside of our home a second thought.  If you have any wood or wood composite products on the exterior of your home such as siding, window and door trim, decking, railings, etc. it is important to keep those surfaces sealed and/or painted.  Wood that is exposed the the elements (rain, wind, sun and freezing temperatures) will deteriorate very quickly and you may find yourself replacing entire portions rather than just repainting.   

Safety Devices

If you don't have a Carbon Monoxide Alarm you should BUY ONE TODAY.  Make sure you test your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms regularly and replace the batteries at least twice a year.  If your smoke detectors or carbon monoxide alarms are more than 7 years old they should all be replaced.  
Click here for information about carbon monoxide

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