Monday, January 6, 2014

PROTECT YOUR INVESTMENT: TIPS TO MAINTAIN YOUR HOME

Some of the most expensive home repairs are ones caused by neglect. By doing a few tasks regularly, you could save thousands in the long run. Don’t be the person who turns the cheek when damages start to build up. Staying on top of repairs will save you big bucks down the line. Here are some aspects of your home to make sure you are maintaining regularly to protect your investment.

Protect Against Water Intrusion
Water intrusion is one of the biggest concerns for homeowners both from a safety perspective and to help avoid major damage. When looking at water, you want to inspect multiple areas:
  • Rain gutters and downspouts
  • Stucco
  • Exterior paint
  • Showers, sinks and toilets
  • Window seals
  • Plants near the foundation
Seal, clean, caulk and repair any area that needs repair as soon as you notice a problem.

Inspect Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning Units
An inspection of your HVAC system needs to be done once a year. The filters should be changed or cleaned every 6 months. The equipment is going to last a great deal longer and save you thousands of dollars if you keep up on its maintenance.

Treat for Termites
If left untreated, termites can ruin pretty much everything in the house from furniture to drywall. To make matters even worse, most homeowners insurance doesn’t cover termite damage. It takes months to years to notice that termites are in your house and by that point, it will be far too late. For this reason, it’s important to stay on top of annual termite inspections in order to protect your home and your belongings. Painting your wood trim and decks also helps to protect against termites and rot. So make sure you have a regular painting schedule.

Inspect and Repair Roof Damage
Roof inspections should be part of your regular home repair routine. The older the roof, the more frequently it needs to be inspected. These inspections will prevent water damage, leaking, roof deck sagging, and cracks. Have all vents sealed and cracks replaced to save your roof from having to be replaced and adding up to 40 years of life onto your existing roof.

Power Wash & Repair Wood Decks
A wood deck should be power washed and sealed every one to three years. This will add 20 to 30 years to the deck’s life and prevent stains, algae, mold, mildew, and water damage. Repair work is essential in keeping small problem areas from spreading. Wet spots from water drainage from flowerpots can lead to major repairs if maintenance is deferred.  Just by repairing rotting around the edges of the deck, you can extend the life of your entire deck.

Clean Dryer Vents
Dryer vents should be cleaned annually. This will prevent lint from building up and the dryer from overheating and catching fire.

Clean Carpets
You should clean your carpet at least every year, but you’re better off cleaning any areas that have heavy traffic more often. It costs thousands of dollars to replace one thousand square feet of a medium-grade carpet and about $500 to clean one thousand square feet of carpet. Annual cleaning will prevent soil buildup and keep you healthier by taking away exposure to bacteria and dirt.

Make Sure Windows Work
Old windows can allow moisture to seep into the house causing rot and mold around the window frame. Updating your windows can help prevent costly damage and also dramatically increase your energy efficiency.

Do Not Overwater Landscaping
Overwatered landscaping next to your home can cause a range or problems that can lead to costly repairs both inside and outside of your home from mold to major stucco damage.  If you notice bubbling or peeling paint on the walls near your landscaping, that is a telltale sign that your landscaping is overwatered. To avoid water damage you can install a drip system for plants near your home instead of sprinklers and make sure the grading and soil slope away from your home so water doesn’t pool next to the structure. Also if your home is stucco, make sure the top of the soil is several inches below where the stucco ends.

Chimney
Similar to the HVAC system, a chimney inspection needs to be done annually. By having it cleaned out and fixed up you can prevent fires, mold, and damper damage. A couple of hundred dollars in repairs could save you thousands of dollars in repairs in the chimney and even inside your home.

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Fall is a great time to perform the inspections so you can have any needed repairs completed by the holidays. Hiring a maintenance company to do the inspections year after year makes it easier to spot problem areas and ensures the inspections are not overlooked. Preventative maintenance not only saves money over the long term it also buys more enjoyment of your home while protecting your investment. 

Hire a home repair and maintenance company to do home inspections

 
Wardell Builders | info@wardellbuilders.com  | 858-793-4190 | Solana Beach, CA 92075

 

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