A home is a long-term investment. There’s always something to fix or upgrade to make life safer and healthier. This usually happens when it may be late and you have to break the bank to pay for repairs.
However, with some schedule and regular maintenance, you may be able to prevent this from happening. To give you a nudge in the right direction, learn to detect these unexpected home damages and you may save yourself from a lot of trouble.
Check the roof
Broken shingles, debris, and moss can turn your roof into a disaster waiting to happen. To avoid that, make sure to check your roof at least before the rainy and snowy seasons. You will need tall ladders, non-slippery shoes, and gloves to have a look and see if there’s any damage.
If you are afraid of heights or believe you may be the cause of damage, leave this job to professionals. The service may cost you extra, but at least they will do the inspection thoroughly and notice things invisible to the layman’s eyes. To keep your roof in excellent condition, try performing regular checks a few times a year, as well as from the inside if possible by accessing the attic.
Keep an electrician on speed dial
Electrical issues can cause a lot of damage to the house and even engender lives in the process. If you notice lights flickering or sparks in outlets, call an electrician immediately. Unfortunately, electrical installations are not checked enough so accidents happen more than they should.
If you notice switches getting warmer when they are in ON position or notice there’s no electricity in some parts of the house, this is the cause for alarm. Old wiring, rodents, water in the structure, and the faulty appliance may disrupt proper electrical supply. It’s recommended to perform a professional electrical inspection every five years, before moving into a new home, or when you have concerns.
Time to clean the dryer
Lint is an extremely flammable byproduct of drying your laundry in the machine dryer. You may believe it takes time to pile up, but it all depends on the materials and programs you use. For this reason, it’s best to clean the lint screen after every use.
Moreover, scheduling regular cleaning service once a year should keep the vents free of lint and obstructions. Pay attention to how long does it take for laundry to dry or if your clothes are really hot after the cycle. These are the first signs you need to service your dryer and make sure it continues to work safely and properly.
Don’t postpone fixing appliances
Appliances can present a hazard if they don’t function properly. Washers can leak water on the floors, the toaster can cause fire, and the boiler can explode because of the build-up pressure. Refrigerator, AC, and freezer may require Freon re-fills, so have a professional examine them once a year to ensure they are working properly.
Keep your appliances in top shape by removing piled up limescale, dust, and food leftovers. If an appliance is using too much energy, it may cause fire, short circuit, or injury, so unplug it and wait for the repairmen to take care of it. Thankfully, this is not something that happens often, but still, you need to react on the first sign when something is wrong.
Take care of drafts
Old windows and doors can allow for air to go inside and outside the house even when closed. To find where the draft is coming from, check the windows and doors with your hand or a flame from a match, candle, or lighter. During summers, it will let the heat in and raise your electricity bill for using the AC too much. In the winter, cold air will enter your home and make the heating pointless, as well as expensive.
If you can’t afford to replace the windows and doors, try something as simple as applying a sealant to their frames. A sealant tape is usually all you need to take care of this problem, but if the draft persists, that means you may have to contact professionals for a thorough assessment.
Look for cracks and gaps
Noticing a crack on the wall is the sign you should fix them immediately. If left, cracks can expand and cause quite the damage to the structure of the building. The same applies to other deteriorations of the foundation and walls, inside and outside the house.
Water can enter these openings and spread to the rest of the house through the walls, leading to all sorts of costly repairs. Cracks and holes are simple to fill in and it won’t take a lot of your time unless they’re caused by something serious. A structural inspection can tell you if there is an underlying problem or you can resolve this with some masonry work.
Examine your home for termites
Termites are noticed when they already eat through the foundation of your home, floors, and anything else wooden in the house. Take a look around the house at least once a month to try and detect these unwanted pests and prevent them from tearing your house down. Look for the bubbling paint, shredded wings, blisters on the floor, damaged or weak wood, and mud tubes.
If you spot any of these — your home may be infested with termites. Hire an exterminator and have them examine the level of infestation and offer potential solutions. Keep in mind, that if the termite problem is severe, you may have to vacate the house and wait for structural fumigation to clean your home.
Handle water issues immediately
Leaky pipes and fixtures are annoying, but above all, they are a hazard waiting to happen. In some areas, this issue is quite common because of the old piping. While high pressure may give you strong showers, it may increase your bill and cause damage to fixtures.
If your faucets are making dripping sounds or there’s water running in your toilet all the time, it’s a cause for concern. Also pay attention to the appearance of mold, mildew, musty smell, and wet spots to catch the problem before it leads to more serious problems. In that case you should definitely turn to professionals like Canberra plumbers.
Always check a suspected gas leak
Gas leaks are no joke and ignoring them is dangerous. Sometimes you may hear a hissing sound and smell the gas. If that happens, turn it off, go outside, and call handymen specialized in this type of repair. Carbon monoxide is another reason for concern which can appear as fumes from improperly installed furnaces or garages.
A gas leak detector is the best way to find the leaks fast and react to take care of them. We remind you that gas can be highly flammable and poisonous, so using early detection may protect your property and life.
Clean the gutters at least twice a year
Gutters serve to collect rainwater and take it away from the roof and building structure. Since they are open to elements, debris, dead animals, and leaves may cause obstructions and damage to them. Cleaning gutters is easy and you can do it in half a day, depending on how long and clogged they are.
During the removal of rubbish, check for cracks and holes that may lead to leaks. It’s best to perform maintenance before every season and after heavy rains, winds, and snow. Sometimes, all you have to do is flush them out with a pressure washer but keep the gutter scoop close for hard parts.
Keep the chimneys unclogged
If you have a wood fireplace or a furnace, then you have a chimney as well. The most common problem with chimneys is the build-up of creosote which can cause fires if left unattended. Because of this, it’s recommended to inspect and clean the chimney once a year or more to avoid the risk of fire and death.
A clogged chimney leads to smoke returning to the house, which can be a health hazard on its own, especially for people with chronic respiratory conditions, like asthma. Additionally, inspect the structural integrity of the chimney from the outside to prevent carbon monoxide from spreading to other rooms in the house.
House maintenance doesn’t only include vacuuming, dusting, and cleaning. It also means you need to check for electrical, plumbing, structural, and other issues that may cause unexpected home damages. You can detect most of these problems on your own if you know what to look for, but it’s best to contact a professional when you suspect something. Resolving these matters as fast as possible is essential to keep your home in the best shape for a long time.