According to inspector Jeff Del Guercio, owner of An Objective Inspection in Throop, Pa., and President of the local chapter of the National Association of Home Inspectors, "Water is probably the single most destructive force to a house. And a leak can go on for a long time without being noticed."
Owning a house can be a great feeling, but its maintenance should not take a backseat. There are some home repairs which should not be delayed because, later on, it might require 5 times more money to fix it. A delay in repair may even cause accidents and other health concerns. So, let us take a look at some home repairs which one should never ignore.
Repair or Replace the Roof Shingles or Tiles
Inspect for missing or broken roof tiles or shingles which may cause the roof to leak when it rains. Repair the broken tiles, or get them replaced if they are in a bad condition. If you live in an area where it snows, check for the siding, as the ice can enter in through broken tiles, and may even start damming there. Carelessness in handling the roof of the house may result in lot of other problems like moisture, fungal growth, low efficiency of the heating or cooling system, etc.
Water-related problems are among the most common problems observed throughout the year. If water leakage due to an open faucet or leaking shower is an issue, then you can fix it yourself, but if problem is fairly major, then call a plumber immediately. Turn off your inbound water line system if you suspect any water leakage. If the leakage is somewhere inside the pipelines in the wall, then it might lead to growth of mold due to moisture, which may further lead to health concerns.
Moisture on Walls
Moisture can be due to water leakage or seepage in the wall. This may result in mold and fungus growth on the wall, which may lead to appearance of colored patches on the wall. Prolonged moisture may rot the wood, and may harm the foundation. These problems need to be addressed immediately in order to protect the house from the harmful effects of mold and fungus. To avoid collection of moisture on the wall, find out the cause behind it, and then get it fixed. Then let the wall dry completely, and paint it again.
Broken Switches and Open Wires
It is very important to keep an eye on broken switches and electric boards of the entire house. If you find any broken switches or loose electric wires in the house, switch off the appliances, and call an electrician immediately. Do not try to repair it in your own, as it can be hazardous. Replace the cords which are in a bad condition. Take special care if you have small kids at home. Try to position the switch boards at a height that remains out of reach for kids and toddlers.
Paint is not only used to enhance the beauty of the house, but also to protect the house walls against moisture, the climate, rodents, and pests. Exterior paints are specially made to protect the house from the harsh weather conditions. But if it starts peeling off, it means you need to take immediate action, as moisture may enter the wood or the wall, and may harm it.
If you observe hairline cracks on the walls then it might not be so alarming. But if a No. 2 pencil goes into the crack till its painted part, then it is a sign not to be ignored. You can also measure the crack, if the crack is wider than 3/16th of an inch, then it is a matter of concern. Consult a structural engineer, and rectify the problem before it gets worse.
Mold and Fungal Growth
Water seepage may result in the formation of molds on the walls, floor, carpets, etc. Once there is growth of mold in your house, the whole house gives off a musty odor. If you observe mold growth in a small area, then you can clean it yourself with the help of a solution of 1 cup chlorine bleach per gallon of water. It will result in pH imbalance which will further kill the mold. But if it is a big patch, then you might need help from an expert.
It is very important to maintain the chimney. During the wet season, do not forget to close it properly so that water does not enter it and harm the chimney liner. Clean the chimney, as it can catch fire if not cleaned properly. Never burn trash like cardboard, wrapping paper, etc., as it may harm the chimney. Burn seasoned wood, and light small fires rather than big, smoky ones.
Annual HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) Inspection
It is very important to check the heating system, air conditioning, and ventilation on a regular basis. It is necessary to clean these appliances before use, and should be properly maintained. This will not only increase the life of the appliance, but will also increase their efficiency. If the appliance is not heating or cooling properly, then call a technician, and get the problem fixed before it further harms other parts of the appliance. Also, check for air leakage and insulation.
Soaring Energy Bills
If your energy consumption shoots up suddenly, then it could indicate a problem with your HVAC. Inspect for insulation and efficiency of the appliances. If there is any decrease in the efficiency, then contact an expert or technician to fix the problem.
Other Unavoidable Issues
- Check fire and smoke alarms on a regular basis, and replace if required.
- Check for problems in the water heater, fridge, TV, washing machine, and other appliances.
- Unblock all the sewage and gutter pipes in the house. A constantly wet foundation may indicate leakage or damage in the system.
- Replace flickering light bulbs.
- Inspect cooking gas connectors and pipes regularly.
Make sure the maintenance work of the house is done in time. By this, you can maintain your safety, and can also save a lot of money. Ignoring vital things about home maintenance is not acceptable even by housing insurance companies.