Recognizing Signs Your Home Needs Repairs (Part I)

Sometimes, it’s just easier to ignore home repair projects. So maybe the door handle on your front door sticks or the screen in the bedroom is bent. Maybe the gutters overflow a little when it rains and there’s a couple mold spots in the bathroom. None of those problems are life-threatening and it’s easy to go on pretending they don’t exist. Of course, this provides those problems with ample time to grow, worsen, and eventually become so severe it costs thousands of dollars and many man hours to fix them. Some problems shouldn’t be ignored. Here are a few of them.

Rainwater And Gutter Systems
A little cloudburst might not seem like a big deal, you may even be thankful for it because it waters your lawn, but if your gutters and drains are in bad repair, that deluge of rainwater can spell big trouble. Check your gutters at least bi-annually for clogs from dirt and leaves. Clear obstructions and check the fasteners between lengths of gutter systems. Your drain spouts should also be kept clear and extend 3 to 5 feet away from the house if you’re in a very wet area or you have a basement. If you add flowerbeds to the base of your home, make sure the ground slopes away from the foundation at a rate of at least 1 inch per foot for 6 feet. This ensures proper water runoff so you don’t end up with serious foundation problems.

Roofing Repairs
Don’t wait for the tell-tale stain on the ceiling or crack along the wall and ceiling joints before you check your roof for leaks. Do a thorough inspection of your roof a couple times a year and watch for signs of damaged or weathered roofing. Consumer Reports has suggested, “On a sunny day, use binoculars to spot cracked, curled, or missing shingles, which are signs that the roof is near its end of life.” You should also look at “flashing around chimneys, skylights, and roof valleys, and the rubber boots around vents for cracks.

Sickly Siding
Siding doesn’t last forever, either. It can be susceptible to leaks as it ages, in particular where windows and doors have been inserted. Fix cracks when they’re little with some $5 caulking and save yourself thousands of dollars in the long run. Also, during and after the winter months if your area gets cold, watch for signs of water damage caused by ice damming. Siding with water stains under roof eaves is one way to tell whether ice is forming beneath the shingles, preventing proper water runoff. Extra insulation can help prevent this problem and also improve the efficiency of your home’s heating and cooling systems.

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