We all expect a certain amount of wear and tear to plague our home. If finances are an issue, then addressing many of these problems can be put off for a while. But there are certain trouble signs that shouldn’t be ignored if you want to avoid a major (and costly) disaster in the future. Here are eight of those home problems:
1.) Broken or missing shingles. These are the initial indications that your roof is getting close to needing repairs. Failing to replace shingles can lead to leaks in the attic and even mold growth. You may not have to get a whole new roof, but be sure to deal with the areas where you do need new shingles.
2.) Clogged, leaky, or separated gutters. Runoff water can do a lot of damage to your foundation if left unaddressed. Cleaning your gutters, removing clogs, and maintaining proper gutter pitch can facilitate the flow of the water from your roof and away from your home. Replace gutters or gutter guards which have holes, corrosion, or broken clips or hangers.
3.) A filthy chimney. It doesn’t have to be spic and span – but if wood-burning byproducts build up in the flue of your chimney, they can ignite and cause serious damage. A call to a chimney sweep once a year can handle this problem for you.
4.) Dimming lights. Lights that flicker or change brightness when appliances are turned on are not part of an older home’s charm. They’re a warning you that your home may at risk of being destroyed by an electrical fire. Call a licensed electrician as soon as possible to repair your fuse box or rewire your home.
5.) Mildew and mold. It’s more than just an unsightly stain and an unpleasant smell. Mold and mildew can lead to runny noses and breathing problems for your family, and also cause walls, floors, and ceilings to deteriorate. Clean up small outbreaks yourself or call in a professional for more widespread problems.
6.) Drafty windows and doors. Feel that breeze? That’s what wasted money feels like. When outside air sneaks into your home through improperly-sealed doors and windows, your energy bills go up. A tube of caulk or two can fix that problem quickly and cheaply. An energy audit can help identify air leaks that you might not even know are there.
7.) Pest infestations. Rodents, insects, and birds can enter a home through gaps in the roof, siding, or exterior walls; plugging these holes will help get rid of them. Termites can compromise a home’s studs or beams in a few years (or even months). Look for piles of sawdust or rotting wood around window sills, doors, and siding – and then call an exterminator to treat your entire home.
8.) Foundation cracks. If you notice buckling, pitting, or gapping near your foundation, or if a crack in your exterior brick is creeping up the wall, then you likely have foundation problems. Even though it may be expensive, fixing your foundation is essential if you ever want to sell your home – or prevent it from falling down on top of you.