Homeownership comes with specific responsibilities. One of those is regular maintenance.
Most people know the importance of mowing the lawn and washing the windows, but many other home maintenance tasks must be addressed immediately.
Here are some 10 signs that your home may need a little extra attention:
1. Leaky Pipes
If you notice an unusually high water bill, a musty smell in a room, or unexplained staining, mold, or mildew, you may have a leaking pipe in your home. This must be addressed as soon as possible as it can lead to mold growth, cracks in drywall or ceilings, or even threaten your home’s foundation. Call a plumber to inspect your pipes for leaks and get them back in working order.
2. Leaky Roof
If you notice a large wet spot on your ceiling, water dripping down your walls, or large pieces of shingle in your gutters, a leaky roof may be to blame. The attic tends to be warmer than the rest of the home, making it a hotbed for mold growth in the event of a roof leak. A leaking roof can also damage ceilings and walls. You’ll want to get this repaired immediately, especially if you live in an area with frequent rain.
3. Leaky Foundation
You probably already knew about the potential for roof leaks, but what about foundation leaks? As your home settles over time, minor fractures can appear in the basement. This can allow water to seep in, causing damage to your home. Look out for visible cracks in your home’s foundation, warm spots on the floor, the smell of mold or mildew, a high water bill, or a white powdery substance that can be left behind by evaporating water.
4. Overflowing Gutters
If you notice dirty streaks on the outside of your home, plants growing in your gutters, or gutters pulling away from your home, it’s time for some routine gutter maintenance. It is usual for debris to build up in gutters over time, leading to them becoming clogged. This can cause water to overflow down the sides of your home, damage your shingles, or collapse your gutters entirely. Luckily, it’s easy for you or a professional to clean them out and get them back in working order in no time.
5. Damp Crawl Space
It is essential to keep your crawl space as dry as possible. If you notice higher energy bills (it takes more energy to heat or cool damp air), mold, or an increase in damp-loving pests like dust mites, your crawl space may be to blame. Several factors can lead to a damp crawlspace, and the best way to address this issue is to hire a crawl space inspector to identify the problem.
6. Dirty Air Ducts
Air ducts trap dust and other contaminants that are then sucked into your heating and cooling system. These contaminants can get stuck in ducts or recirculate throughout your home, leading to poor air quality and respiratory irritation. Replace your air filters regularly and have your air ducts cleaned yearly by a professional to keep your air clean.
7. Air Leaks
If you notice gaps between different materials in your home, around windows or doors, or drafts in your home, an air leak is a likely culprit. Air leaks can lead to higher energy bills as they make it more difficult to heat and cool your home. Hire a professional to do a home energy audit if you suspect your home may have air leaks.
8. Sewage Backup
Sewage backup can pose a severe threat to your health and the environment. If you notice more than one clogged drain, a plugged toilet that can’t be remedied with a plunger, bubbles after flushing the toilet, or a sewage gas smell in your home, contact a professional as soon as possible.
9. Dirty Exhaust Fan
Over time, your stove’s exhaust fan becomes clogged with oils from cooking. If this issue is not addressed, contaminants from cooking circulate throughout your home, sticking to your walls and other surfaces. Simply degreasing your filters should take care of the problem. Some warning signs of a clogged fan are a range that struggles to clear smoke, even on a high setting, or a noisy exhaust fan.
10. Chimney Build-up
If you have a fireplace or woodburning stove that you use frequently, proper chimney and flue maintenance is essential. An oily substance called creosote will build up over time and should be cleaned out annually to keep your chimney ventilating your home correctly. A few signs of a dirty chimney are reduced drafting in the fireplace, visible build-up of soot around the fireplace, or an intense hot smell.
If you want your home to stay in top condition for many years to come, it is crucial to address any of these 10 maintenance concerns when they come up. This will help prevent serious damage and expensive repairs and will keep your home safe and comfortable.