11 things every homeowner should know

Your home is your haven and it is of paramount importance to look after it, especially if you ever plan to sell your house in the future you will surely want top dollars for it. In addition to sweeping floors and mowing your yard, some home maintenance tasks require more immediate attention and, if left unchecked, can cause significant damage to your home. Here are 11 things to do right away if you see any of the signs that your home may have an underlying problem.

1. There is a leak in your house

Whether it’s a small drop or a larger, steady leak, the continual build-up of moisture can lead to mold growth, cracks in your drywall, damage to your ceilings, and even an impact on the foundation of your home. If you suspect there may be pipes leaking in your home, call a professional plumber and examine the signs you see and examine everyone else Questions about plum You may have so that you can put your home back in order.

Signs to look out for: You receive an unusually high water bill, a room smells musty, or you recently noticed unexplained stains, wet stains, mold, or mildew on the ceiling, wall, or floor.

2. Your roof is leaking

Rain can be a boon to your yard, but not once it reaches your attic or the rest of your home. Your attic is usually warmer and more humid than the central area of ​​the house, and even a small leak from the roof into warm attic conditions makes a breeding ground for mold. Not to mention, if the leak goes uncontrolled, it will devastate the rest of your home, damaging the ceilings and possibly the walls and floors of your home. This is a home maintenance item that you will want to bring up the moment you find it is there.

Signs to look out for: A large water stain appears on your ceiling, inexplicable moisture or drips build up on your walls, or you see larger pieces of shingles in the downpipe of your gutters.

3. Leaky foundation

Your basement foundation can leak over time. If your house settles, hairline cracks can form in the foundation. Unfortunately, water only takes a tiny space to seep through a foundation wall. You may be able to find and seal these cracks yourself, or you may need to hire a foundation specialist to prop up the foundation and prevent further movement and possible leaks. Standing water in an already damp basement can lead to mold growth, but it can also cause considerable damage to your home.

Signs to look out for: An unusually high water bill, damp carpet or floor, you may smell mold or mildew, there is a warm spot on your floor, you notice cracks in the foundation, or you notice a white powdery substance (efflorescence) usually due to evaporation of water is behind minerals.

4. Damp or wet crawl space

You want to keep your home Crawl space as dry as possible. However, if you live in an area like Portland, OR or Seattle, WA that rains a lot, it is possible that your crawl space could get wet. This is usually because surface water from the drainage system on your roof has overflowed, groundwater from the earth around your house has been overly saturated and made its way through heavy rainfall or snowmelt, or there is a problem with the plumbing that you have not yet discovered to have. While this home maintenance chore may not be the most pleasant since you will most likely be crawling under your house, it is very important to tick it off. Fortunately, there are professional crawl space inspectors who can do this for you.

Signs to look out for: Higher energy costs because more energy is required to heat / cool humid air, smell mold or mildew, or have noticed an increase in dust mites and other pests that thrive in a humid environment.

wet crawl space

5. Dirty and improperly sealed air ducts

Air ducts become traps for dust, pet hair, and other debris sucked into your heating and cooling system. These contaminants cling to all damp pipes where mold, bacteria and other fungi can grow. While ceiling or portable fans and air conditioning can keep the air moving, you are circulating the same air, filled with dust, mold, mold, pet dander, and other respiratory irritants, around your home. In addition, improperly sealed air ducts result in poor overall air quality in your home. Replace your air filters more often and have a professional come once a year to thoroughly clean your air ducts, check your ducts for tape, and repair them if necessary.

Signs to look out for: You have high electricity bills, your home is always dusty, your rooms have different temperatures, there is dirt under your ventilation covers, your return air coil is covered with particularly thick dust and your air filter is clogged with dust.

6. Air leaks

Outside air leaks can contribute to poor indoor air quality. Especially in the warmer months, pollen from new plants, lawn pesticide chemicals and other environmental pollutants can enter your home through improperly sealed windows, doors and ducts. Air leaks also add to the energy bills for cooling and heating your home. If you suspect your home has air leaks and you’re seeing some of the signs listed below, get a professional to do an energy audit at your home.

Signs to look out for: Gaps where two different building materials meet in your house (example: exterior brick connected to a cement foundation), you notice cracks / gaps on sockets, doors, window frames, chimneys, lights, or you just notice a draft in yours At home. It is most likely from an air leak.

7. Wastewater stagnation or odors from sewage gas

Sewage stagnation is a serious threat to the environment. Because modern sewer systems typically work so effectively, people often don’t worry about how a fuse could affect their home or family. If you notice any of the signs that you have a sewage stagnation in your home, you should probably leave that to the professionals and have it investigated immediately. This is a household item that you don’t want to put off as the toxic fumes from the sewage can harm your family’s health.

Signs to look out for: More than one of your drains is clogged, water is backing up in other drains, you see bubbles after flushing the toilet, your toilet isn’t flushing properly and the plunger doesn’t seem to help, or you smell sewage gas in your home.

8. Excessive moisture in the house

Environmental experts emphasize the importance of keeping indoor humidity at around 40% and keeping windows, basements and attics dry. Excess moisture in your home can create a breeding ground for all types of fungi and bacteria. Monitor the humidity in your home with a handy humidity meter that you can get at any hardware store. This can help you decide how to control the humidity in your home.

Signs to look out for: During the colder months, condensation forms on the windows, you notice a smell of mold in the bathroom or mold in the cabinet under the sink, the paint is peeling, cracking or blistering on interior surfaces, or you notice an increase in pests such as house dust mites.

Condensation on the window

9. The exhaust fan on your oven is not venting properly

Your oven’s exhaust filter collects smoke, odors and grease from your food as it cooks. If oil clogs your filter – which it inevitably over time – the contaminants from cooking circulate back into the air around the house and begin to cling to your walls. Fortunately, this household care item is easy to fix by simply cleaning (degreasing) your filters. If that doesn’t work, you may need to seek professional advice as the motor in your cooker hood may need to be replaced.

Signs to look out for: Your hood doesn’t put out smoke easily (even at the highest setting), the exhaust fan is very loud or hums constantly, the lights on the hood have stopped working, which could indicate other electrical problems.

10. Overflowing gutters

If your gutters are overflowing, it usually means they are clogged with debris – leaves, seeds, and sticks from surrounding trees. The force of the water flowing through the gutters compacts this dirt, leading to clogged and overflowing gutters. If you ignore this typical fall and spring house maintenance, your clogged gutters can damage the exterior of your home. Your gutters can put unnecessary strain on your roof and shingles, spill water on the side of your house instead of through the downspout and away from your house, or they can even collapse and damage the side of your house. Fortunately, this is an affordable home maintenance chore that you can easily have a professional do for you.

Signs to look out for: You see plants growing out of your gutters, there is dirt on the side of your gutter, you notice dirty streaks (tiger stripping), watermarks or mold on the side of your house, or maybe your gutter is pulling away from your house.

11. Chimney and smoke outlet (creosote)

Creosote is an oily substance that builds up in your chimney and chimney if you have a wood-burning fireplace or stove. Have creosote clean your chimney and chimney annually, especially if you use your fireplace regularly. It’s also a good idea to have it clean of various debris or even bird nests before the colder months before using. If you don’t do this, you could expose your home to a chimney fire, which will cause significant damage to your home and potentially put your family at risk. If you hire a professional to clean your chimney and smoke outlet once a year, you can maintain your home and make sure you can enjoy that warm fire for years to come.

Signs to look out for: You see more wood than ash after a fire, there is less draft in the chimney, you notice black soot around the chimney, very dark, dense smoke comes out of your chimney and you see soot formation, you hear a loud crackling or popping, or You notice an intense hot smell.

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