Maintaining Your Home Value

For most people their home is their biggest investment; but for many homeowners their property is not worth what it should be because they have not properly maintained their home. Over time wind, snow, hail, and rain can do damage to the value of your home. There are some simple methods to protect your home from premature aging and a precipitous decline in value.

Many homes that may have good “curb appeal” would never pass a detailed home inspection due to neglect caused damage. Your home is likely your biggest asset. Since we don’t know what changes life will bring, keeping your home maintained, repaired, and thus actually marketable gives you many more options to deal with situations like a transfer, death of a family member, a sudden job loss, a new opportunity etc.

First inspect your roof every year. The primary purpose of the roof is to keep water out and over time roofs can leak allowing water to reach the wood. Water damage can fuel mold infestations which will considerably weaken wood over time. The combination of a weakened roof system and heavy snow and ice accumulation on your roof can cause it to collapse.

Have a professional inspect your roof yearly to identify trouble spots.

When snow does accumulate on your roof use a roof rake with an extended handle to remove the excess snow. This simple step will decrease your risk of a calamity that could cost thousands of dollars and will also prevent moisture from seeping through your roof as the snow melts.

Keep the gutters and the downspouts clean. Leaves and debris can clog your gutters which can cause them to overflow leading to water getting under the roof line leading to leaks and wood rot. Water damage can weaken your home’s walls, structure, and foundation and potentially leading to serious structural damage that could require potentially massive repairs.

Keep the trees and shrubbery maintained and trimmed. Limbs beating up against the house or breaking off during storms can do damage to the structure potentially allowing water into the home. Also trees growing too tall, too close to the home can become a clear and present danger of falling during storms. Before a storm unplug electronics like televisions, computers, and stereos to minimize the potential damage from storm surges. A typical surge protector won’t protect your electric appliances from lightning strikes. Do not wait until you are actually in a lightning storm to unplug your electronics because you could be electrocuted.

Don’t let water enter through the chimney. It is common for rain water to gathers in the space where the chimney meets the roof. This area can crack or deteriorate letting water to enter the house. Prevent this disaster by sealing the joint to prevent water from ruining your walls, rotting the wood and feed costly mold infestations. Make sure that water does not come through the chimney cap by sealing that area, too. Where pipes or vents enter or exit the home, use silicone caulk to seal those openings preventing water from getting inside the house and causing problems Other areas too watch are porous brick and mortar. Use a waterproofing agent to keep water from entering the building there especially near the ground line. Also replace worn out or warped siding. This will also create better energy efficiency and your lower heating and air-conditioning bills. When replacing the siding don’t fall victim to buying the cheapest siding on the market. Selecting a water-resistant, energy efficient, long lasting variety to save money over time.

Also be sure to deal with pests such as termites, roaches, rats, bats, mice, and other vermin. Allstate estimates that termites alone do $30 billion worth of damage to property each year. Check your home’s roof vents, siding, foundations and windows. Small cracks can be all that termites need to turn your house into their lunch. Also check for inadequate ground clearance between the earth surrounding your home and the siding. A small a distance could result in a termite infestation and wood-to-ground contact provides an easy meal.

Be sure to caulk your windows and make sure that they are in good working order. This will save you money on your heating and cooling bills and will keep water, mold, and insects out of your home. Also be sure to weatherstrip your doors and if you have an older home consider replacing your doors and windows with new more energy efficient windows and doors.

Be sure to inspect your roofing vents to make sure that they allow minimal amounts of moisture in the house. Vents are normally designed to keep rain out, but sometimes winds can drive rain in to the house. Make sure that your vents are fitted properly to limit the amount of water can enter your home, protecting the attic against mold.

Make sure that you routinely inspect your own plumbing. A lot of the water damage that is in homes is due not to exterior moisture, but rather due to leaky pipes of the water that goes into and out of the home. Make sure that all plumbing systems are working properly and there is not any leaking causing mold and water damage to the home.

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