by Judie Docs, Executive Officer, NCBIA, CSP, MCSP, CGP, CMP, MIRM

Home owners are well advised to conduct regular checks around their homes. By keeping their eyes peeled, they have a better chance at preventing a small leak from becoming major water damage, an improperly sealed window from turning into a significant mold issue, and so on.

Here are some general tips for keeping your home in good shape and minimizing repairs as much as possible over time.

Starting at the top, the roof is a critical part of your home, and one you may not look at very enough. Check your roof for curling, cracked or missing shingles and for signs of overall wear. It is well worth the investment to make small repairs as needed to avoid most costly damage down the road.

The main reason for ensuring your roof is in good shape is to avoid water leaks into your home. A light brown or sunken spot in your ceilings can be a telltale sign. As can a musty, moldy smell. Ceilings, walls and floors with water damage can be soft or spongy to the touch. And you may even hear dripping if plumbing is the source of your leak.

You may not realize that a refrigerator can cause you more grief than warm food, but if the appliance springs a leak, it often goes unnoticed while it wreaks havoc in your home. Check to make sure all of your large appliances are in good working order, and properly maintain them with routine cleaning and filter replacement.

Insects and Rodents
The appearance of ants and insects as well as rodents is always unwelcome. But it can also mean damage to your home, especially from termites and burrowing rodents. Regularly do a deep clean of your floors and carpets, and check outdoors for any openings into your exterior brick, walls and roof. Call a professional if you suspect you have a pest problem.

Foundation issues could be the result of poor drainage around your home, intense dry and moist seasons over time, or just plain faulty home construction. While there are not a lot of quick fixes, noticing it sooner rather than later is still beneficial. A telling foundation issue is a cracking or separation in the bricks on which your home rests and in your basement. A lesser-known sign of damage is when door and window frames become out of alignment. Your basement door no longer closes and you notice a crack forming in a basement window? It might mean your foundation is shifting, and that’s never good news.

While these are just a few tips and not a comprehensive checklist, think of it as a friendly reminder you to keep your eyes peeled for potential home repair needs that shouldn’t wait. Remember that contractors, remodelers and inspection professionals have the expertise to help you address critical home issues that rear their ugly head.

Our association is dedicated to promoting, protecting, strengthening and informing our local home building markets and those who work within them to ensure we are, independently and collectively are a viable economic engine of growth now and in the future.  Please feel free to use the NCBIA as a resource for any need that you may have, chances are we have a member that can assist you (from Accountants to Window Cleaning).   We have the only list you will ever need! If you would like a copy of our Membership Directory and Consumer Guide mailed to you, please give us a call.

Be sure to visit our For-Consumer section and Job Posting Board (under the About Us tab) and our Virtual Home Tour.   These sections will be updated often!  Included in the Virtual Homes you will find energy efficient green builders.   Open 24/7.  Or, give us a call Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at 440-934-1090.

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