Protect your investment

October 19, 2017

Your home is your largest investment. A blocked heating vent, a damaged roof, leaking window frames — all of these can go from minor issues to major issues if they’re not addressed. The following are home maintenance projects you’ll want to stay on top of, because maintaining these items is much more affordable than replacing them in an emergency.

It lasts a long time, but not forever. On a dry day, look over your roof for missing or broken shingles. Next, look for signs of leaking in the attic and crawlspaces under the roof. Trim back any overhanging branches to keep squirrels and other potential home invaders at bay.

A damaged foundation can cost thousands of dollars to repair. Water damage is the most common, so keeping gutters clear and ensuring downspouts drain away from the home is crucial. Overly dry weather can cause problems too, leading to cracks and to earth pulling away from the foundation. If you see any cracks along the walls or notice doors becoming difficult to shut, you may already have a big problem. Another symptom of foundation issues, surprisingly, is slow-draining sinks and tubs, so be sure to call in a professional if you notice this problem.

You don’t want to be caught needing your heat or A/C and suddenly realize it has broken down. Regular seasonal maintenance checks are a must to keep your HVAC in good working order and get the longest lifespan out of it. Vents should be cleaned and seals checked, and you can replace the filters yourself. Have a professional come in twice a year, ideally in spring and fall, for cleaning and maintenance.

Water heater 
Most water heaters employ a large, insulated holding tank to ensure there’s plenty of hot water on hand. A leak or a blockage could mean sudden flooding and major water damage. Over time, naturally occurring minerals in the water, as well as sand and grit, can build up in the bottom of the tank, reducing the efficiency and capacity of your water heater. It can also plug the drain and interfere with ongoing maintenance, leading to early failure. With few moving parts, repairs to a water heater generally cost a couple hundred dollars; replacement, however, is going to be closer to $1,000.

Sewer line
When a sewer line is clogged or broken by tree roots and debris, you’ve got an expensive — and disgusting — mess on your hands. These issues can cost in the tens of thousands of dollars to repair, so maintenance is critical to avoiding a disaster. The older your home, the more critical it is to get regular inspections.

Regular maintenance on your home is a means of protecting your investment. Of course, these are only a few of the regular maintenance jobs required to keep your home running smoothly and comfortably. You can download seasonal checklists that will guide you through all the maintenance and inspections you can perform to keep your house at its best. If you do choose to make repairs, upgrades, or replacements, I’m happy to show you the benefits of a line of credit to help you keep your house in tip-top shape.

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