Many people think home repairs are something you need to take care of when things get broken or stop functioning. But the fact is there’s an extensive list of small repairs that goes by the name of maintenance – keeping everything in check to eliminate the need for bigger and more costly ones.
Unfortunately, that maintenance list is so extensive that it’s easy to overlook some things. Even the best-looking houses can end up badly damaged as a consequence of forgotten home repairs that have taken their toll.
That’s why we’ve put together this list of home repairs that are regularly missed by the majority of homeowners.
The First Line of Defense
A new roof is one of the most expensive updates, so it’s no wonder that a lot of people wait for the last train to do it. And that’s perfectly fine if you remember to repair the old one regularly. Roofs are the first line of defense against weather conditions, so the unchecked damage will open a pathway to rot and mold into your home.
Without regular roof inspection – at least once per year – this damage won’t be apparent before it becomes extensive and quite costly to take care of. So go up there and start looking for missing, broken, or cracked shingles and replace them on time. Black grit inside gutters or the presence of algae or moss is also a tell-tale sign of the need for replacement.
Seemingly Insignificant or ʽInvisibleʼ Leaks
Many of us tend to ignore the fact that our exterior faucets are spraying water around. We see it and we wipe it down afterward, right? Wrong. This constant spraying usually leaks into our home’s walls and causes wood deterioration (dry rot). And when we figure that out we are faced with costly home repairs.
That’s why it’s important to repair the leaking faucets right away. The problem can be in one of two places – at the connection with the hose or at the stem of the handle. In the first case, you can stop the leaking by replacing the washer in the hose, and in the second it’s enough to tighten the packing nut with a wrench. In either case, it’s a few minutes work.
It could happen that the faucet still leaks, and that means you’re left with two choices – two change the internal parts completely or the entire faucet. Either option will cost you up to 20 bucks in any hardware store and it’ll take a maximum of 20 minutes. Just keep in mind that the first step is turning off the water supply completely, so make sure you have high-quality valves in place.
In some cases, the leaking is not that obvious – when the faucets are under the sink. The problem is that many people have cabinets placed there, which we stuff with too much stuff, making the leaks ʽinvisibleʼ. The best thing to prevent this is not to use this place for storage, but if you really need to make sure you check the faucets regularly.
Replenishing The Sacrifice
Another thing water can damage are our water heaters that are prone to corrosion. What many people don’t know is that this corrosion can be prevented with a replacement of a dipstick. Furthermore, many don’t know there is a dipstick inside the water heater. Well, there is, and it comes with a pretty funny name – a sacrificial anode rod. But the name becomes less funny when you know the purpose of this rod is to sacrifice itself to corrosion so it won’t go to your tank.
Once it gets eaten away, the water will begin corroding your tank. These tank-savers last from 5 to 7 years, but to be on the safe side you should replace yours every few years. They cost approximately 20 bucks in plumbing stores and it shouldn’t take more than half an hour for the job.
A Three-Months Rule
The fate of your HVAC system depends on another simple swap. Every HVAC system has at least one filter and, although common sense suggests it should be replaced periodically, many homeowners forget to do that. And then there’s a lack of available air and the filters get clogged, causing the air conditioner or heater to run longer for the same results. Suffice to say, that’s how uncomfortable temperatures and insane energy bills happen.
That’s why you should follow a three-month rule when replacing your air filters. If you have more dust sources, such as pets, you should do it even more often. And be extra careful if you’re renting the house. There have been millions of cases when tenants simply remove the filter instead of replacing it, which leads to clogging of the heating or cooling unit which is much more expensive to replace. By the way, you can equip yourself with a year’s supply of filters for less than 20 bucks.
Preventing The Jump
We all love the rich greenery around the house – lush bushes and tall trees, providing us with oxygen, shade, and their natural beauty. But none of us love rodents. Many people don’t even know about their nests in the attic before they have a serious infestation problem. And rodents reach our homes precisely across those bushes and trees.
That’s why you need to trim back all your bushes and trees at least six feet from the roof, attic vents, and powerlines. You’d be surprised at what distance a squirrel can jump, or at the climbing expertise of critters. Pruning each fall will keep them and all the other rodents at bay.
Yes, we know – all of this was quite surprising. Small sprays of water can make irreparable damage, HVACs also need to breathe, there’s a sacrifice in our water heaters?! Well, now you know and there’s no room for excuses anymore. Especially when most of these repairs, as you’ve probably noticed, can be done under 20 bucks in no more than half an hour.