Owning your own home is a blessing. And yet, with that blessing comes the responsibilities of upkeep and home maintenance. Taking good care of your property means that your home will provide shelter and enjoyment for years to come. Ideally, your home will also improve in value over time, making it a wise financial investment. No matter how old or new your house is, there are bound to be times when issues crop up that require your immediate attention. Ignoring these problems may not only be costly but may also be dangerous.
14. Out of Date Wiring
In an older home, it is critical to make sure that your electrical wiring is compliant with current electrical codes. Hyde’s is a family-owned air conditioning, heating, and electrical services company. They offer three signs that the electrical wiring in your home may not be up to code. First, homes built in the 1960s and 1970s may contain aluminum wiring instead of copper. Second, a lack of GCFI outlets signals dangerously out-of-date wiring. Third, if you find you are frequently blowing a fuse in your circuit breaker, it may be time for an electrical upgrade.
13. Beeping Smoke Alarm
Smoke alarm batteries always seem to run out in the middle of the night. This makes it tempting to rip the battery from the alarm and head back to bed. If so, don’t forget to replace the battery the next day. Making sure your smoke detector is in good working order is a simple task that can save your life. According to the National Fire Protection Association, you are twice as likely to die in a fire if you do not have a working smoke detector. Furthermore, 43% of smoke detectors that don’t work have missing batteries.
12. Broken Roof Shingles
You may not give your roof much thought until it develops a leak. Leaking can cause massive damage to your home and your belongings, as well as introduce mold. Following a storm, look for any shingles that have blown off. You can also look inside your attic for any signs of leaking or places where the daylight shines through. According to National Home Improvement, you should have a professional inspect your composite, asphalt, or wooden shingle roof every three years. You can go five years between inspections for tile roofs.
11. Chimney Build-Up
A wood-burning fireplace adds charm and character to your home as well as a cozy place to relax on a chilly evening. However, when you burn wood, a residue called creosote can build up on the walls of your chimney. A layer of creosote can grow to restrict the flow of air through your flue. Furthermore, creosote is highly flammable and contributes to chimney fires. Hire a professional to inspect your chimney once each year. The Chimney Safety Institute of America recommends you clean your chimney when you have 1/8 inch of sooty buildup inside your chimney or flue.
10. Cracking Foundation
If you notice cracks in the foundation of your home, seek immediate attention from a structural engineer. According to Home Advisor, this emergency situation may be due to settling soil or uneven moisture levels in the ground beneath your house. Once the engineer has determined the reason for your faulty foundation, he or she can help you devise a plan for correcting the problem.Related: 12 Helpful Habits to Easily Keep Your Home Clean and Clutter-Free
9. Gapping Floor Boards
Gaps between floorboards can also indicate structural issues. According to JES Foundation Repair, sagging floor joists or foundation settling can contribute to gaps in your floorboards and spaces between your walls and baseboards. If you notice these issues, calling a structural engineer is your first step toward protecting your home and family.
8. Flickering Lights
Flickering lights can be signs of simple problems, such as a loose light bulb. They can also indicate more severe and dangerous issues. Symptoms of overloaded electrical circuits may include flickering lights, frequently blown fuses, and hot or discolored wall fixtures. Faulty wiring can cause fires. Call an electrician if you suspect electrical problems are triggering your flickering lights.
7. Lint Build-Up
The lint that can build up in your dryer is a serious fire hazard. Be sure to clean your lint trap after every drying cycle. Sometimes, lint is sucked further into the dryer vent. Since lint is highly combustible, heat from the heating element of the dryer can then ignite a fire. Check your owner’s manual for instructions on cleaning out your dryer vent. You should clean out your dryer vent once each year after turning off the gas and unplugging the appliance.
6. Leaky Furnace
If your furnace springs a leak, be sure to call in an expert to diagnose and repair the problem. You should also schedule annual furnace inspections to make sure your heater is running at optimal performance. According to National Heating and Air Conditioning, an annual check can keep your heating costs down, prevent breakdowns, and increase the life of your appliance.
5. Mold or Mildew
Treat any signs of mold or mildew as soon as they appear. Mold can trigger allergies and lead to breathing problems, asthma, and infections such as aspergillosis. The first step when you notice mold is to seek out and treat the cause of the problem. According to the CDC, you can use bleach to clean away mold in your home. If the mold encompasses more than 10 square feet, the CDC recommends following the EPA’s guide for Mold Remediation in Schools and Commercial Buildings.
4. Noisy Plumbing
If your pipes or toilet begin making gurgling noises, you may have something clogging the pipes. Grease or food that made it through your garbage disposal or pockets of air trapped in the pipes may cause these noises. Consult a plumber to get to the root of this problem before your sewer backs up into your home.
3. Puddles of Water
Puddles of water around pipes can be a sign of leaking or of excessive condensation. They may also be a sign that a room, such as a humid bathroom, is poorly ventilated. Determine the cause of this issue before excessive water and humidity cause the growth of mold and mildew. Purchasing a ventilation system or adding a ceiling fan may help keep the area safe and dry.
2. Sump Pump Failure
Your sump pump keeps your basement dry in times of excessive rain or when winter snows thaw. It is critical to ensure that your sump pump is in good working order to prevent a failure that floods your basement, damaging your belongings and introducing the risk of mold. Test your sump pump regularly by adding water and watching to see that it is pumped out. Remove any dirt or debris from your sump pump pit. You can also purchase a backup pump or battery as extra insurance against flooding.
1. Signs of Insect Damage
Small piles of sawdust may be signs that carpenter ants are tunneling through the wood in your home. According to Ehrlich Pest Control, signs of termites may include a clicking noise in the wall, tunnels through the wood of your home, or even powdery black termite droppings. Seek help from a professional pest control company if you notice any signs that insects are causing damage to your home.Related: How to Banish Ants from Your Home