When you think of your to-do list, do you usually look at the big things and groan? And what about the small projects? The little, seemingly unimportant fixes can be just as annoying! They add up quickly and can create projects that never seem to end! It may look easier to just ignore the leaking faucet, the drain that doesn’t work properly, and the other things that are easy to ignore, but ignoring it may lead to water and mold damage. Resulting in a significant increase in cost to repair. To prevent mold through proactive maintenance and humidity monitoring is the key to success. So, we have laid out an easy to follow maintenance plan that helps keep you on top of maintenance. While at the same time help reduce your risk for water and mold damage!
The truth is many of the small home improvement projects that are neglected or put-off may create a chain effect that leads to mold damage in your home. At the time they don’t seem as important as other projects, but if there is anything that causes moisture or elevated humidity, you may find yourself fighting mold and calling us at Fresh Start! So let us help with you with some of the top maintenance items to be aware. So you can prevent mold damage and protect your property.
- ROOFS: Check the shingle condition. Signs of hail damage. Ensure screens are covering chimney flu and pipes openings. Use caution with concrete roofs
- SIDING: Look for any protrusions, damage, wood rot, or damage to the siding. Check for peeling paint. Special attention should be given to stucco siding.
- GRADING: Check for a proper negative grade. Sloping away from the foundation wall. Ensure during hard rains water flows away from the foundation. Also, there is no location around the foundation wall where water can pool.
- GUTTERS: Check gutter capacity, especially during hard rains. Unclogged gutters that overflow are inadequate in size. Ensure that gutters do not leak at seams and water flows freely from downspouts. Add an extension to downspouts to expel water a minimum of 3 feet from the foundation wall.
- CAULK: Check to see if exterior caulk around doors, windows or siding protrusions are properly caulked. Ensure no caulk is dried and brittle or peeling away. Caulk is very important to your property being water and airtight
- FOUNDATION WALLS: Check all exposed foundation walls for cracks or signs of the settlement.
- DRYWALL DAMAGE: Look for any signs of drywall damage. Such as stains, cracks, peeling paint, or buckling.
- SUMP PUMP: Run an operational test for the sump pump. Ensure that the basin is free of all debris and properly kicks on and empties water. We recommend the use of a battery backup.
- DRAINS: Check all drains for any signs of water backup or odor. Plugged drains can cause an extensive amount of damage in a short amount of time.
- CAULK: Check to see if interior caulk around doors, windows or bathroom fixtures are properly caulked. Ensure no caulk is dried and brittle or peeling away. Caulk is very important to your property being water and airtight
- VENTILATION: All bathrooms vents are operational and in good working order. Attic and crawl spaces have a sufficient number of vents.
- PLUMBING LEAKS: Check under all sinks, water lines, etc
Most of us can easily feel that home maintenance is an unending task. A home is a great investment and as a homeowner, you have a big job of maintaining the property. Maintaining your property has myriad of benefits. To start with, property maintenance saves you money. It keeps your assets working at their best. It also prevents large-scale repairs that are often too costly. Maintaining your property improves the safety of your property, and in the end, you avoid unnecessary lawsuits.
A property owner needs to be proactive rather than reactive in carrying out maintenance around their property. They will engage the services of professional maintenance contractors to deliver high-quality services and save cost in the long-term. Here are some of the proactive home maintenance tips that will, in the long run, see you prevent mold damage and save thousands of dollars.
Property inspections are common when we purchase a property, but most people do not consider it as an option during normal home maintenance. Many times a contractor can see what is needed or will be coming up for repair long before a typical homeowner. These annual inspections provide viable information to the homeowner of what items to address, anticipated costs and order of priority. Also, the contractor will document the condition of your property, improve owner liability, and validate the insurance policy. This is why at Fresh Start we provide free annual inspections up to 5 years to all of our customers who have completed a job with us. This ensures that we are not only servicing the customer well during their project, but we continue to look out for their best interest in the future.
It is said that the average home repairs and improvements take between four and eight months. Nonetheless, some projects may be minor or significant and thus the time may differ. However, a smart homeowner needs to plan ahead for property maintenance as this minimizes emergency repairs and surprise costs. It lets you decide what you want, gets estimates from your contractors, helps you determine a budget, and sign maintenance contracts
A home warranty protects your property’s major appliances and systems as they get old. This saves you money when they break unpredictably. Some appliances in your property may be too costly to repair when they break. All you need to do is to pay an annual premium which varies with the size of your property every year you want to be covered.
In the US for example properties of up to 5000 feet in size fall under the standard warranty. Additional coverage may play in if your property is bigger than 5000 feet. Whenever an appliance in your home breaks down, you will be required to pay a deductible amount which often ranges from $50 to $125. Then, the warranty company sends technicians to repair the appliance or replace it altogether if need be. In the end, you will find out that you have saved a lot on your property maintenance.
Specialists say that 1% of your property’s purchase price should be set aside every year for ongoing maintenance. For instance, if your home costs $600,000 set aside $6000 per year for maintenance. This doesn’t mean that you will spend this amount every year. However, this amount will go a long way to help you in maintaining the home. Most homeowners take shortcuts with the aim of saving money. For instance, they buy low-quality repair materials or hire unqualified contractors. What they don’t know is that this may turn out to be costly in the end. A professional contractor will offer high-quality maintenance services, detect and fix other issues before they happen or before getting out of hand. On the other hand, substandard materials don’t last long and you will have to replace them sooner than later. Therefore, your maintenance decisions should be based on long-term saving rather than short-term costs.
The benefits of hiring licensed and certified property maintenance contractors cannot be understated. For one, they can work on a variety of repairs. They will ensure you comply with your local building code. They keep the appliance warranty and enhance the safety of your property occupants. It is important to note that a lot of things can go wrong when you hire unlicensed contractors as you are assured of shoddy jobs and even injuries. A quality contract will prevent mold and water damage.
To sum up, a smart homeowner should try and get it right the first time, when carrying out maintenance on their property. Smartly save cost by hiring qualified contractors to carry out the repair work. Also, you should ensure that contractors have solid experience to ensure longevity. When you consider all the above tips, you will be sure to save huge chunks of money on your property maintenance by the end of the year.