When you think real estate, you think homes for sale. When you consider putting your home on the market, there are home repairs you should not ignore. You might be tempted to put off fixing your home until the economy rebounds, but some problems if left unchecked can lead into thousand of dollars in repairs and might even compromise your family’s health — such as mold contamination.
The trouble signs are easy to spot, provided you know what to look for. What’s more, contractors aren’t as busy now, so they’re likely to be more flexible on price. Here are some of the biggest red flags of home maintenance.
1) Roofs and Siding – roofs are the most vulnerable to water infiltration, given their exposure to the elements and the laws of gravity. Keep a look out for cracks, curled or missing shingles which are signs that a roof may be near the end of its life. Also be sure to check flashing around the chimney, skylights and roof valleys as well as rubber boots around vents for cracks.
Siding is also susceptible to leaks, especially where it meets windows and doors. A $5 tube of caulk might save you thousands of dollars in structural repair.
2) Pest Infestations — Termites and carpenter ants gravitate to moist soil and rotting wood. Be sure to keep your gutters in good shape and soil around your foundation graded properly away from the house. Be sure to keep mulch, firewood and dense shrubbery away from your foundation. Once termite infiltrate a home, they can bore through the structure in a few short years. Be sure to have a yearly inspection.
Also be sue to remove debris and disorder from the property such as leaf piles. Plug holes in the siding and foundation walls with expandable foam. Don’t forget to look up for signs of birds, bees or squirrels in soffits and attic vents.
3) Mold and Mildew — Hot outdoor temperatures can drive even small amounts of water trapped in the structure to condense on colder interior surfaces, leading to mold. Musty odors, dank air and family members with chronic runny noses are warning signs. Check under carpets and around windows for visible mold or mildew.
Some mold in small amounts can be treated yourself by scrubbing with a mixture of detergent (bleach) and water and then drying completely. Professional remediation is required for larger outbreaks.
4) Foundation Cracks — Some cracks are harmless but others can mean trouble! Hairline cracks are probably the result of concrete curing or minor settling. Also be on the lookout for horizontal cracks or bulging or buckling. Along with expanding cracks, those conditions require attention of a structural engineer.
More red flags are cracks at upper corners of windows and doors, mushrooms or fungus growing out of siding, soft boards or loose rails on outdoor decks, soggy ground and lush vegetation around septic tanks, missing or torn insulation in attic and scratches or algae on siding.
The longer you wait to correct problems, the more costly it will probably be! Be sure to perform monthly maintenance checks for your property to ensure these and other repairs don’t become a resale issue!
For more information or additional real estate needs, be sure to contact me — Roxann — at 618-624-1985!