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How to Avoid the Three Biggest Homeownership Blunders

Everyone wants to avoid these three biggies:

  • Roof Damage

  • Water Damage

  • Fire Damage

Don’t worry, there are plenty of things you can do to prevent these blunders. Here’s a rundown of the simple steps you can take to keep your home in tiptop shape – what to look out for, how to prevent a problem, and the price tag of ignoring it.

Take It From the Top – Roof Damage

Extreme weather conditions can be harsh on your roof over time. And all that rain or hail falling on your roof – maybe even a few branches can cause damage. Unfortunately with roofs, some damage may remain hidden until it’s too late.

Here’s what you can do:

  • In March and September (the beginning of the spring and fall seasons), take out that ladder and examine your roof for damage.

  • If you don’t feel comfortable doing it yourself, hire a professional, which costs up to $200.

  • If you have trees on your property, check them for dead or damaged branches.

  • Remove branches or limbs that could create a mess. If a tree is dead, you might need a professional to remove it. It can fall on your home and cause serious and costly damage.

Don’t Water This Down – Water Damage

You use your plumbing every day, but it’s pretty easy to ignore since you never see it. The same goes for your gutters – until they stop working. But, there are a few simple steps that will help you make sure that you avoid unnecessary water damage to your home.

Here’s what you can do:

  • Check the hoses on your appliances regularly; and remember to turn off your main water shut-off valve when you go on vacation.

  • If there’s a leak, replace the hose.

  • If you can see damage to a hose, replace it before it starts to leak!

  • Steels hoses are about $100 and are very durable.

  • Clean your gutters around March and September to make sure water will flow out smoothly, and not cause havoc to your roof or walls.

  • If there’s a big storm or you notice all the leaves falling, double check the gutters to make sure they’re clear and water is running out of your gutter’s down spouts and away from your home.

  • You can also hire a professional to clean your gutters, which can be around $200.

  • If you see water anywhere, or hear a leak, contact a professional before it starts to gush!

These are Smoke Signals – Fire Damage

Faulty heating or electrical equipment can cause a house fire. The two biggest concerns here are your heating and cooling system (HVAC) and your electrical distribution system. Regular maintenance to these systems goes a long way.

Here’s what you can do:

  • Get your HVAC cleaned and inspected once a year, which costs around $100. Better yet, get a contract with a local company where you’ll get priority service and regular check ups.

  • It’s best to schedule this during the milder months.

  • Hire a pro to inspect your wiring every couple of years.

  • If it’s old, you should upgrade your wiring, which could be around $500.

  • Replace any outlets that seem problematic, which will run about $100 per outlet.

  • If you have a fireplace, ALWAYS get it inspected and cleaned in the fall, before you plan to use it.

  • A chimney sweep will clean it out for about $100.

Home insurance may cover these claims, but you would still have to pay a deductible and experience higher premiums for years, costing you more in the long run.

Putting in the time for regular maintenance and upkeep and some money upfront can save you even more money and work later on. Do your best to prevent bigger and costly problems -- a smart move for any homeowner!

If you have any questions or need a referral for a contractor to help, please email me!

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