Homeownership comes with a long list of responsibilities, and sometimes life requires that you prioritize some projects or tasks over others. If you own a home, make note of the top things you should not ignore to preserve your home's value.
Whether you plan to sell your home in the near future, or you just want to take good care of it, check out this list of common home issues you should not ignore.
Evidence of Pests
Whether you have seen actual critters in the home, or are only seeing evidence they leave behind, this is something to take seriously. The best way to protect your home from a pest infestation that causes major damage is to notice it quickly.
In some cases, a DIY solution like setting out traps or repellant might be enough, but it never hurts to contact a professional to get their opinion.
If you notice signs of mold, pay attention. It is somewhat expected to find mold or mildew in showers or wet spots in the kitchen, and in those locations, it can usually be quickly remedied with a cleaning. However, if you notice mold in a place that does not make sense, like the walls in the living room or around the flooring in a bedroom, it's time to address it more seriously.
Mold is toxic and dangerous, and can quickly grow to create a problem that will impact both your health and the resale value of your home. Look for an independent inspector certified by the American Board of Industrial Hygiene or the American Council for Accredited Certification to make sure you are getting the accurate information you need about how to address the problem.
Sagging or Warped Floor
Minimal warping can be common in older homes, but sagging or warped floor boards are usually a cause for concern. They might indicate water damage or unstable joists due to termites. The best case scenario is that the imperfections in the flooring are just due to normal settling, but don't make this assumption without getting into the crawlspace and investigating.
Standing Water in the Yard
Standing water in any part of your yard is evidence of improper drainage. If there has been a heavy storm, some standing water is normal for a bit, but if it stays more than a few hours you might have an issue to address. It might be evidence of improper grading or soil compaction, and poor drainage sometimes means water getting into your foundation. Regrading or installing a French drain should be your solution.
Missing or Damaged Roof Shingles
It is smart to inspect your roof, or hire someone to climb up there and check it out. Missing or damaged shingles are evidence that you need to do some repairs. Damage to the roof, especially in a climate with cold winters, is almost certain to result in damage to the rest of the house due to leaks.
Unusual HVAC Sounds
When you turn on your HVAC for heating or cooling, pay attention to any unusual sounds it may be making. In addition to normal maintenance like changing the filters regularly, it may need some kind of repair or tuneup. Tampa Realtor Pam Pester says, "Loud banging sounds or squealing might indicate a problem with the motor, compressor, or belts."
Condensation on Basement Pipes
If you have a basement, make sure to inspect the pipes from time to time. Condensation on these pipes can be evidence of warm, moist air coming inside and condensing on the surface of the pipe. This increases the humidity level in the space and is the perfect breeding ground for mold. Make sure all outside vents are closed during colder months and consider insulating the pipes, as well.
A sagging roofline should be cause for concern. It sometimes indicates simply a settling and drying out of materials in an older home, but it can also point to damage like something being broken or rotten. Inspect the attic area for any evidence of damage.
Shaky Stair Railings
If your home has a staircase with railings, pay careful attention to how sturdy they are. Don't put off fixing a wobbly or shaky railing, as it is a major safety feature that can be the difference between life and death. Especially for small children and elderly adults, but truly for anyone, this railing provides necessary protection from a dangerous fall. A wobbly stair railing might slowly become in worse condition until it fails at a surprising moment.
A crack in the foundation may or may not be cause for concern depending on the severity of the crack and where you live. In places like Texas, cracks in foundations are common and usually have to be addressed every few years so don't put it off.
Keeping a close eye on your house and property can really save a ton of money in the long run. Maintaining is typically less expensive than and all out redo. Many home warranties won't cover these items to it's important to be aware.