Paying attention to warning signs in your home can help you to prevent potential disasters. Keeping yourhome well maintained will mean that you are able to catch issues when they start and before they inflict too much damage. Here are some tips from building inspectors that will help you to keep up with your home maintenance.
Check your Water Meter
Take a reading before you leave for work and when you return home. If the meter has been running while the house was unoccupied, you have a leak. Leaks can cost you a fortune in water bills and all that moisture can wreck havoc with the house.
Start with taps and toilets and check to see if you have any obvious leaks. You can inspect your toilet by adding a few drops of food coloring to the tank. If the color appears in the bowl, you have a leak and may need to replace the flapper.
Look for water stains on walls and ceilings. Mold and mildew or peeling paint will also indicate a leak.
Detach your hoses to check outside taps for leaks.
If you have an irrigation system, turn off the valve in your home that feeds the irrigation system. If your water meter stops spinning, you know that the leak is in the system. Wet spots or particularly green spots in the lawncan help you locate the issue.
Check your Hoses
Hoses from the washing machine and dishwasher can begin to bulge after a few years of use. This means the hose has a weak spot and will burst. Turn off the water when the machine is not in use.
The best fix here is to replace your rubber hoses with stronger braided stainless steel ones. Take a look at your water pressure to ensure that it isn’t more than 80 psi to avoid these kinds of issues in the future.
Check your Fans
Bathroom fans can become stained and discolored, indicating that there is condensation forming inside the ductwork. When hot, moist air from your bathroom condenses inside your ducting, it can be soaking the drywall around your fan, and the framing components in your roof. Water can also damage the fan motor.
Inspect the damper to ensure it is working effectively. Insulate the ductwork in the attic to reduce condensation. Another solution is to run your fan for longer. This will enable any condensation to dry out. You can replace the wall switch with a timer which will run the fan for a set time.
Check your Grommets
Inspect your gas or oil-fired water heater to see if the grommet has melted. Compromised grommets could mean that poisonous gases are seeping into your home. Your water heater produces gas which is meant to be exhausted from your home through the ducting. If the grommet is compromised, it means that the gases are flowing back down the ducting and heating the grommet to melting point.
Install carbon monoxide alarms near your water heater, furnaces, fireplaces and throughout your home on every level.
Replace melted grommets to ensure that your home is protected and check that vents are working properly.
Check your Chimney
Does your brickwork have efflorescence on it? The white material forms when moisture moves through brickwork and deposits minerals in the form of tiny white crystals. In small amounts, efflorescence is harmless, but when there are thick deposits, it means that there is too much moisture inside the chimney.
When masonry is too wet and the temperature drops, the water freezes and can cause cracks. Your flue liner could also be cracked or damaged which means that noxious gases could be leaking into your home.
Remediate the problem by fixing the crown and replacing your flue. Have your chimney inspected by a certified professional.
Check your Deck
Regularly inspect your decking for loose nails and rotting boards. Ensure proper drainage and remove leaves and other debris to prevent rot. If your deck is built right to the bottom of your door, it means that rainwater will be splashing up onto the door and finding its way through. This can affect siding, interior flooring and even the rim joist or other framing members.
It’s always a good idea to divert water away from your home. Ensure that there is a good grade so that water runs away from the house and keep gutters clean. Move the deck so it is about 4 inches below the threshold of the door and remove snow in winter so it doesn’t pile up.