Certain fixes can wait for a little while and others have “urgent” stamped all over them. You can compare this to health issues. Your doctor can address some of those at your next visit, but others need a 911 call. Knowing which problems in your home need an immediate fix isn’t always clear to novice homeowners.
We’ve made it easier by listing which repairs demand your attention right now.
1. Plugged Gutters: When gutters don’t drain freely, you’re leaving your home open to ice or water damage in the winter, which can be very expensive.
2. Leaky Roofs: A water spot on the ceiling means you should have a roofer check it out. A shingle may have loosened or condensation could have caused the wet area, but the culprit could also be much worse. You don’t want a winter rainstorm inside your living room.
3. Flawed Faucets: Leaking faucets and running toilets can lead to water loss that hijacks your water bill. They can also be a sign of larger problems that need fixing.
4. Cracked Concrete: A crack in your driveway or patio lets water seep in, which in colder weather might freeze. Then it expands making the hole even bigger. This can easily compromise the integrity of the structure.
5. Loose Railings: You don’t want a guest or even a family member falling because the railing didn’t hold. Dealt with immediately a wobbly railing is a cinch to fix. Letting it go can be costly in many ways.
6. Foundation Defects: Cracks emerge in the foundation as it settles. Patch them with mortar mix or cement before they enlarge and are subject to damage by water and ice.
7. Clogged Chimneys: When a chimney needs cleaning, you risk a house fire, smoke inhalation and carbon monoxide poisoning. Plus, Santa will bypass your home. Any buildup of soot and creosote needs to be removed.
8. Dripping Water Heater: If you notice water beneath the tank or near the safety valve, you should take action immediately. This can be the precursor to pressure building up in the tank that leads to an explosion. Call a plumber right away if you spot a leak.
9. Faulty Wiring: Our abundant use of technology and modern appliances doesn’t mix well with the wiring in older homes. Do your lights flicker when you turn on the blender? Do light bulbs burn out quickly? Both may signal electrical problems which can lead to fires.
10. Troublesome Termites: Indications include droppings, mud tubes on outer walls and swarms in early spring. Get rid of these wood destroying critters before they do major damage.
11. Bubbling Floor: If you notice peaks and valleys in your floor or carpet, you may have a leak underneath. Fix this quickly before it does damage to the underlayment or subflooring.
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