Homes Need Love Too… Maintenance

Posted February 20, 2023 in Real Estate Trends

tracie demars, Clark County WA real estate agent

Deferred maintenance is the death knell of many a home. Deferred maintenance are those repair or maintenance items that homeowners put off.

Around the home
Are you missing vent screens? If so, animals can gain access to your crawlspace. Animals can/will pull down the insulation for warmth, urinate & defecate on the vapor barrier, and cause other issues. Do you have animals under the home? Is it salvageable? Does the entire vapor barrier need replaced? Do you need to repair or replace the ducts? Look at the ground around your crawlspace vents. Is the ground pushed up into it? This might be giving water access to under your home. You should have window wells around these vents to help prevent this.

Attic space
You should look in your attic at least once a year. Do you see moisture stains on the underside roof boards? Have any animals gained access? Are your attic vents clear? Most people don’t know their roof is leaking until they feel or hear a drop of water. By that time, even more problems arise…roof, insulation, ceiling drywall. Make sure your ventilation over the stove (micro hood, or stove hood), bathroom & laundry room vents are still connected to the outside. If a duct comes loose, it can fall and vent into your attic space. This moisture in your attic can give mold a breeding ground. If a vent breaks, it’s an easy, quick, and inexpensive fix. Mold spores in your attic will be costly to repair.

Attic spaces are NOT for storage. When you put boards on top of attic insulation for storage, you flatten the insulation, reducing the R-value. This harms your home’s heating & cooling efficiency, and will cost you more money on your electric bill now, and in repairs later.

On top of the home
Moss is bad for your roof. It traps in moisture. Put Moss-out on your roof every couple of years to prevent moss from growing. Or put a copper strip on the ridge line for the same effect. Do NOT pressure wash the roof – that brushes off the granules that provide the protection.

Outside the home
If you have LP siding, look at the lower edges for moisture. LP & wood products need to be sealed and painted every 3-5 years to provide maximum life expectancy. Vinyl siding? It’s plastic and you can rinse it off. But what happens to plastic if left out in the sun too long? It fades, becomes brittle and can crack. With vinyl siding, the best way to maintain it is to give it a good washing every so often. Fibercement or Hardiplank siding? Great products, but they need to be periodically painted to maintain. Some older homes just have wood, or cedar shake siding. Seal and paint as needed to maintain its integrity.

Inside the home
Furnaces should be serviced yearly. Keep an eye on your heating to make sure there isn’t any damage, or they haven’t been disconnected. Periodically, it is a good idea to have someone clean out your ducts, especially if someone in your family has allergies.

Wall heaters Use your vacuum to clean out the dust & dander that collects inside. Once a year take the cover off and clean in there. When you don’t clean these out, you get that ‘smell’ when you turn it on. That is the skin dander, carpet fibers, pet hairs, your hairs, etc. on coils that are burning.

Under your sinks We don’t look under them often enough. You will be surprised how many sinks have leaks under them!

Do NOT burn paper products in it you chimney! It is not an incinerator. Only using wood in your fireplace? Use the occasional CSL log to keep your chimney clean. Using it to burn paper, bills, boxes, Christmas wrapping? You might want to call a professional to get that cleaned out. One of the most common causes of fires in chimneys is creosote buildup from burning paper products.

In short, owning a home involves costs. Don’t put off to tomorrow what needs to be done today. Homeowners insurance is only good for things ‘outside’ of your control, not maintenance repairs. Home warranties are not good for windows, walls, flooring, siding, and roofs….but it does cover plumbing, heating, electrical, and most appliances.