Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Five Maintenance Issues Owners Shouldn't Ignore

Consumer Reports magazine advises home owners not to put off important maintenance projects, noting that waiting until the economy rebounds could end up making the repairs more costly while putting a family's health at risk. The magazine identifies five crucial maintenance issues:

Check the gutters: Clogged gutters, broken fasteners and separations where the gutters meet the fascia board will lead to roof leaks if they haven’t already.

Inspect the roof: Cracked, curled and mussing shingles mean a roof is nearing the end of its useful life. Cracks around chimneys, skylights, and roof valleys can also suggest the roof might be leaking.

Look for bugs: Termites and carpenter ants can bore through a home in a few short years. Probe the sill plate on top of the foundation with a screwdriver to check for rotten wood. Also look for carpenter ants and termites along windowsills and walls.

Avoid mold: Mold and mildew can cause musty odors, dank air, and make residents sick. Check under carpets and around windows for visible mold or mildew.

Don’t ignore cracks: Foundation cracks wider than 3/16 of an inch can be a problem. These require examination by a structural engineer.

Source: Consumer Reports (05/04/2009)

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