Give and Take
Homeownership: It's a give and take. In exchange for care and attention, your home delivers the essentials of modern life—shelter from the weather, for instance, plus access to utilities. Most of the time, it's a harmonious arrangement. Homeowners already have a lot to worry about, though, and sometimes home maintenance isn't a priority. That's when problems arise. Of course, you would never intentionally harm your home, but that's what you might be doing when you overlook these common issues.
Ignoring Your Gutters
Nobody looks forward to cleaning the gutters. Besides being a hassle, the chore can be downright dangerous. So it's no wonder you procrastinate—but when you do, leaves and debris accumulate. Before long, the gutters clog, and your home becomes vulnerable. The solution? Install LeafGuard, the one-piece seamless covered gutter system. That way, you never need to think about gutters again. Designed not to clog, LeafGuard always protects against water damage, without ever requiring maintenance.
Forgetting Your Filters
You've heard the old adage, "Out of sight, out of mind." It applies to many things, including home HVAC. Though heating and cooling appliances are very easy to overlook, the conscientious homeowner cleans or replaces the equipment filters regularly. There are two reasons to do so. One is that HVAC filters directly impact indoor quality. The other is that dirty filters lead to higher energy bills, so filters kept clean can contribute considerable savings.
Letting Moisture Slide
For basement moisture to be a serious problem, there doesn't have to be a foot of floodwater covering the floor. Investigate any dampness, even if it appears benign. After all, water enters the basement in myriad subtle ways, and its ill effects take hold, not suddenly, but over time. Before you can seek a solution, you must first determine the source of the moisture. Once you know where it's coming from, you can take the appropriate steps to get rid of it.
Trusting Your Water
Whether you draw from a private well or the local municipal supply, there's a chance that you've got hard water—that is, water with high mineral content. It may not be harmful to your health, but it surely could spell trouble for your plumbing. Ignorance isn't bliss, at least not in this case. To avoid future problems, test your water to see whether it contains potentially problematic concentrations of calcium and/or magnesium. If so, you can install a water softener.
Keeping Cracked Caulk
Don't make the mistake of assuming that caulk doesn't expire. Though it lasts a lot longer than milk does—typically about ten years—both latex and acrylic caulks eventually do give out. So inspect your windows and doors, tubs and sinks, and anywhere else you (or the previous homeowner) may have caulked in the past. If you discover any sealant that has dried up and cracked, remove and replace it. After all, cracked caulk is little better than no caulk whatsoever.
Passing Over Pipes
When you run the sprinkler for the last time in late summer or early fall, you're probably not going to be thinking about the deep freeze of winter—but maybe you should be. If you live in a region with severe winters, it's essential to drain your outdoor plumbing pipes before the first frost. Any water left in the lines might freeze, thereby causing the pipes to crack. In the spring, cracked pipes would leave you with an expensive repair job, if not damage due to a leak.
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