We all want our homes to be safe, comfortable, inviting spaces but when you become a homeowner, you realize that keeping your home up to those standards takes work. Even if your home is only a few years old, you’ll find there are often hazards, threats or issues to address. Let’s talk about some common problems every homeowner will likely face.
Damage and repairs
Houses are built to stand the test of time but they are not invincible or immune to damage. Old houses often display signs of wear and tear and even brand new houses can sustain damage caused by adverse weather or poor quality workmanship. Examples of problems you might come across include damage and wear on the roof, worn cladding or brickwork, damp, cracked or uneven plaster, leaning walls, spongy floors and rotten wood.
With home repairs, it’s always wise to try and nip problems in the bud and identify long-term solutions rather than trying to manage the situation in the short-term. There are many jobs you can do yourself but it’s often advantageous to seek expert advice, particularly for complex repairs or structural damage. If you attempt roof repairs, repairs to your electrical system, or anything that involves working with potentially hazardous materials, for example, you run the risk of making the issue worse and adding to the repair bill. Contact reputable, reliable companies and compare quotes before you decide who to hire.
As always, talk to friends and family for recommendations of reputable contractors to get the work done right. Online reviews can also be helpful in choosing the right company to do the job.
Natural disasters and extreme weather
Many homeowners in the US live in areas that are vulnerable to powerful storms, hurricanes, extreme changes in temperature, flooding and fires. Natural disasters and unpredictable weather conditions can take their toll on our homes and cause extensive damage. You can bolster your defenses by selecting windows and doors made from weatherproof materials and opting for locations that carry lower risks.
It is also vitally essential to ensure you have comprehensive insurance for your property and your possessions. Your premium will be higher if your home is located in a high risk area, but it’s worth paying more for peace of mind. If your home does become damaged in a storm, for example, you want the peace of mind knowing your insurance is going to cover your losses. Check your policy closely to be sure things like flooding and other water damage is covered. You may have to carry a special rider to be sure you get the coverage you need.
Pests, such as rats, mice, bees, ants, cockroaches and termites can damage internal structures, leave odorous droppings and make us feel uncomfortable or anxious in our own homes. No matter how clean you keep your house, you still will likely have to deal with one or more of these pests during the life of your home.
An ounce of prevention is always better than a pound of cure, but if you already have signs of an invasion, it’s best to contact a pest control company as soon as possible. Red flags to look and listen out for include droppings, small holes in walls and doors, chew marks and scrabbling and scuttling noises. Always store leftovers in sealed containers, wipe down surfaces and floors, regularly take the trash out and make sure every bag is tied securely. It’s also a good idea to try and plug any gaps or holes around the outside of your home, which could be providing entry and exit points for pests.
Nobody wants to think about their home being broken into by burglars but the sad reality is that robberies do occur. The best ways to prevent thieves from targeting your home include using deterrents and securing your house so that it is very difficult for a thief to penetrate the defenses.
Ensure that windows, doors and gates are locked, don’t leave keys lying around close to doors or windows, store valuables out of sight and consider adding an alarm system. A fenced yard can make homes less appealing to burglars. If you can fence your entire property, this is an even greater deterrent. Someone wanting to break into your home wants an easy in and out. Fences will slow them down.
Having a dog can also help to deter potential thieves. Even small dogs are great at alerting homeowners of people sneaking around your home. Most thieves would rather try to break into a nice quiet home that will keep him from being detected.
Outdoor lighting and cameras are also effective deterrents. If you are going away, try to leave a car in the driveway and ask the neighbors to keep an eye on the property. Cancel deliveries and make sure your social media accounts are set to private. If your profiles are public and you share photographs from a vacation, for example, people will be able to see that you’re not at home.
Even on these beautiful spring nights, keep your windows closed and locked overnight. You may not think that bad guys will actually target your home, but you cannot be sure. Don’t live in fear, but use the appropriate amount of caution when securing your home each day.
Common sense approach
The joys of home ownership far outweigh to pitfalls. If you’ll look at it from a common sense perspective, you can happily live in your home for years to come. The most important thing is to handle damage as it happens. Don’t wait for it to get worse. And don’t fool yourself into thinking that if you ignore the problem it will just go away. Take care of your home each day and you’ll avoid some of the common problems homeowners will likely face.