An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!

Posted 9/15/21

As a Homeowner it is our responsibility to care for the home to preserve and extend its life and value.

 Preventative maintenance in and around the home will provide both you and your …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!


As a Homeowner it is our responsibility to care for the home to preserve and extend its life and value.

 Preventative maintenance in and around the home will provide both you and your property a healthy and safe place to live and enjoy.

As Summer winds down and we begin preparing for Fall, cooler weather, and hurricane season, we can begin our ongoing maintenance routine by taking a walk around the exterior and interior of your property and make a to-do list, thinking about potential wind, water and ice conditions that may cause problems.

Prioritize the list and determine what you can do yourself safely and what areas are best done by a professional. Many contractors are extremely busy and experiencing an unusual lack of help, resulting in longer lead times.

It is convenient to take on some tasks while the weather is pleasant, and the work can be enjoyable while productive.

Cleaning gutters and extending downspouts can help avoid damaging water intrusion into the home that can cause mold, wood rot and draw pests that love moisture. If you are not able to get on that ladder safely, hire someone to clean them.  The cost will be less than repairing the damage, like mold remediation that can also be the cause of health problems.

Trimming branches away from the home and removing unhealthy trees can help eliminate damage from windstorms. Although tree removal can be expensive and inconvenient, an unhealthy tree falling on your home is far more damaging to the property and can potentially hurt someone as well.

Prolonging the life of your roof can be done by periodic inspections. If moss is visible, soft washing can extend the life of the roof. I recommend a professional for this one as you can do more harm than good to roof shingles if not done properly.

Keeping street drains clear of leaves and debris will allow proper drainage and prevent water and ice accumulating at the driveway and sidewalk. The mail carrier and delivery folks will appreciate that!

Remove yard décor that can become projectiles and get lost in high wind conditions.

Heading inside…

Window and door seals can dry out over time. This can cause water to intrude as well as allow heat to escape. Resealing is an easy and inexpensive task we can take on ourselves and will be well worth the effort.

Changing of the season is a good reminder to check the batteries in your smoke and carbon detectors. The Fire Marshal’s guidelines for replacing a smoke detector is ten years and carbon detectors seven years. Replace old units as needed. Call or look up your area fire department on line placement advice. They usually have a section for fire prevention with specific guidelines.

Before using the fireplace have it inspected and cleaned. A chimney sweeper will be sure the fireplace is safe to use.

The basement is the heart of the home and regular inspections of mechanics, plumbing, electric and foundation are important.

Water heaters typically have a seven year warranty, although they can last longer depending on the quality of the product. Signs of your water heater is ending its useful life are discolored water from your faucet, and rust at the bottom of the tank. If in doubt have a professional inspect it and advise.

Regular boiler cleaning will extend the life of your unit and allow a clean and safe environment for those living in the home. Contact an HVAC professional to service the unit.

Take a look at plumbing pipes to be sure there are no leaks or have corrosion build up. Plumbing Joint seals can wear and begin to seep. If not repaired this can become a bigger problem. Check the ceiling above toilets. The wax O ring under the toilet can dry out and crumble causing leaking which can damage the floor around the area if not replaced right away. That wax O ring is an inexpensive fix but replacing the floor is a much bigger job.

Remove the front of the electric panel box and examine the condition. While I do not recommend messing around with electricity, if you see water and/or rust inside the panel box, this will need to be addressed by a licensed electrician. An easy preventive measure for this issue we can take as the homeowner, is to be sure the seal where the service entry line at the meter coming into the home is not dried out and crumbling allowing water to intrude into the box causing this safety issue. A simple reseal with exterior silicone caulk will do the job. Once the water has entered the box, you may need the entire panel box changed by a licensed electrician.

Although I am not an expert in these fields, I am present at all my buyers and sellers home inspections and listen to the advice of the professionals who service the properties. While you can make some repairs, it is always a good idea to seek advice of a professional to determine if it is safe for you to do the job. Using a little common sense and taking pride in your property also goes a long way in maintaining a clean and safe home to enjoy while preserving the value of your investment.

Have a safe and happy Fall!!


No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here