When it comes to owning a home there may be issues that arrive over the years. However, there are some issues that should not be ignored. Our team at Corken + Company wants to make sure you are aware of these home maintenance issues and can stop them in their tracks.
You should expect to find mold occasionally in wet spots like the kitchen and bathroom. But, when you see it someplace it shouldn’t be — like on the living room walls — call a professional for evaluation. You should seek out an independent inspector certified by the American Board of Industrial Hygiene or the American Council for Accredited Certification. An inspector can tell you whether you can clean up the mold yourself or whether you need the services of a remediation company.
A Sagging or Warped Floor:
A sagging floor may just be the result of natural settling. However, don’t assume it’s harmless without having a look in your basement or crawlspace. If the room is a bathroom or kitchen, a leaking toilet or sink may have caused water to seep in and rot the subfloor. This is a problem that must be fixed promptly. Or, if a structural support has been removed, bracing or more extensive repair may be needed. Call a home inspector or engineer for advice.
Missing or Damaged Roof Shingles:
Inspecting your roof regularly is a must. If you see signs of damage, no matter how small, tackle them right away. If moisture reaches the wood sheathing underneath the shingles, the potential repair can get expensive in a hurry. Waiting to repair your roof can cost you in the long run.
Scary Sounds From the HVAC:
Your heating and air conditioning system makes some perfectly normal noises from time to time, but they should not include banging, thumping or squealing. Loud, unusual sounds may indicate problems with belts, the blower motor or the compressor and should be investigated immediately by your HVAC technician. (And don’t forget your twice-yearly checkup to keep things running smoothly!)
Smelly or Gurgling Drains:
Investigate any unpleasant smells or noises coming from your bathroom sink drain. Gurgling may be caused by a blockage you can remove with a snake or plunger. If a sink is smelly but you don’t use it frequently, the water in the U-shaped pipe underneath may have dried out, allowing methane gas into the room. Try pouring a quart of water down the drain and airing out the room for a couple of hours. If the smell goes away, use a simple fix: pour a teaspoon of vegetable oil down the drain, which will keep the water from evaporating and should solve your problem.
Condensation on Basement Pipes:
Your basement or crawlspace is usually the coolest spot in the house because of the insulating effect of the ground. That means that warm, moist air coming inside condenses on surfaces, including your pipes, causing dripping or sweating. Besides being annoying, dripping raises the humidity level in the house and increases the chances for mold growth. To reduce this problem, make sure all vents to the outside are closed, and add foam pipe insulation to the parts of the pipes you can reach.
Leaking faucets may seem minor, but they can waste a shocking amount of water. Don’t just wait until you see or hear a drip; actively check the cabinets under your sinks from time to time to make sure nothing’s leaking — including kitchen spray wands, which can leak down the tubing and under the cabinet without you noticing anything.
Poorly Built Decks:
If your deck wobbles or wiggles excessively when you walk on it, don’t wait to get it checked out. First, check the deck’s attachment to the house — it should be attached with lag bolts or screw bolts to a sturdy ledgerboard, not nailed to the siding or plywood with straight nails. (This is a relatively inexpensive fix you can perform yourself.) You may also want to replace 4” x 4” deck posts with 6” x 6” or 8” x 8” posts, which can carry a lot more weight; an angle brace installed under the deck can safely reduce movement as long as the deck is built to code. If repairing the deck is outside your skill set, or your deck will have to be replaced, call a reputable contractor — this isn’t the place to save money by hiring cheap labor.
Shaky Stair Railings:
Don’t put off dealing with a wobbly stair railing, especially if you have kids in the house. A little movement is normal, but if it shakes just by touching it, you’ve got a problem. You may be able to tighten the railing’s attachment to the wall yourself if it’s short, but a long railing or one with a balcony will likely require the attention of a pro.
Ants scurrying on countertops or mouse droppings in HVAC grilles are signs that you have openings in your house that need to be closed. Check places like exhaust vents, condensate lines, pipes, ducts, utility access panels and garage doors — you’re looking for obvious gaps, signs of chewing or nesting, or ripped screening. If you aren’t sure what you’re looking at or don’t feel confident you can solve the problem yourself, call a professional exterminator. Mouse and bird droppings in particular can be hazardous to your health.
When it comes to home maintenance, don’t hesitate to reach out to the experienced team at Corken + Company. Our team has recommendations for a variety of home maintenance service companies. Contact us today!