Homeownership has its ups and downs. On the one hand, you are not susceptible to the whims of a landlord who could evict you at any moment. But on the other hand, home maintenance is on your to-do list, not theirs. To avoid any big bills, it’s best to keep on top of things, so keeping that in mind, here are some red flags to watch out for.
Be honest, do you really want to share your home with critters? No, of course, you don’t, which is why it’s a smart idea to keep a watchful eye out for signs of pest infestations.
Look out for vermin droppings or grease marks along walls and floors, which indicate rats. Termites are arguably more serious, as they can cause major damage to the timber in a house. Discarded wings near doors and windows in the spring are a big red flag, as are mud tubes near the foundation and visible signs of damage to wood.
Another red flag is strange sounds coming from the attic or in the walls. Since it’s highly unlikely to be a poltergeist, you can assume an unwanted visitor has moved in.
Windows are part of the fabric of your home, so you need to make sure they remain in good condition. Older windows are more susceptible to damage. Weather and many years’ worth of use can eventually cause a window to split or even break completely. Even newer double-glazed units are not immune to problems – wind, hail, and a poorly aimed ball can cause stress and pressure cracks or broken glazing.
Check your windows over regularly, and if you spot any signs of damage, repair or replace them.
A Damaged Roof
The roof is another area of the home where damage soon leads to a ruinously expensive bill. Make a point of inspecting your room twice yearly. Look for slipped tiles or shingles. Use a pair of binoculars to take a closer look if your property runs to two floors or more. Be vigilant for cracked lead around chimneys and damaged gutters.
This is not an area where DIY repairs are advisable. Replacing cracked or missing shingles isn’t too difficult but working at height without the necessary safety equipment is a bad idea. If you do spot any issues, call in a professional roofing company and ask them to quote you for the cost of repairing the damage. It’s better to pay a reputable company to get the work done than end up living on disability for the rest of your days.
Don’t underestimate the severity of damp issues. Living in a damp house can cause serious health problems, and if left unchecked, damp leads to fungal infestations. If you spot any damp patches, try and see what the underlying issue is. There could be a leaking pipe, insufficient ventilation, or even rising damp. Whatever the cause, get it fixed ASAP.
Other problems to watch out for include dodgy wiring, cracked foundations, and subsidence.