Many home repairs are a matter of convenience or aesthetics. Squeaky floorboards, dinged up cabinets, peeling paint and other non-urgent repairs can often be put off for another day, month or year. Some home repairs, however, are absolutely urgent to address. These serious issues can cause increasing property damage, financial expense and health risks the longer they’re left unaddressed. Here are 10 home repairs you should not delay to fix.
Damaged or missing shingles. Ceiling leaks. Sagging beams. These are roof problems that need to be addressed immediately. Water entering your home can lead to structural damage, mold or even a fire if it contacts electrical components. Moisture in the attic can cause the roof to sag and settle, creating cracks in walls. Inspect your roof seasonally and after big storms for damage, and look for telltale signs indoors of roof trouble such as water spots on ceilings.
Your roof isn’t the only potential source of damaging water inside your home. Leaky pipes can introduce mold, structural problems and other threats to your property. Check under your sinks at least once a year to make sure no water is leaking, and take steps to avoid pipes freezing and bursting during cold weather. Call a plumber to repair any issues you can’t reliably fix on your own.
It’s not just unsightly and hard to remove, mold can be a serious health threat as well. Any mold you find must be dealt with. Determine why the mold is forming, eliminate the cause and take any necessary steps to purge the mold, enlisting the help of a trained professional if needed.
Safe, reliable electrical wiring is often taken for granted, but if your home electrical systems aren’t up to par, they could be a fire waiting to happen. Common signs of electrical problems include circuit breakers tripping without good cause, lights that flicker and switches or outlets becoming warm or hot. Call an electrician to resolve any of these issues.
Literally and figuratively, the word “foundation” is used to mean the thing that holds supports everything else. Not surprisingly, cracks in your foundation can be a serious problem. If you find any, they need to be addressed before they spread. Large, unaddressed cracks can lead to a host of problems, including water leaks and concrete collapse.
Dryer vent clogs
In addition to keeping your dryer lint trap clear, you also need to ensure your dryer vent doesn’t clog. The buildup of lint in either location can result in a fire. Dryer vent cleanings are recommended at least once a year.
Termites are a problem that literally eats away at your home. If you find or suspect termites in your home, call an exterminator to inspect your property and deal with the issue accordingly. Left uncheck, termites can cause serious harm to property, including structural damage, in a relatively short amount of time.
Rain gutters may not seem like a critical home system, but when they’re not functioning properly, serious damage can result. Roof leaks, wood rot, foundation damage, basement flooding and winter ice dams are the biggest threats from gutter clogs. Clean your gutters at least twice a year and ensure that they’re working correctly by flushing them with a garden hose. Consider gutter guards or tree trimming if clogs are a frequent issue.
A damaged deck may not threaten your interior living space, but it could lead to an expensive or dangerous failure of the deck itself. A major risk spot on decks is the flashing, which if worn or missing, can allow water to weaken the deck to the point of eventual collapse. Inspect your deck at least annually, particularly the flashing and the ledger board that connects the deck to your home, to identify any issues before they become serious.
Cracks in concrete and asphalt are a fact of life, but that doesn’t mean you should leave them unaddressed. Since many driveways are built to direct water away from your foundation, cracks can cause damaging moisture to seep into your home. Regularly seal your driveway and fill cracks as needed to limit the spread of cracks and the entry of water.
Making these repairs may not always be cheap or convenient, but by resolving them before they become worse, you can save yourself from potentially serious damage, expenses and personal harm down the road.