by Thomas Walker
Housing is one of the biggest expenses Americans have in their lives. If you have made the big step of buying a property of your own, you want to protect your investment accordingly. Some simple steps can prevent costly damages, especially when it comes to natural elements like rain and wind, as well as pests. While you can’t control nature, you can be prepared. Follow these guidelines to stay safe and secure — and to save yourself some money.
Make a disaster recovery plan
“Common” disasters like hurricanes, floods, and tornadoes may not really seem all too common, but they do happen often enough, and your home could be affected. Make a list of work contacts so that you can continue to work even if disaster has struck at home. You’ll get some advance notice if a hurricane is coming, but you may not get a lot of time to prepare for a flood or tornado, so keep flashlights and bottled water handy, and keep gas tanks filled.
Keep windows in good shape
If you’re seeing fog, cracks, or water around your windows, then it’s time to get them replaced. Taking care of your windows will not only result in a more comfortable temperature in the home, it will prevent further damage — such as rotting wood or more broken glass — from occurring.
While you could repair the windows yourself if it’s a minor fix, it’s best to hire a professional who can ensure that the repair will last long term. The estimate you’ll get for window replacement will be based on how much damage occurred, as well as window and glass type.
Have roof inspected annually
A leaky roof can cause serious problems when it rains. Water may seep in and ruin furniture, art, and other valuables. It can also cause peeling paint. If a leak goes unnoticed for an extended period of time, mold may grow. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, mold can pose a serious health threat. Removal isn’t cheap, costing $500 – $6,000 on average.
Stay safe and avoid such costly interventions by getting your roof inspected. If it needs repairs or replacement, a roofing specialist can ensure that the useful life of the roof is extended by three to five years. Not only will keeping your roof in good condition prevent leaks, but you’ll be able to sell your home faster should you ever put it up for sale.
Don’t overlook pest control
Summer is a time to come out and play. Unfortunately, many pests also have the same idea. This isn’t something that should be taken lightly. More than just being a mild annoyance, some pests can be downright dangerous. Mosquitoes and rodents, for instance, bring all sorts of diseases, while termites can put a home’s structural integrity in peril.
Engage the services of pest control experts, rather than dealing with this unpleasant business yourself.
Prepare pipes for freezing temperatures
You have pipes running water all throughout your house, from the bathroom to the kitchen. If the water in these pipes freezes, it expands. This can cause pipes to crack or even burst, leading to leaks. The result? Costly property damage plus the expense of having the pipes themselves fixed or replaced.
The main point to address is pipes in areas that are less well-heated in winter, such as a basement or attic that you don’t use. Ensure these areas have proper insulation and don’t let temperatures get below freezing. You can also get pipe-specific insulation at Home Depot. Winterize exterior faucets, too. Drain relevant pipes of excess water before the first freeze sets in and turn off the main water valve.
Your home is a place where you want to feel safe and happy. By implementing the above guidelines, you can assure your own security. The money you save will also bring reassurance, as you will be less likely to face sudden unexpected home repair costs. Plan ahead and you will reap the rewards in the long run.