May 20, 2017 | Kim Higgins
You can avoid having to pay extravagant repair costs to your home by paying attention to the following:
  1. Runaway Water - Be sure that soil is sloped away from the house to encourage proper  rainwater drainage.   Also check gutters and downpipes for clogs or corrosion every season.
  2. Roof and Siding - Check for curled or missing shingles on the roof and for cracks in the rubber around the vents. These can be repaired before you end up having to replace the entire roof. Check for leaks in the siding around the windows and doors;  an inexpensive tube of caulking can sometimes prevent a major repair.
  3. Pest Infestations - Termites and carpenter ants are attracted to moist soil and rotting wood so be sure to keep mulch and firewood away from your house as termites can destroy the house‚Äôs structure within a few years. You should check for rotted wood on the sill plate to determine if termites are already present. In addition,  be aware that rodents, birds and squirrels can also enter your house; plug any holes with expandable foam.
  4. Mold and Mildew - If you smell musty odors or if someone in your house has a chronic cough, then check for mold by looking under the carpets and removing the cable TV plate covers.  If the mold is less than 10 square feet, you can treat it yourself with a solution of 1 cup bleach to a gallon of water. Larger areas require a professional.
  5. Foundation Cracks - Hairline cracks are normally harmless, but cracks measuring more than 3/16 inch could be a problem.  Monitor smaller cracks by placing tape over them and occasionally check for any progression. Beware of horizontal cracks, bulging or buckling; you may need a structural engineer for this. The longer you wait, the more expensive it will be to repair.
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