For many people, taking care of their home is a major priority. Preventative maintenance, repairs and improvements all help maintain or even increase the home’s value. These are important whether you’re looking to sell or remain at the same address. Unfortunately, a number of unexpected things can occur that cause damage to your home, affect you financially and add to your personal stress. Look at a few of the most common issues you may deal with and find out how to avoid them — and how to cope if they do occur.
Heating and Air Conditioning
In many homes, the HVAC system is more than just a convenience; it’s a necessity. However, from leaks in the coolant line to a thermostat that doesn’t properly maintain the temperature, plenty can go wrong. If you’re already dealing with an improperly working system, working with a licensed HVAC technician is your best option. Tenlist.com is a great resource for contractor lists in your area.
If you’re willing to put in some effort, you can keep many of the worst problems from ever occurring. The Energy Star website offers the following tips, among others, that help keep your system in good repair and may reduce your energy bills:
- Change your air filter regularly
- Tune up equipment yearly, to prevent major malfunctions
- Seal ductwork in basements and attics
Water Damage and Mold
Water damage can occur in two forms — major and hidden. Major water damage occurs when there is a flood, storm or broken pipe and a massive amount of water enters the home. While you can do things such as installing storm windows or new pipes to help prevent this, major damage can and will occur even in the best-prepared homes. Hidden water damage is what happens when you have, for instance, a slow leak under the sink or behind your washer. Be vigilant about checking your home for water in unexpected locations. Mold occurs when you allow water, or even condensation, to sit over time. The EPA recommends keeping the home at a good humidity level and cleaning up any water that enters the home quickly and completely.
Bed bugs are small, parasitic insects that feed on the blood of both humans and animals while they sleep. Many think only dirty individuals are susceptible. In actuality, anyone who travels regularly has a chance of bringing them home from a stay in a hotel. While according to the CDC, bed bugs are not necessarily dangerous, but the bites are itchy and can cause scarring. If you suspect you have bed bugs, contact a pest control company that specializes in treating for these pests. You can help prevent them by checking your sheets well when traveling — though the pests are small, they are visible to the naked eye. Finally, always wash your linens and clothes in hot water after traveling.
These are just a few of the unexpected things that can occur around your home that cause you both personal and financial stress. If you find yourself facing one of these situations, what would you do?