no secret that U.S. infrastructure is crumbling, but is
your homeís infrastructure in good shape?
key features that make a home livable will save money
down the road and may even fall under critical
life-safety issues. These home maintenance checkups arenít
sexy or fun, but they are necessary to keep a house in
everything in a house eventually needs to be replaced,
home experts flagged their top three infrastructure
areas to maintain.
homeís structure. A homeís roof, foundation and
frame are equally critical to a livable home. Pat
Knight, training, licensing and inspection support
manager of WIN Home Inspection, a national home
inspection franchise, said to keep an eye on the roof as
the seasons change, making sure the surface is free from
debris and there is no damage. Get gutters cleaned, and
make sure theyíre draining properly away from the
home. Fall is a good time to get your gutters cleaned.
the roof can be as simple as using a pair of binoculars
from the yard, or it could mean hiring a company to
inspect for potential damage up close.
maintenance can drastically reduce the life expectancy
of the roof, and replacement is expensive," he
an eye on the homeís bottom too. Angie Hicks, founder
of Angieís List, a home services directory, says the
fall season is a great time to check the homeís
thereís too much water ó or too little ó it will
become the No. 1 cause for giving your foundation a
shakeup," she said.
can be difficult to get the moisture content right
consistently, so Hicks gave a few tips. Ensure proper
drainage away from the structureís surface, which can
otherwise compromise the foundationís integrity.
Subsurface or French drains can help in regions where
too little moisture is an issue, as can a strategic
sprinkler system that prevents extreme drying/shrinking
of the surrounding soil.
looking at the foundation, look out for insects like
carpenter ants or termites, especially in homes with
wooden frames, said Beverley Kruskol, owner of M.Y.
Pacific Building, a general contractor who has worked
with high-end renovations, including for Mario Bataliís
restaurants in Los Angeles.
climate change, insects like termites can now be a
problem in areas that previously never had problems with
these bugs. Termites cause significant damage and can
migrate from other homes, too, she said.
system. Having the homeís HVAC system maintained
yearly by a qualified company will prevent major
breakdowns happening at just the wrong time, said Knight
until you need a repair will cost you dearly, especially
if there is a cold snap or a heat wave," Knight
between professional maintenance, Hicks said, homeowners
should change the filters regularly, do their own visual
inspections and keep an eye on the thermostat.
are three quick and easy things you can do yourself to
ensure the longest life for your HVAC system," she
Leaky faucets and overflowing toilets are obvious signs
of problems, but stealth leaks can cause a lot of
damage, Kruskol said, such as mold.
really not a bad idea to have a plumber come out
periodically and check the system. Roots can grow into
pipes. Sprinklers end up splashing against the house,
which can deteriorate outdoor brick, stucco and
foundations," she said.
an eye on water bills, and donít let leaky faucets go
dripping, especially for environmental considerations.
a problem for all of us. Yes, water rates are higher,
but weíre all going to be affected by the lack of
water," she said.