Everyone should have a house check up list. These are items which are looked at frequently around the house, at least once a year, and this checklist should be written down, so that you don’t forget. Each month, we list items which you should do for the month, such as change furnace filters and change the batteries in your smoke detector.
While many people may have good intentions, sometimes these tasks may get put onto the back burner. However, this can be very costly. For example, each Spring, we repair a number of exterior faucets. Do matter how many times we try to tell customers to disconnect their garden hoses, it sometimes just doesn’t get done. So, in the Spring, when these faucets get turned on, a sudden leak inside the house becomes a big deal. Especially since the pipe is in the basement, and the person using the hose is outside. You may not be aware of it until further damage is done.
Caulking and grouting of tubs is another area that some forget. A $10 tube of caulk or grout can save a very expensive repair or remodel. What usually happens is, water gets behind the wall at a grout joint (the masonry material surrounding the tile), or gets behind a gap in the caulking (the area around the base of the shower or tub). When water gets behind and to the drywall, it will quickly become like wet cardboard. Since the tiles are glued on to the drywall, they have nothing left to stick to, so they feel loose and will eventually fall off. So, now you have to take out tiles, repair the drywall, then reinstall tiles. A big problem occurs when you find that you can’t find any matching tiles, and reusing the old tiles doesn’t work out well, as you will be able to see where the repair was made. So, instead of spending $10 in caulk or grout, you may be looking at thousands of dollars in renovating your bathroom.
That same $10 in caulk can save an expensive door. When you are outside, looking at your door, look down at the threshold. Where the jambs (side framing of the door) or side-lights meet the ground and threshold, there should be caulk. If there isn’t, snow and water will sit there, and eventually rot that wood away. Some entry doors are very expensive, so replacement would be a huge expenditure.
So, find an exterior and interior checklist and stick with it! Twice a year you should go through the house with this list in hand. It would likely take only 1 hour for both, but it could be well worth your time.
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