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5 Home Maintenance Shortcuts You Should Never Take!

When it comes to home maintenance, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Sometimes being thrifty or delaying home maintenance tasks can really backfire. Here are some homeowner shortcuts you should never take.

Deteriorated House Paint

  1. Painting over mold or water stains on walls or ceilings. Making a cosmetic repair when more comprehensive remedies are in order is a big no-no. Painting over mold will NOT make it go away--and you are actually inviting more extensive future issues by deferring maintenance. You should always first identify why there is a stain. Is there a water penetration issue or a leak? Only after you have identified and remedied the cause of the stain, is it time to address the stain itself. For mold, you'll want to wash the area with a bleach and water solution or treat with a fungicide spray before painting. Then you can use a heavy duty paint primer like Zinnser before repainting with your wall/ceiling color.
  2. Landscaping without addressing grading. Without vegetation, the grade at your house should slope downward and away from the home at a minimum of 1 inch per foot up to 6 feet. With vegetation, over time, this standard is frequently compromised as the vegetation tends to change the soil composition encouraging water retention and pooling. It's important to maintain the 1 inch per foot rule. It's also extremely important to consider How Close is Too Close when landscaping around your home.
  3. Allowing paint to crack and peal before repainting it in order to extend periods in between applications of paint on the exterior of your home is never a good idea. Paint is not only a cosmetic element of your home, it also serves an important role in protecting it by providing a temporary physical shield between building materials and the elements and pests. Because one of the main causes of wood deterioration is moisture penetration, a primary purpose for painting wood is to exclude such moisture, and slow deterioration of not only of a building's exterior siding and decorative features but, ultimately, its underlying structural elements. Delaying a paint application could be an invitation for cracks, rot, pests, and more.
  4. Ignoring leaks or "bucketing-and forgetting" them. Whether it be a roof leak or a plumbing leak, ignoring the problem is never a good idea. Leaks can lead to rot, mold and even termite infestations. Leaks left untreated can result in damages far more complex and expensive as time goes by. Any leak discovered should be remedied immediately to prevent escalation of the problem. 
  5. Skipping changing air/furnace filters. This is one we see many, many times--filters that are dirty or even missing completely. A clogged filter can create the potential for fire, mold growth, and also puts increased stress on the system's components. The cost of a filter is FAR cheaper than the damage that can be caused by failing to do so. Learn how to change your filter by watching this quick informational video