A home, with all its working systems and moving parts, is much like a human body. Most of the time it’s fine, but sometimes it shows symptoms of “illness.” Just like a tickle in your throat could appear a few days before you get strep throat, your home may show warning signs before an accident occurs. A good homeowner reads the signs to prevent as much damage as possible—for the sake of their house and for their peace of mind.
It’s good to hope for the best but prepare for the worst, in part by comparing home insurance quotes and finding a policy with ample coverage for your property. But you can also keep an eye out for telltale signs that may point to a bigger problem. Here are three issues to keep in mind.
A Patch of Mold
Mold is never a welcome visitor in your home, but it’s all too easy to write off a tiny patch of mold in your bathroom as a result of humidity. Maybe it’s just a helpful reminder to get your bathroom fan fixed, but perhaps it’s pointing at a larger moisture problem in your walls and ceilings.
Here are a few techniques to tackle mold (and determine if there’s a bigger issue at hand):
− Take all safety precautions to avoid breathing or touching the mold (like an N-95 respirator, goggles and gloves).
− Scrub mold with detergent and water, ensuring that the area dries completely; replace porous materials (ceiling tiles, carpet, etc.).
− Figure out the source and fix any plumbing leaks or standing water issues ASAP with the help of a professional.
− Dry out the room thoroughly to ensure the mold does not grow back.
− Check back to make sure it was a one-time issue.
Sticking Doors and Windows
Ah, curse your sticky doors and windows! It’s the humidity, right? Potentially, or it could be a structural issue with your home’s foundation. Doors and windows with warped alignment could actually indicate that your foundation is shifting. Look out for cracks in the wall, water leakage or increasing window and door misalignment over time. If you notice any of these signs, call an expert immediately so you can try to hold off or even reverse the damage.
Water Heater Leak
A puddle at the base of your water heater could mean a slight valve leak or excess condensation, but it could also mean that the glass coat on the tank has cracked, allowing the steel to rust and water to escape. Unless you want to deal with a costly and messy basement flood, you should take this sign at face value and get your water heater replaced immediately.
Your own eyes are the first line of defense when it comes to your home. Have you noticed something slightly off? Don’t ignore it; address it head-on to avoid a larger problem down the line. If all else fails, you’ll be able to fall back on your homeowners insurance policy for covered damage.
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