There are few things more frightening for homeowners than waking up to an expensive disaster in the middle of the night. Home disasters don’t just require immediate attention—they can also be extremely expensive to repair.
But like the old saying goes—an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. To help reduce your chances of waking up to a flooded basement or a downed tree on your roof, follow these tips from Blindster and get the peace of mind you and your family deserve.
Check the connections to your washer and dryer regularly.
If your family is like most, you go through a lot of laundry—and that means your washer and dryer get used multiple times per week. While modern washers and dryers are built to withstand frequent use, they can pose a hazard to your home and your family if they aren’t maintained regularly.
Check at least twice per year to make sure the hot and cold water connections to your washer are secured, and make sure the drainage pipe is secure and not in danger of coming loose and leaking. In addition to always cleaning the lint trap with every use, disconnect your dryer from the wall at least once a year to clear out any accumulated lint or fabric in the dryer vent. These accumulations can build up over time and become a fire hazard.
Use high-quality surge protectors for all your expensive electronics.
Not all surge protectors are created equal. While you may not give a second thought to the power strip that gives life to your home theater setup, it’s also the only thing keeping those gadgets running should your home receive a sudden power surge. In rooms that have a lot of expensive electronics, such as your living room, game room, media room, or home office, always use high-quality surge protectors that are rated to handle large power surges. Not only do these surge protectors offer more protection than budget power strips, but they also offer money back guarantees if any items are damaged by a power surge while plugged in.
Turn off your home’s water supply before going on vacation.
What starts out as a small leak in your home can quickly become a home-ruining disaster if it’s not treated in time. That’s why it’s important to cut off your home’s water supply any time you will be away for several days. In most cases, your home’s water valve will be located near your water meter and can be turned off by twisting it clockwise. If you can’t find it, or if you’re unable to turn it, consider hiring a plumber to do the job for you. It’s a small price to pay for peace of mind while you’re away from home.
Trim or cut down any trees in danger of falling.
Trees make your lawn a cool and shady place in the summer, but they also pose a danger to your home if they grow too large or become diseased or weakened due to the elements. Make it a habit to trim any tree limbs that grow over the roof of your home or outdoor areas used by your family, and make arrangements to get any trees that are in poor health cut down. Weakened trees or dying trees can fall over without warning, causing serious damage to your home and even putting your family’s lives at risk.
Repair any cracks or separation in your shower or tub.
Showers and bathtubs are prone to develop small cracks and separation in the grout and caulk due to repeated exposure to water, soap, mildew, and other elements. Over time, those cracks and separations can grow bigger until the damage causes your shower or tub to leak. Instead of waiting until you’re standing in a puddle of water and need to replace your entire bathroom, fix any small cracks or separation as it happens with caulk to reseal any weak points.
Monitor any cracks in your home’s foundation.
While it’s common for homes like yours to have small hairline cracks in their foundations, they also pose a risk of shifting over time and causing massive structural damage to the entire house. If your home has cracks in its foundation, monitor them over time by taking measurements of the size and length of the crack every few months. If the crack grows in size or widens, call a contractor who specializes in home foundations to get it repaired before the damage gets worse.
Fix any leaks in your roof right away.
If you notice any water stains on your ceiling, it either means you have a leaky pipe or your roof is leaking. Leaky roofs often start as small annoyances but can quickly become disastrous as the water damage spreads and the leak grows in size. Call a roof repair contractor at the first sign of any water stains to prevent the leak from ruining your entire roof and ceiling.
Fill cracks in your driveway.
Whether you have an asphalt or concrete driveway, it’s important to keep an eye on its surface and check for any cracks. Like your home’s foundation, small hairline cracks are common in both asphalt and concrete, but those small cracks can quickly become big problems—especially if you live in an area with sudden temperature changes. Over time, cracks can grow and spread throughout the length of your driveway and even begin to fill with unsightly weeds. The sooner you repair the cracks, the less likely it is that your driveway will experience significant damage.
Secure any loose steps.
Loose steps, both inside and outside your home, are major safety hazards for anyone who uses them. Whether you have a loose step on your main stairway or on your patio, repair it as soon as possible to avoid any of your guests or family members tripping on it and getting hurt. The same thing applies to loose handrails, banisters, and walkways, as all of these can cause serious injuries.
Eliminate pest problems.
Termites can cause significant damage to any wood in the structure of your home, but you may not even notice the damage until it’s too late. That’s why it’s a good idea to schedule regular visits from an exterminator to prevent any infestations. In addition, animals that get into your ceiling, attic, or walls, such as squirrels and mice, can be fire hazards—especially if they have access to any exposed wiring. They may chew through the wires and send sparks that could ignite any nearby flammable materials.