Simple preventions that can save hundreds to thousand of dollars on home repairs.

Window Replacement Contractor in Columbus, Ohio.

  1. So what’s a little rain

Gutters in any City or State where it rains a lot, are crucial. In the Midwest, especially states like Ohio have a lot of trees, which cause debris to get caught in the gutters, clog them and then you have overflow. Pretty harmless, right? No, very wrong! If this overflow gets in-between your gutters and fascia, it could saturate the fascia causing damage, creating mold and ruining your fascia and soffit. Eventually the water will make its way inside your walls and down to the basement – the foundation of your home. Depending on how long this is left, you could spend hundreds or thousands of dollars fixing this problem. A simple prevention is either cleaning them a few times during the fall-winter or installing gutter protection and never think about it again. Make sure it’s a credible gutter protection though – not just a box store, self-install kind as those you’d need to replace in a couple of years again. Pick one with a no clog guarantee and a self-cleaning system (click here to see it), so the gutter protection works optimally all year round. A good example is the Mastershield brand.

  1. Directing water away

If it rains and your gutters and downspouts are working great, but the grading of your house (the soil directly next to the foundation of your house), tips towards your house, then in time, the water will make its way through the granules of the foundation with the help of the heating and cooling temperatures of the changing seasons. The water can go straight through the foundation and weaken it – you’ll be able to see the damage in your basement.  Water problems in your foundation could be thousands of dollars to fix and would significally affect the safety of your house and the desirability when reselling. A year ago a friend of mine put in a bid to a house she loved, everything was perfect with that house and during the 3 day recession, she decided to get us to come out and look at it with her. We immediately saw the water damage in the basement and brought it to her attention. Needless to say, she cancelled that sale. A simple DIY fix to this problem is to buy some soil and fill the sides of your home in a way that if it rains, water flows away from the house.

  1. Don’t be full of hot air

Some, less experienced, roof installers will install your roof without installing any type of ventilation system. This means that the sun will bake your roof all day long and the attic will heat up to temperatures upwards of 120 degrees. Without being able to vent out the hot air, will not only increase your energy bill, by making the central air work extra hard keeping the house cool, but also shortens the life of your roof significantly. There are basically two types of vents used to exhaust air – A turtle vent that acts kind of like a chimney to let out that air. Some of them are solar powered with a fan to aid in the expulsion of the air. The second type – the ridge vent – with the intake of the soffit letting air in and openings on the peak ‘the ridge vent’ letting hot air out – proper ventilation creates good airflow. Having these installed, could prolong the life of your roof by years. Have the experts come out and take a look at your roof to make sure it’s properly vented.

  1. If it’s broken, fix it!

A lot of us are procrastinators and would see a problem, but no urgency in fixing it. When you drive through certain areas, you’ll see dozens of roofs that are in pretty bad shape – it could start with what seems to be discoloration, but in reality could be your roof wearing out. Come the next rain storms and there will be leaking (that you might not notice as the water will collect in your attic first). If left unnoticed for too long, the ceiling will start rotting and you’ll see a big round water damage mark. Now, not only do you have to replace the roof, but spend extra money on fixing the ceiling and whatever other damages caused by the water. The life of a roof depends on the type of roof and the outside elements (rain, snow, sun, hail, and strong winds). Asphalt roofing is a very popular and a good choice and in most cases coming with a lifetime warranty. Remember to check with your insurance if they’ll cover your roof repair or replacement – especially if it was caused by storm damage.

  1. Inspection for prevention

Chimneys and dryer vents should be cleaned out periodically as build up inside could catch fire and burn your house down. There are simple DIY fixes (sucking it out with your vacuum cleaner) or you can have a professional come out for a more thorough clean. Your furnace should be inspected by a service professional for the same fire risk. Electrical outlets of older homes should be updated and no outlet should be overused as electrical fires are one of the most common causes of house fires.

  1. Being energy efficient

Being energy efficient is not really a prevention, but it can save you hundreds of dollars off your bills each year so we thought it would only be appropriate to put it in here. Update appliances, lighting, windows and doors to energy efficient Energy Star products and see the savings year after year. Plus save even more on qualifying Energy Star products for a tax credit, but only until 31 December, 2013.

  1. Professionals over DIY

It is human nature to want to “do it yourself” and is evident at a very young age. A 2 year old will want to start doing everything themselves as it gives a sense of accomplishment, but the outcome is normally catastrophic. It’s a great feeling looking at a big finished project and saying, “I did that,” but for some things the price is higher than you think.  You might be thinking of installing a window that you bought at a big box store for a great price with the help of a DIY book from the library or hiring a DIY contractor. This seems like a good idea as it could initially save you some money, but there are a lot of risk factors. If it isn’t installed correctly, water infiltration within your walls could occur creating mold. Then you’d have to fix that problem doing the same job twice, but this time hiring a professional. Just hire a professional the first time who is licensed, bonded and insured and who offers a good warranty on their labor and the products. That way, you won’t have to worry about the window or any other project for the lifetime of the warranty.

We’d love to hear your comments or any more preventative means that could potentially save a lot of money.