Home Maintenance is Always Easier (and cheaper) than Repairs

By
Home Inspector with H.I.S. Home Inspections (Summit, Stark Counties)

Many homeowners fail to realize the VALUE of a good Home Maintenance Schedule, and the long term benefits that almost always save money and aggravation. "Deferred Maintenance" as the real estate industry likes to refer to it, not only ends up costing more money and time, but also may either Prevent you from selling your home, Slow Down the process, and can cause the home to be "Reduced" in price.

There are many homeowners on the market for a home that shy away from homes that have deferred maintenance, or have not been maintained well. The ones that don't care about how well a home has been maintained, are usually the "Bargain Hunters", and are equipped to deal with deferred maintenance (as long as the price is right).

But even if you are not currently selling your home, you can avoid more costly repairs by performing periodic maintenance. I'll give you a couple of good examples:

1. WATER HEATER: If you have a water heater tank, it pays to drain 5-10 gallons of water out from the bottom drain every few months. This is because in most water supplys, there is a certain amount of "sediment" in the water, which settles to the bottom of the tank. This creates "hot spots" in the bottom of tank, which then creates corrosion or rust, thus causing the tank to fail. Simply draining out that little bit of water (quickly) will help preserve your expensive water tank much longer, and prevent eventual failure of the unit.

2. CAULKING: The exterior of most homes, usually around windows, doors, and any other protrusions through the siding, have a caulking sealant around those areas, where one material (siding) stops, and another material begins (windows, doors, pipes, wires, etc.). Most caulking lasts between 3 and 10 years, depending on type, and where it is used. The general tip here, is to take a slow walk around the perimeter of your home at least once a year, noting all the areas where there is caulking. If you can see gaps on either side of the caulking bead, or cracks in the caulking, then it is time to remove the old caulking, and replace it with fresh caulking that will adhere to both materials. (Just going over old caulking usually just creates more problems sooner or later, and is not a good idea). The purpose of caulking is to generally seal out water, and air, so that they do not hidden damage to wall structures that are not designed to be exposed to weather. Doing this simple bit of maintenance can save you THOUSANDS of dollars in repairs.

There are many other areas of a home that also require maintenance, but I don't want to overwhelm you with them all at once. I will write several more blogs in the near future, that will give you more hints on routine maintenance... so stay tuned!

Extreme example of

This picture graphically illustrates an example of poor caulking "caulking over existing caulking" that has caused extreme damage. The repair pictured here will cost thousands, because there is hidden damage behind the siding and brick 1/2 wall.

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Re-Blogged 2 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Maureen McCabe 02/16/2009 02:52 AM
  2. Cheryl Willis 02/17/2009 06:20 AM
Topic:
Home Improvement
Location:
Ohio Stark County
Groups:
Realtors®
1st Time Buyers
The Ninety-ninth Percentile
Home Inspector's Corner
AR My Name is Cheryl
Tags:
home maintenance
repairs
improper repairs

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Ambassador
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Charles Buell
Charles Buell Inspections Inc. - Seattle, WA
Seattle Home Inspector

Kevin, what the heck kind of siding is that?  Looks like some wort of fiber board.

Feb 16, 2009 12:09 AM #1
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Jim Crawford
Crye-Leike REALTORS® - Atlanta, GA
Jim Crawford Atlanta Best Listing Agents & REALTOR

Thanks for sharing. I often think that many of the homes with supposed siding problems was due to a total lack of maintenance.  The homes on either side with he same siding are in great shape because they were maintained properly (Caulked and painted) and the one that did not do anything is crying defective product!

Feb 16, 2009 12:34 AM #2
Rainmaker
1,244,593
Steven L. Smith
King of the House Home Inspection, Inc. - Bellingham, WA
Bellingham WA Home Inspector

Kevin,

True enough. Too bad that more homeowners do not follow that philosophy. Then there are those who try to do it but do not get it.

Feb 16, 2009 02:05 AM #3
Rainmaker
179,897
Jack Gilleland
Home Inspection and Investor Services, Clayton - Clayton, OH

Hey Kevin great blog, watch out for that siding we always called it clapboard.

 

Feb 16, 2009 03:13 AM #4
Rainmaker
67,128
Kevin Corsa
H.I.S. Home Inspections (Summit, Stark Counties) - Canton, OH
H.I.S. Home Inspections, Stark & Summit County, OH Home Inspector

Charles, that there siding is known in these here parts as "Masonite" siding. It works pretty well...IF primed, painted AND caulked properly. OTHERWISE, it is very vulnerable to weather deterioration. I have seen that same stuff last 30 years, but then, that was a homeowner who did regular maintenance.

Feb 16, 2009 04:09 AM #5
Ambassador
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Charles Buell
Charles Buell Inspections Inc. - Seattle, WA
Seattle Home Inspector

Kevin, I kind of thought that is what it was.  Only vary rarely see Masonite siding out here----I know it is more common in the East.  More likely to see the OSB garbage here.

Feb 16, 2009 04:24 AM #6
Rainer
19,091
Külli Yee ~ Metro Vancouver Home Staging
Ilus Design ~ Home staging, re-design and organizing - Port Coquitlam, BC

Kevin, as a home stager I completely agree that keeping up the home maintenance is so crucial. Yes, there are "bargain hunters" who are willing to ovelook the maintenance issues if the price is low enough, but most buyers want a move-in ready home that doesn't require them to spend extra money or time. From a home staging point of view, I believe that the first step to getting your home ready to sell is to address the maintenance issues and only after that can the cosmetic touches be added.

All the best!

Feb 16, 2009 05:03 AM #7
Rainmaker
197,582
Cheryl Willis
RE/MAX Solutions- OZARK MISSOURI - Mount Vernon, MO
MO Broker - Mt Vernon, Monett, Aurora, Barry & Law

these are the types of aritcles I like to share with my readers.  cheryl(I see a re-blog)willis

Feb 17, 2009 06:13 AM #8
Rainmaker
524,954
Regina P. Brown
MBA Broker Consultants - Carlsbad, CA
M.B.A., Broker, Instructor

Kevin, you know what they say... an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!  ;)  YES I wish that every homeowner got regular home inspections, until waiting for a crisis!

Join my new AR group and post your blog at http://activerain.com/groups/virtualoffice

Regina P. Brown

Feb 18, 2009 03:53 PM #9
Rainmaker
690,134
James Quarello
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC - Wallingford, CT
Connecticut Home Inspector

Kevin, Good advice. We see how deferred maintenance effects home everyday as we perform our inspections. Many times it ain't pretty!

Feb 18, 2009 11:39 PM #10
Rainmaker
67,128
Kevin Corsa
H.I.S. Home Inspections (Summit, Stark Counties) - Canton, OH
H.I.S. Home Inspections, Stark & Summit County, OH Home Inspector

Sometimes deferred maintenance translates into "deferred mess", and the eventual cost to repair it becomes the primary issue.

Mar 12, 2009 03:15 AM #11
Rainer
654,274
Baker Home Inspection and Commercial Properties Inspections
Baker Residential and Commercial Properties Inspections - Springfield, VT
Home and Commercial Properties Inspections Vermont

Hey there and afternoon Kevin
Keven, I sure do keep hopping you'll find the time. I'm sure hopping my comment finds everything is going well for you!

Oct 14, 2011 10:09 AM #12
Rainer
654,274
Baker Home Inspection and Commercial Properties Inspections
Baker Residential and Commercial Properties Inspections - Springfield, VT
Home and Commercial Properties Inspections Vermont

Hey there and afternoon Kevin
Keven, I sure do keep hopping you'll find the time. I'm sure hopping my comment finds everything is going well for you!

Oct 14, 2011 10:10 AM #13
Rainer
654,274
Baker Home Inspection and Commercial Properties Inspections
Baker Residential and Commercial Properties Inspections - Springfield, VT
Home and Commercial Properties Inspections Vermont

Hey there and afternoon Kevin
Keven, I sure do keep hopping you'll find the time. I'm sure hopping my comment finds everything is going well for you!

Oct 14, 2011 10:11 AM #14
Rainer
654,274
Baker Home Inspection and Commercial Properties Inspections
Baker Residential and Commercial Properties Inspections - Springfield, VT
Home and Commercial Properties Inspections Vermont

Hey there and afternoon Kevin
Keven, I sure do keep hopping you'll find the time. I'm sure hopping my comment finds everything is going well for you!

Oct 14, 2011 10:13 AM #15
Rainer
654,274
Baker Home Inspection and Commercial Properties Inspections
Baker Residential and Commercial Properties Inspections - Springfield, VT
Home and Commercial Properties Inspections Vermont

Hey there and afternoon Kevin
Keven, I sure do keep hopping you'll find the time. I'm sure hopping my comment finds everything is going well for you!

Oct 14, 2011 10:16 AM #16
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Rainmaker
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Kevin Corsa

H.I.S. Home Inspections, Stark & Summit County, OH Home Inspector
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