An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of repair. Particularly with your home, letting maintenance issues linger can result in a home needing significant repairs down the road. This is particularly true here in the Pacific Northwest, where unforgiving winters create opportunity for moisture to enter the home at a near constant rate.

In this post, we’ll outline 7 areas in your home that need immediate attention at the first sign of a problem to prevent damage and degradation to your investment.

Roof

The #1 issue to be on the lookout for on any list should be your roof. No other part of your home takes so much abuse and plays such a central role in the overall function of your home’s ability to fight moisture, repel weather, and protect the rest of your home.

While a leak might be easy to fix, once a leak advances, the situation is harder to remedy. Water can infiltrate into your home, destroying not only the roof itself but other parts of your home, too. It can also lead to the degradation of your home’s insulation.

For this reason, we recommend inspecting your roof regularly to make sure that everything looks okay. Be on the lookout for…

  • Curled and buckling shingles
  • Missing shingles
  • Shingles in your gutter
  • Daylight peaking through your roof
  • Unexplained dampness in your home
  • Exposed fiberglass
  • Excessive moss
    Mold or high moisture in the attic
    Plywood expanding or delaminating

All of these issues are signs that your roof is starting to fail and disaster could strike at any moment.

Remember — roofs are meant to last around 20 years. If your roof or home is nearing that milestone, it may be time to start thinking about a new roof or having it inspected by a professional.

Siding

While your roof is likely the most important link in your home’s weather shield, bad siding can bring the whole operation crashing down as well.

Faulty siding can lead to similar issues as faulty roofing, namely poor insulation and the potential for significant water damage. It also just simply looks bad.

If you notice any of the following issues, make sure to have a professional siding contractor come out and inspect your siding.

  • Cracked siding means water can seep into your home and cause significant damage.
  • Loose siding means it was likely installed poorly, which could cause serious damage.
  • Rotting siding means your home will look horrible and your siding is weakened and will lose its water resistant quality.
  • Cracked or loose caulking
  • Warped siding boards
  • Retracting nails

Paint

Exterior paint protects your siding from the elements and extends its effective life. This means you’ll be spending less money over the long-term and will make sure your home stays protected.

This is all on top of the fact that new paint simply makes your home look better. Old paint jobs look bad and will reduce the value of your home quickly. Plus, once your home’s paint has reached its expiration date, it’s harder to paint your home and will take longer (and cost more) to paint again.

Keep an eye out for the following signs that you need a new paint job:

  • Faded paint
  • Damaged siding
  • Peeling paint
  • Cracked caulking
  • You no longer like the look of your home

Deck

Deck problems are not only an aesthetic concern — they are crucially important to maintain for safety reasons, too.

When deck boarding is weakened by a repeated pounding of weather, the structure of the deck is compromised, leading to unsafe conditions when using your deck. This is particularly the case if you have a second story deck, as a failed floorboard can cause serious injury.

Similar to a fresh paint job, sealing your deck regularly will ensure it remains in safe condition. If you don’t, you’ll have to replace your deck eventually to regain a safe deck experience for your home, a significantly more expensive solution.

Look out for the following issues with your deck.

  • Damaged boards
  • Cracked, splintered, or warped boards
  • Excessive peeling
  • Improper ledger board installation
  • Improper footings
  • Deck sagging
  • Improper ledger board installation and flashing
  • Improper design (undersized or over-spaced joists or beams)

Windows

You can go years spending too much on heating and cooling costs before you know you’ve been wasting lots of money. Old-fashioned single pane windows not only create a drafty environment in your home, they allow for your impeccable temperature-controlled home to leak.

Much like your roof and siding, windows can create a “hole’ in the shield of your home and make you lose insulation.

With double pane windows the shield will remain properly barriered. This means that your temperature controlled home will stay that way.

Signs your windows need to be replaced.

  • Scratched, broken, or rattling panes
  • Warped or cracked frames
  • Drafts of temperature changes in the room
  • Condensation in the panes
  • Inoperable sliders
  • Wood windows not opening
  • Peeling paint or water stains
  • Mold or rotting stills

Gutters

Properly functioning gutters ensure your roof stays in good condition and key parts of your home’s structure remain in usable condition.

While good gutters can last a while, not cleaning and fixing issues when they develop can lead to:

  • Buildups in your gutters, causing irreversible roofing and siding damage
  • Mold in your home from seeping water
  • Soil erosion in the lawn around your home, leading to issues with your foundation, basement, and crawl space

Some signs that your gutters need to either be replaced or maintained include:

  • An eroded landscape around your home
  • Gutters that are cracked, rusted, or have holes in them
  • Space developing between sections of gutter
  • Gutters pulling away from your home
  • Nail, screws, or other hardware on the ground around your home

Chimney

If your home has a fireplace and it has never had a chimney sweep or it’s been awhile, invest in a chimney sweeping.

While you may not even notice an aesthetic difference, not sweeping your chimney creates an unsafe environment in your home. Chimney fires are dangerous and can happen in the middle of the night long after going to bed.

Signs your chimney needs a sweep:

  • Poorly burning fires
  • Smoke smell when using your fireplace
  • Greasy black spots on the inside of your fireplace
  • Smoke buildups

Cutting Edge Contracting can help protect your home

Make sure to fix problems with your home as they develop. Not doing so can leave your home exposed and your wallet lighter.

If you’re experiencing any of these problems, contact us today. We’ll answer your questions or help you get started on a home improvement project to help protect your home and keep your family safe.