April 12, 2011

It’s the Roof. Again.

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Last year about this time I blogged about our leaky roof. Well, the first lesson of home ownership is that “It’s always something!” and in our case, that something often seems to lead to the roof.

A few short months after we had finally resolved our recurring leak in the foyer, another series of problems arose: (1) a small but growing water stain in the ceiling upstairs; (2) our dryer stopped working (the result of compacted lint in the dryer vent and a vent that fails to allow lint and steam to escape through the roof); and (3) water streaming down the back side of the house during heavy rain and flooding the basement.

It took visits from the dryer service tech, a duct cleaning company, and the roofer before we were able to isolate and resolve the problems. One final visit from the roofer (and a nice fee) fixed all three problems, although he warned we should budget for a new roof a few years down the road.

I started wondering how can I know about and stay on top of all of these repairs before they become a problem. HUD has a checklist of maintenance chores to help you keep track of what needs to be done around the house and at what time of the year.

Sure enough, each and every item that was repaired was on that checklist. So now it’s up to me to check the list regularly and make checks and repairs on my own where possible or arrange to have a professional do it. A little preventive maintenance can go a long way toward saving on costly repairs down the road.

If you are a homeowner, try to set aside some money each month for emergencies, like a new roof, furnace, or water heater. Don’t forget that the homeowners insurance you’re required to purchase when you buy a house might pay for some repairs. You might qualify for a HUD Home Improvement loan to help pay for repairs and improvements.
Always tend quickly to water damage. It can cause mold if not dealt with immediately and mold can cause a variety of health problems. There are ways to prevent and remove it.

It’s easy to get bogged down with day-to-day chores and delay the big maintenance tasks until they turn into big problems. Try using HUD’s Home Maintenance Checklist to stay on track. Set aside time each season to make or schedule needed repairs.

One Response to It’s the Roof. Again.

  1. Good idea about the checklist, if only it could come with a “check engine” light to remind homeowners they might actually follow through on that.

    For weekend warriors no problem they are always tinkering around the house, for everyone else at least put away some future funds to be prepared to pay professionals.

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