Good for You, Good for your Neighbors, and Cost Effective
Spring is here, and with the warmer weather, many people start
planning home maintenance chores. I would like to encourage everyone to do what
you can this year to beautify and repair any property that you own. This is for
your benefit, as well as your neighbors and community.
While it does take money to keep your property in good repair,
it is cost effective. If you don't take care of it, it will lead to problems
that will take a LOT of money to fix.
No matter now simple your house, it can be made to look nice if
both it and the yard are well maintained. If you don't have a lot of time to
work on your landscaping, remove any high maintenance items. You don't have to
have flower and shrub beds next to your foundation. If you can't take care of
them, it would look better to just grow the grass straight to the house.
Here are some of the things that can happen if you
neglect your home
Roof shingles not replaced in time cause water damage to the
underlying plywood, which then has to be replaced.
Gutters not kept clear of debris back up. They no longer do
their job. This causes more water damage.
Siding not painted and protected becomes warped, and cracked.
Again, water may reach the plywood underneath the siding. Usually the siding is
so ruined it will never look good, even when painted.
Insufficient caulking = water damage, both inside and outside
the home. Sub flooring and the foundation of your home may be compromised. I've
seen people have to find someone to crawl under their home and replace the whole
foundation. Add several zeros to that repair amount!
Overgrown foliage touching your house provides secret tunnels
for insects to invade your home. Large trees planted too near your home will
spread their roots through your drainage pipes (not covered by insurance) and
push up sidewalks and foundations. In some areas, not spraying your foliage
leads to ugly gray scales on the branches, that you can never get rid of.
Neglected lawns turn into nothing but weeds and moss. Often they have to be
totally stripped and replanted.
Water Damage and Insect infestation are the biggest consequences
of neglecting your home. One leads to another, as insects love wet, rotting
wood. Termites and carpenter ants can destroy your home.
Home ownership is a big responsibility. While you own it, that
home is under your stewardship. Like all things, it's better to leave it better
than you found it. Keep up with your home so that it doesn't become an
overwhelming job to fix it up.
You can keep the costs as low as possible by doing most of it
yourself. There is nothing wrong with taking shortcuts. You may not have to
replace all the shingles on your roof. Sometimes you can just patch it. You can
spray for pests yourself. You can just paint the south side of your home, which
usually takes the biggest beating, and so forth.