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Home damage caused by poor maintenance

By Edited Aug 23, 2016 1 4

It is so easy to pay your homeowner's insurance premium and sit back assuming that you have everything covered. By the time you realise this is not the case it will already be too late. It is important that you purchase homeowner's insurance that is pertinent to your home but also that you know what you are covered against. Read the small print so that ignorance does not let you down.

As a general rule there are some problems which are never covered by homeowner's insurance. These are those, which stem from poor maintenance. Homeowner's insurance does not cover items against wear and tear. This means that you must be vigilant and inspect your home regularly.

The roof, gutters and fall-pipes.

Look up at these, from time to time, in order to spot any problems, such as loose tiles and ill-fitting gutters. These could damage the fabric of your home if left untreated. Take a closer look occasionally, from ladders if you are able. Such gaps may also aid rodents and birds gain access to your home.

Infestations.

Birds and rodents: Check around the airbricks and skirting boards of your home for any gaps, which may allow a mouse or rat to enter your home. Look for rodent droppings on floors and kitchen work surfaces. Listen for scratching noises coming from under your floors or in the roof space. Rodents may eat through wiring and cause electrical problems. Take appropriate action quickly. Water outlet pipes may also allow such invasions. Fine mesh will protect these holes. If you already have rodents in your home, set traps, out of the way of children. At the back of cupboards can be a good place. Rodents may also be found in the roof space, which is where birds often take up home.

Termites and insects: Use a large flashlight and screw driver in order to see whether your home has been under attack by termites. Termites leave small round, pellets behind. Gently prise wood away from the wall slightly looking for evidence of this damage. Woodworm infestations leave tiny holes in the wood. You need to check your home completely and assess the damage. If necessary call in a pest control professional. The damaged wood will need to be removed and replaced although there are some products, which you can apply. Much will depend upon the extent of the damage.

Mold

Mold is a fungus that sheds spores into the air, loves damp and warm conditions and can cause a great deal of damage to your home. Although mold spores are always present in the air, they need the right conditions to germinate. You home needs to be properly ventilated in order to prevent mold taking hold. For example, open windows when cooking, do not dry laundry on radiators, use a de-humidifier and install a ventilator in the bathroom. Pay particular attention to cleaning, especially any mold deposits. Use a proprietary cleaner. If necessary call in a damp specialist.

Rust and rot.

There is often metal present around window frames, as fall pipes, and in radiators. Rust attacks look bad and jeopardise the item. Scrape back the rust and then treat with a product aimed at controlling rust. Wooden window frames can be a good example of rot. The frame may look fine but, underneath the paint, be little more than dust. Remove the parts that are damaged and replace.

Overall.

Your home is constantly under attack. Ensure that the conditions in your home are not favourable for such problems. If any are found though act quickly as most will spread if left untreated. Remember a small problem may soon become a nightmare.

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Comments

Nov 21, 2010 3:27pm
Lynsuz
Great tips.(^_^)b
Nov 22, 2010 10:27am
ethelsmith
Thanks Lyn
Nov 23, 2010 5:13am
pwarlick
Maintenance problems can really add up when your a single mother trying to raise three children, and you put those repairs off.
Mar 18, 2011 7:03am
eileen
Great article this should help others to be aware of these problems. We sold our home several months ago. And as trusting souls we looked around but did not see that floor was down on one side, mice were in drawers etc etc, plumbing not right, toilet leaking.
On inspection all looked ok. BUT you have to test everything.... furniture was placed so did not notice floor drop. When we moved in I had to vaccumn the whole place before shifting furniture in and then found that they had not used cupboards, used to eat out or takeaways. Mice had a ball inthe house. Took lots of work and elbow grease to get up to reasonable standards. So now off gallavanting around the countryside to make up for our mistakes. Stuff working on houses. Need mor e holidays and traveling. cheers, great article.
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