Your home is a sacred place. Your home is unique, and it took many years of investment for you to feel proud. With all your hard work as a homeowner, you wouldn’t want to neglect home improvement. Every year, there are essential questions to ask about your home, and it’s your responsibility to ensure you have them covered.
Whether you’re a new homeowner or renovating a years-old house, remember these important questions to ask about your home. From your home’s exterior to the paint on the outside. From the roof to the garage and the front and back patios. Plenty of time is available to get home improvement right, so examine each room in your home and take notes as you move.
Are Any Trees or Branches Posing a Risk?
Long branches can scratch windows, leaving you with marks on the glass. These marks interfere with a clear view of the outside, while broken, jagged tree branches may damage the asphalt shingles on your roof. The largest of all tree branches could break off during the next severe thunderstorm, and that branch could collapse your roof, endangering the well-being of your family.
Fortunately, tree service companies repair damaged trees. The contractors dig deep with their equipment and remove dead, rotting roots from the ground. They’re your friends when it comes to protecting your home’s roof and windows, and they’re why you should remember tree service issues when you think of important questions to ask about your home.
Another benefit behind these services is that the workers can detect and eliminate pests near your home. Ants, cockroaches, and spiders swarm among the leaves. They lay eggs near your property and swarm into your house. While an exterminator can challenge the problem once the pests are inside, ideally, you can target these critters when hanging near the trees. As a homeowner, few things are more annoying than pests, so get rid of them.
Is Your Roof in Shape?
Your roof is over your head and protects you and your family. When you think of your roof, you think of one of the most important questions to ask about your home. How likely is your roof to withstand another ten years? Start your roof examination with the gutters; this area will help you see where your main problems lie. You can clear debris from the gutter, but missing or heavily damaged shingles require a professional roof job. Therefore, it’s worth relying on a roofing contractor for laborious work.
Still, if your roof’s in bad shape, replacement is necessary. Your roofer will tear down the original roof’s materials, then replace them with all new components; underlayment, flashing, and shingles. For metal roofs, your roofer will rely on a metal pry bar. They’ll pry the shingles right off of the roof. Aside from repairs, you could consider getting a replacement roof. An excellent idea if you notice severe damage. According to Fixr.com, the national average cost for underlayment is between $800 and $1,200, so how much are you willing to spend? Do you know?
Knowing that a typical roof can last 20 to 25 years, you might be willing to invest more money, especially if it’s been that long since you built a new roof. Remember, damage from trees and hailstorms can dramatically reduce the lifespan of your roof, so be careful. Routine cleaning is a must, and checking on the roof is critical, but asking if it’s in shape or needs replacing? These are important questions to ask about your home for sure.
Is Your Basement Protected from Water?
Your basement can flood. Rainwater accumulates on the ground. The process can happen slowly or worse overnight when you’re unprepared. On the one hand, the water on the ground can settle in place, lead to water damage, and deteriorate your home’s structure. On the other hand, flooding basement waters can rise above your ankles, destroy furniture and fixtures, and create a need for extensive repairs. This is especially common after severe thunderstorms or natural disasters—hurricanes and blizzards.
Among one of many important questions to ask about your home—has the damage already affected your family’s health? Even small amounts of water damage can lead to the growth of hidden mold spores. Soon, these spores can develop into an outbreak, and the health hazards present severe consequences to your family. From long-lasting respiratory illnesses to life-threatening viral infections, runny noses and skin irritation aren’t ordinary either. Remove moisture from your basement immediately if you detect health problems in your family. A basement protected from the water must remain a top priority.
The most effective way to do basement waterproofing is to install a drain and a sump pump to move water away from your home. Another option is using sealants to cover cracks or areas where water can accumulate. Combining both techniques elevates your waterproofing efforts, leaving you with fewer worries and concerns as winter approaches. Basement water makes you think of one of the least exciting questions to ask about your home—what if I still have a disaster? Don’t worry, be prepared with these techniques.
Have You Checked for Pests?
Pests are rodents and insects that startle you at night. Whether you notice spiders in the showers or spot silverfish crawling in the attic, a full-out infestation signifies a more severe problem. So distressing are pets that you asked two important questions to ask about your home. How do you get rid of them, and how do you keep them out?
Often, an exterminator is an immediate solution, but there’s work on your end you need to do, too. What do local pest control companies do? They spray insecticides and other special chemicals directly into the secret spots these critters hide from the corners of your windowsill, the trail of ants leading to the front door, and the leftover food and sugary soda stains. Altogether, they signal an invitation to pests to come in, and once these bugs are inside your home, getting them to leave isn’t as easy as you think.
Infestations grow because you might be missing a few details as a homeowner. Are you sanitizing and disinfecting surfaces and removing trash several times a week? Do you have piles of junk lying around, and if so, do you have a plan to remove it? Please bring in the exterminator, but ensure everyone’s doing their part to keep bugs out of the house. Pests can find homes in everything from trash to sinks, linens, and clothing.
Is Your AC Working Efficiently?
As a homeowner, you know, sometimes there’s nothing quite as refreshing as entering your air-conditioned home after a long day in the sun. But if you’ve come home and noticed the house isn’t cooling like it used to, maybe now is the time to look into AC repairs and cleaning. Compared to feeling humid and stuffy, a well-air-conditioned room relaxes and provides immediate relief. For maximum cooling, start with your air filters.
Are they clogged? Clear the debris, then onto the thermostat. A programmable thermostat is a neat addition, but with faulty wiring and defective parts, you’ll need an HVAC contractor or some excellent electrical wiring skills to do the job yourself. An air conditioner that’s working as efficiently as it should is obvious. But fewer apparent signs appear due to the frequency of your unit cycles on and off. This might indicate the air conditioner’s compressor might be damaged.
Please don’t underestimate the value of a well-air-conditioned home in the future. A home that’s too warm can lead to fatigue, irritability, lack of motivation, and body temperature problems. Severe heat exhaustion is one of the most prominent concerns of all. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an average of 702 heat-related deaths occur in the United States annually. These numbers can only increase with global warming and air conditioner costs. When considering questions about your home, evaluate your air conditioner’s quality. Are you sure you’re satisfied with the temperature?
Is Your Lawn Properly Hydrated?
After a long day of challenging work, you arrive home and look at your lawn. Immediately, you feel refreshed by the appearance of green grass: a neatly trimmed lawn, your handiwork. A yard free of debris is also because of your efforts. A well-hydrated lawn grows evenly. A lawn that impresses you is sure to make you smile.
Don’t forget to pay for a sprinkler system installation to achieve a perfect lawn. But remember, a sprinkler’s components require regular maintenance and upkeep. As for questions to ask about your home, remember, without sprinklers, you can expect a relatively dry, unsightly mess of brown grass for a lawn. In severe cases, a dehydrated lawn can turn flammable. Understand the risks of living with an unappealing yard. Expect a reduction in curb appeal if you don’t care for your lawn.
Water your grass daily in the summer, especially during a drought. Walk along the sidewalk to avoid tearing up the lawn, and never litter; chemicals and bacteria from the trash can seep into the soil, further degrading your yard and leading to worse problems later. Remember to apply a fertilizer solution and check your yard for imperfections frequently. Above all, be wary of overwatering. Install a sprinkler system to water your grass consistently.
Is Your Sewer Line Clogged?
As a homeowner, how do you ensure you avoid clogged sewers? Whether multiple drains are backed up, or water backs up in the shower when you flush the toilet, clogged sewer lines represent a homeowner’s worst nightmare. Clogged drains give off an unpleasant rotten egg smell that can cause nausea and vomiting. Blocked drains also contaminate your water, forcing you to rely only on bottled water to clean, shower, and drink. It would help if you didn’t ignore the signs of a clogged sewer line. Not when issues with your drain turn into one of the most important questions to ask about your home.
For starters, you don’t let your hair go down the drain. You’re careful not to let grease go down the drain, either. Trash, debris, paper towels, toiletries? None belong in your house drain, so learn to be careful. Even a tiny amount of waste in your drain can lead to extensive buildup over time. The worst the buildup in the drain, the higher the cost of cleaning, and the more labor you won’t do by yourself. The takeaway? Care for your drains.
Use soap and water to tackle the sinks and drain covering, then remove tough buildup using an enzyme cleaner. These special cleaners break down the thick soil that has built up in your drain. After applying the solution, listen for gurgling sounds in the drain. If water still drains slowly or you hear strange noises, now’s the time to think about calling your sewage inspector or plumber.
Could You Be Saving Money with Solar Panels?
Solar panels convert sunlight into electrical energy, a convenient, more affordable, environmentally-friendly solution. You’ll be relying on natural sunlight instead of power from the utility company. Professional solar panel installation? It helps you stand out in the neighborhood, and you can even save money if you learn to install solar panels yourself. How to install solar panels is one of the questions to ask about your home.
First, you’ll need to mount the solar panels. The panels themselves can cost the roof by installing a racking system, the PV panels, a heat sink, and charge control. Energy used for later is stored in a battery bank, which you’ll have to install after the charge control but before fitting the power inverter. By the time you’re double-checking the wiring, you’ll have an energy meter in place to track your usage. The electrical panel is ready to go, and you can test the system. Call a professional if you want the process to go faster.
According to Forbes, solar panels cost around $16,000 to install. As one of the questions to ask about your home, the cost of solar panels should be in your home renovation budget. Tracking the performance of your solar panels is as important as keeping them clean. Expect to invest additional funds in regular upkeep and maintenance. When you calculate the long-term costs of energy usage, solar panels save you a substantial amount of money.
Is Your Home Protected?
Security risks can make you feel uncomfortable, stressed, and confused about how to handle the concerns. If you imagine the horror of seeing an intruder lurking in your bushes, think of how unpleasant it would be to have your home broken into because you didn’t secure your house. If you don’t have a security system, asking how safe you are is one of the questions to ask about your home. If you believe you can boost security, consider installing cameras around the front and back patio—an excellent way to deter criminals.
You can also upgrade your existing locks. The components of a lock can wear down over time. Friction inside the locks can eventually lead to damage, and any rust in your locks can warrant a call to local locksmith companies. When completing your annual home inspection, look for wear and tear and locks that get jammed easily. A broken, damaged lock makes it much easier for an intruder to break. You’ll know when your home’s secure if you do the work.
Are the windows locked and sealed? They should be, and you need a Ring doorbell camera for the front door. Capturing video of people at your front step will deter criminals from lingering around your home. You can also add a security company label to your windows or front lawn to deter criminals. Often, a bluff is needed to prevent perpetrators from taking advantage of you. You can always choose professional security system installation later.
Do You Know Where Your Property Starts and Ends?
Property lines aren’t imaginary. They’re the boundaries that define your property. Property lines prove land ownership from a starting and ending point; without them, renovators and construction workers would overstep onto another owner’s property. Identifying property lines involves asking one of the most critical questions about your home: how do you go about finding where your property lines exist on your own? The trick is to hire property surveyors.
Now that it’s time for your annual household checkup, go over these questions again. These essential questions about your home will make you think about creating a better living place. You might come away with all the solutions needed to renovate and improve your home.