Owning a home comes with a lot of responsibility. And first time home buyers are usually caught off guard by the repair and maintenance issues that usually occur within the first five years of owning a home; these include faucets leaking, ceiling fan motors burning out and windows sticking.
Whether your home is listed on the historic registry or newly constructed, repairs will be required. Below are 5 common household problems you are likely to encounter within the first 5 years of owning your home and tips on how you can deal with the repairs:
1) Running toilets, leaky faucets,
Compared with some of the issues that are associated with owning a home, a running toilet or leaky kitchen faucet is a minor problem. However, the steady trickling of water is a waste of your money and water, and in the end in the long run it will certainly get on your nerves.
A leaky faucet is usually caused by the deterioration of a washer found within the faucet head. This deterioration allows water to slowly escape and drip from the faucet.
Your toilet flushes fine, but it won’t stop running. Or, perhaps you have a bathroom faucet that drips, drips, drips.
According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the leaks in average household waste over 10000 gallons of water every year; 10% of the U.S. homes have water leaks which waste ninety gallons or more every day. Leaking valves, dripping faucets and worn out toilet flappers are some of the common types of residential leaks.
To check for leaks in your home, the EPA suggests taking these steps:
- Check the water meter before and after a 2 hour period when all the faucets and water using appliances are turned off. You should double-check ice-makers, sprinklers, irrigation systems and washers. If you notice that the meter reading has changed, then you will know that there is a high chance that there is a leak in your home.
- You can identify toilet leaks by putting 4 to 5 drops of food coloring in your toilet tank and then wait for around fifteen minutes. If you notice any color in the toilet bowl, then you will know you have a leak. (Flush your toilet immediately after you complete the experiment so that you can avoid staining your tank.)
- Do a visual inspection of pipes, faucet gaskets and pipe fittings. If there’s water on the outside of the pipes or gaskets, you likely have a leak.
- If you find a leak, get fix it tips from the specialists at your home improvement or local hardware store, or have a licensed professional plumber do the repairs for you.
2) Peeling, cracked siding and paint
Apart from ensuring that your house looks great, exterior paint offers a durable coat that protects your home from insects, wind and rain for many years when properly applied and maintained.
If the exterior paint is chalky, discolored, cracked or peeling, or caulk around the doors and windows has failed, the main structural components of your home are at risk. Many homeowners are able to do small repairs like sanding and painting trim around windows and doors.
If you require a full-exterior paint job, you will likely have to hire an expert. It can cost between $ 2600 and $ 7500 to have a 2400 square foot house painted by a professional, but this depends on amount of prep needed and your location. Remember that the longer you put off repainting your home, the greater the probability that pests and water may damage your home. For example, an excessively wet winter can increase paint failure, internal water damage and damage to siding, which can require far more costly repairs in the end.
Other kinds of exterior materials — brick, vinyl and stucco — also must regularly be inspected and repaired.
3) Jammed garbage disposal
There’s no doubt that the garbage disposal is one of the most useful appliances in your kitchen. It is an ideal way of getting rid of food waste. Nevertheless, it may jam after some time and will need some work to solve the problem. According to the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI), the average household disposal has a life-expectancy of around ten years — less if you do not maintain it properly or use it a lot.
If the disposal is clogged or jammed, you can fix it yourself, by following the instructions in the owner’s manual. If the disposal is unreasonably noisy or grinds poorly you may have to replace the motor, blade, or impeller; this must be done by a professional. Due to the fact that these kinds of repairs are usually quite costly, it is often faster and cheaper to replace the whole unit. Expect to pay $ 325 to $400 to have a mid-range garbage disposal installed professionally.
4) Watch Out For Nail pops
No matter how seasoned or how new your home may be, as long as it has drywalls, it is vulnerable to nail pops – those small blisters or bubbles which broadcast the existence of a nail or screw beneath the ceiling or wall’s surface. It is frustrating, to say the least, and to some extent, cannot be avoided.
Nail pops are cosmetic-defects that occur when the lumber that was used to construct the house shrinks and dries. This shrinkage usually causes the heads of the nails to push the wall finishing compound loose, creating a small crack or/and bumps. Nail pops usually occur near the corner of a ceiling or wall.
If your home is still under warranty, you should request your contractor to repair the nail pops. You can also decide to repair the blemishes by simply using a punch to push the nail deeper. You should then apply a finishing compound, sand and re-paint.
5) Concrete cracks can happen:
Concrete cracks aren’t only a tripping hazard, but concrete cracks in your walkway, patio or driveway can really compromise the curb appeal of your home. Shrinkage during curing, improper mixing, extreme weather, pressure from tree roots and car loads can all play a role in the formation of cracks in concrete slabs and driveways. Apart from these cracks being ugly, they also allow insects and water to penetrate and cause more substantial damage in the long run.
Widespread cracking or sinking concrete can indicate that there is a serious problem that requires the services of an expert and can cost more than $ 2000 to fix. Products ranging from concrete caulk and epoxy injections to polymer based re-surfacers are available for the homeowners who would like to repair cracked slabs or driveways themselves.
No home is ever perfect, and no construction material can last forever. By performing regular home maintenance tasks and keeping tabs on the wellbeing of your home, you will be able to save yourself aggravation and money.