Our Beacon Forum

Preventing Home Defects
By:Robert Tolkan, Kentucky
Date: Monday, 2 April 2012, 1:31 am

Common Home Defects
And How to Prevent Them

Regular maintenance is the best way to protect your home - and investment - from deterioration, but even vigilant homeowners can overlook some common defects that are found in many homes.

The following list contains the most common home defects that are discovered during home inspections:

Poor drainage - it's normal to get a little moisture in your basement after a heavy rainstorm, but if you notice standing water, a musty smell that won't go away, or mildew you may have a problem. Make sure that your gutters and downspouts remain clear of debris and that your yard slopes away from your foundation. If you continue to have water in your basement, call a plumber. A dehumidifier or sump pump can also help to keep your basement dry.

Old heating and cooling systems - by replacing outdated heating and cooling systems with newer, energy-efficient models you can save on your monthly utility bills and lower the risk of carbon monoxide fumes being emitted into your home.

Environmental hazards - like lead-based paint, asbestos and mold can often be found in older properties. If you suspect any of these harmful substances may be present in your home, contact a certified inspector promptly. You can also install carbon monoxide and radon detectors, in addition to smoke detectors, to help protect your family.

Roof problems - inspect your roof annually. Look for any loose, missing or broken shingles. Also check that all caulking and sealants are in good condition, and that the bricks and mortar of your chimney are not crumbly or damaged.

In addition to watching for these problems, you should also perform regular checks and maintenance on your home's ventilation, plumbing and electrical systems; and check any wooden decks or structures and the exterior siding on your home for signs of rot or damage.

If you care for your home, it can be a place where you and your family can make many happy memories for years to come.