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By Mark Kirkpatrick, Mountain Construction Enterprises
Many people feel they should wait until the last minute to do home repairs, because of the money it will take or their busy schedule. This is usually not a problem. However some problems, if left unchecked, can lead to a giant repair bill. The good news is the trouble signs of these types of repairs are easy to spot if you know what you're looking for.
1) Rainwater runoff
If you don't already know, rainwater can lead to about 90 percent of all problems with your home. You should check the entire gutter system seasonally for clogs, corrosion, separations between connections, etc. This is especially an issue we should be aware of here in the High Country because we live in a very wet region.
2) Roof and Siding
The roof is very vulnerable to problems because of the exposure it receives. A good way to check your roof for cracked, curled or missing shingles is to take binoculars on a sunny day and spot them from the ground. You should also check flashing around the chimney, skylights and vents.
Siding is also an area you should check often for leaks, especially around windows and doors. A nice tip is just to take a $5 dollar tube of caulking to fill the spaces. Here in the mountains, it is important to check the siding under the roof eaves for water stains. This could be a sign of ice damage.
3) Pest Infestations
Another reason to make sure your gutters are in good shape and your soil is graded properly (sloping away from the house) is because termites and carpenter ants gravitate to moist soil and rotting wood. Though we have few instances of termites in the mountains because of our cooler climate, it is important to look for signs of these pests.
It only takes termites a few short years to bore through your home. Here in the South some have been known to eat through studs and floorboards in a matter of months. The best way to check for termites is to probe the sill plate that sits on top of the foundation with a screwdriver to check for rotting wood.
4) Mold and Mildew
No home is immune to mold or mildew. The hot temperature can drive small amounts of water trapped in the structure to condense on colder interior spaces, which leads to mold. A few of the warning signs are dank air, musty odors , and family members with chronic runny noses or allergy symptoms. For suspected mold and mildew concerns we recommend you call for professional consultation from a licensed contractor or home inspector.
5) Foundation Cracks
Cracks have various meanings. Some are harmless but some can lead to trouble. A general rule of thumb is if you can stick a pencil into the crack it might be a sign of a major problem. You should mark smaller cracks with tape and monitor their progress. The longer you wait to fix the problem the more costly it will be.
Mountain Construction are North Carolina Builders that specialize in New Home Construction. We also can provide Remodeling services, and are happy to work with you on your next cabin. Over the years, we have accomplished a great deal as Timber Frame Builders and we invite you to take a look through our site to see some examples of our work.
Mountain Construction has been Project Managers and timber subcontractors with HearthStone Log & Timber Frame Homes since 1987. Hearthstone is the premier manufacturer of log homes and timber frame homes. Located in East Tennessee, our designers can provide breathtaking log home and timber frame home plans from our collection, or from your designer's or architect's plan.
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See more photos of our work.