These Tips Will Help Make Your Home Safer for You and your Family
Your home is probably your most valuable asset. Regular maintenance is needed to ensure it holds its value and remains safe and comfortable to live in.
A damp home is hard to heat and can make you and your children sick. Damp homes
are associated with increased numbers of doctor’s visits for respiratory
problems such as asthma. Dampness encourages
and mildew which can also
harm your health.
Whether it's concrete or highly polished rimu, a bit of regular maintenance will
help keep your floor looking good. Timber floors | Floor coverings | Concrete
Kitchens & bathrooms
, laundry and bathroom are high-use areas. Many of the problems you’ll encounter are plumbing or moisture-related. You’ll also have to deal with damage and wear and tear on the fixtures and fittings.
Living and sleeping
Regular preventative maintenance inside your home will extend the life of
materials and appliances and could improve the health of your household.
Windows and doors
and doors need regular cleaning and maintenance to keep them
weatherproof and in good working order.
can weaken the wood construction of your home. Long-term, they can
threaten the structure of parts of your home.
Wobbly ceiling fan
A wobbly ceiling fan usually is caused by an imbalance in the elements of the fan. It should be adjusted by a licensed electrician. An unbalanced fan can be dangerous, especially at high speeds when it can work its way loose from its mooring.
Moisture is the last thing you want to see on or in an interior wall. The source of moisture must be located and stopped. This project may require the assistance of a carpenter to expose the interior of the wall to see how much damage has been done.
Fireplace hearths are strictly regulated, usually requiring a 36-inch extension in the front and 8 inches on either side. For this and other home fire safety information, consult your local fire department.
Fireplace fire hazard
If combustibles are not kept a safe distance from a fireplace, it's almost a sure bet that a fire will result. These and other fire safety tips for homeowners are available through your local fire department.
Old attic insulation
Because attic insulation loses its insulating properties over time, it may be wise to add new insulation to the old to prevent any loss of energy efficiency. Different areas of the country require different insulation levels. Consult a qualified contractor or a well-informed home center expert.
In order for a balcony to be stable, it must be built with the proper supports. A poorly supported balcony is unstable and unsafe. In such cases, the original builder or a structural engineer should be called in to recommend solutions.
Signs of a cracked slab
An unexplained stain coming up from under a linoleum floor covering could be caused by water seeping up through a crack in a slab foundation. A moisture-penetration expert and possibly a structural engineer should be called in to assess the situation.
Sinks and sink drains can deteriorate, especially with poor maintenance. One symptom is a rusty drain and porcelain cracks. The drain should be replaced and the sink refinished, a job that can be handled by either a handy homeowner or a specialist in the process.
Closet door tracks
When a sliding closet door comes off its track, it usually means the track is defective or worn out. New track assemblies are readily available at home-improvement stores.
Clean ceiling vents
A ceiling vent used to supply combustible air to such gas-fired appliances as water heaters and furnaces must be the appropriate size and cleared of any blockages in order to work properly.
Dual pane window seals
If condensation appears on a double-paned window, it means the seal between the two panes of glass has failed and that the window will need to be replaced. Some window company warranties and homeowners insurance policies cover this repair.
Vent water heater closets to prevent dampness
Without proper ventilation in a water-heater closet, moisture can damage the walls and ceiling around it. A solution is to install a large vent above and a smaller vent below the water heater.
Replacing a receptacle
When an electrical receptacle has been damaged, it should be replaced. Replacement receptacles are readily available at home-improvement stores although they should be installed by someone with knowledge and experience.
Interior wall cracks
Interior cracks can signal more serious problems with the structure of a house. A structural engineer should be called in to assess the extent of the damage and recommend corrective measures. A licensed contractor should then be hired to do the work.
When a light fixture stops working, the first step is to change the bulb or bulbs. If that doesn't work, check the fixture. If the fixture works, then the problem might be with the switch or the circuit in which case a qualified electrician should be called in.
Water heater support base
If a hot water heater is supported by a wooden base, the base eventually may show signs of wear. If this occurs, repairs should be made immediately before the base collapses.