There’s a great number of home maintenance projects that fall under the quality of life improvement category – things that you can do and that will be nice, but they’re not urgent or required. Today, we’re talking about the ones that are.
These urgent home repairs really can’t wait, or at least, not for very long. They might come attached to the cost of dealing with them, but trust me, it can get wildly more expensive and complicated when they’re neglected for too long. The benefit isn’t just immediate – it will also save you a lot of trouble down the line.
Since it’s now Fall and Winter is soon to come, let’s take a look at the most important home improvement projects homeowners are dealing with right now!
“If opportunity doesn't knock, build a door." – Milton Berle
Insulate your home
There’s nothing worse than drafty windows during winter, but you’re more than likely to already feel how bad these are during fall. The discomfort of feeling cold drafts in your home is bad enough, but the actual issue is that these compromise the energy efficiency of your heating system.
Essentially, your heating system will have to fight harder to keep the place warm, taking longer and wasting more energy in the process, thus wasting your money. Might not seem like a big deal on paper, but add those days up to a few months of cold weather and your energy bills will exponentially grow. Insulation is considered one of the most urgent home maintenance projects for that reason.
Basically, insulate the windows and doors to save yourself a lot of trouble and money!
Clogged gutters are a great example of how a simple problem – one that’s easy to fix no less – can build up to serious damage to your property.
Gutters do the job of redirecting rain water from your property. When they’re clogged, that water doesn’t go anywhere and starts to pool around your house. The gutters themselves might accumulate leaves and other debris, causing them to become dirty, mushy, and turning into an attractive housing option for critters and pests.
Additionally, the excess water can be absorbed into your home, damaging your roof, walls, siding, and foundation. A concrete foundation that has absorbed water will freeze during the winter, which can easily lead to cracks when it unfreezes – and you really don’t want to deal with foundation cracks, as those can lead to structure problems.
All of this can be avoided by simply unclogging your gutters and making sure they’re working properly!
And speaking of water damage, here it is again: one of the most damaging things that can happen to your home. Water damage is not irreversible, but it sure is a headache to deal with and has the potential to be so serious you’ll have no choice but to rebuild affected portions – that is, unless you take preemptive measures.
A number of projects on this list involve these measures to prevent water damage, but in case you’re already seeing signs of water damage somewhere, now is the time to deal with it before it gets out of hand.
Remember: during winter, water can freeze. This leads to it compressing and then expanding when it unfreezes, likely cracking whatever it’s attached to. And that’s not counting the possibility of mold and mildew that comes from humidity.
Cracks in the driveway are fairly common – no concrete structure lasts forever, especially not one exposed to all sorts of weather conditions. But as per usual, cracks in concrete will never fix themselves and tend to only get worse over time.
The ideal is to fix the cracks and reseal your driveway, giving it an extra layer of protection for at least another year. This fits into urgent home care because with a fairly simple repair job, you can have peace of mind for a long time.
Many elements can contribute to foundation cracks and we’ve even covered a few of them here. The best way to deal with cracks in the foundation is to prevent them entirely, but if for whatever reason you notice them and it’s not even winter yet… it’s best to take care of that now.
Otherwise, they will be much worse by the time winter is over – and these can get serious enough to destabilize your entire home. When talking about home maintenance projects that need urgent attention, foundation cracks are priority number one.
A foundation professional can help you deal with these cracks in the best possible way, and out of all the important projects on this list, this is probably the most urgent one you should look into!
Change the air filters
We’re staying inside a whole lot this year – combine the pandemic with the recent change to colder weather and it’s easy to see why.
This is the reason why it’s important to replace your air filters regularly. A dirty filter will compromise the air quality throughout the house, make room for mold and mildew, and obviously decrease your energy efficiency.
The frequency in which you replace the filters is entirely up to the filter type and the manufacturer’s instructions, so do follow those and don’t neglect your filters. Plus, if you’re looking for other ways to improve indoor air quality, consider adding a few houseplants!
Cleaning the chimney
The frequency to clean the chimney depends entirely on how often it is used, but even if you only use it during the winter months, it’s wise to at least have it inspected before use after a long hiatus.
This will ensure the chimney is clean and ready for use, but most importantly, make sure it’s not clogged by debris. A clogged chimney won’t properly disperse the smoke from the fireplace and ends up letting it build up inside your home, which is terrible for your health and makes it basically unusable.
A chimney inspection can make sure everything is in order before you light that cozy fire!
Need help preparing your home for the season? Get free quotes from local contractors today and make your plans before winter!