Everyone should have a house check-up list. These are items that are looked at frequently around the house, at least once a year, and this checklist should be written down, so that you don’t forget. Each month, we list items you should do for the month, such as change furnace filters and change batteries in your smoke detectors.
While many people may have good intentions, sometimes these tasks may get put onto the back burner. However, this can be very costly. For example, each spring we repair a number of exterior hose bibs. No matter how many times we try to tell customers to disconnect their garden hose, it sometimes just doesn’t get done. So, in the spring, when these faucets get turned on, a sudden leak inside the house now becomes an emergency. Especially because the pipe is in the basement and the person is outside. You may not become aware of it until further damage is done.
Caulking and grouting of tubs is another area that some forget. An inexpensive tube of caulk or grout can save a very expensive repair or remodel. What usually happens is, water gets behind a wall at a grout joint, or gets behind a gap in the caulking. When water gets to the drywall it will become like wet cardboard. Because the tiles are glued to the drywall they will have nothing left to stick to and become loose and eventually fall off.
So now you have to take out tiles, repair the drywall, then re install the tiles and grout and caulk again. A big problem can occur when you can’t find any matching tiles and re using the old ones doesn’t work out well. So instead of spending $10 in caulk or grout, you may be looking at thousands of dollars in renovating your bathroom. If this does happen to you, this would be an excellent time to go ahead and replace the shower valve, while the wall is open.
That same $10 worth of caulk can also save an expensive door. When you are outside, looking at your door, look down at the threshold. Where the jambs or side-lights meet the ground and threshold, there should be caulk. If there isn’t, snow and water will sit there and eventually rot the wood away. Some entry doors are very expensive, so replacement would be a major expenditure.
So create a checklist and stick with it. Twice a year you should go through the house with this list in hand. It will probably only take about an hour, but the time and money it could save you is immense.