AUGUST 10, 2019
Anything that can go wrong,
will go wrong…
There was a popular movie back in the 80’s titled “The Money Pit”, starring Tom Hanks and Shelley Long. They are a young affluent couple who sink every last dime in their name into the purchase of a “dream home”.
Soon after they move in, they discover that the house really old and decrepit, fraught with issues, many of them unexpected, not evident to the naked eye (or apparently the inspector). What ensues is the embodiment of Murphy’s Law when it comes to home ownership.
Image courtesy of Everett Collection, https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/money-pit-mansion-listed-125-712056
Although taken to the extreme in the above referenced film for comedic purposes, the fact is that things can, and will, happen to your home. To minimize the risk, you must be aware of, and on top of the most important components of it that require periodic inspection and maintenance. You don’t have to have an “old” property to face issues either, things like air conditioning systems or storm shutters, if not maintained every year, will inevitably give you headaches, either on the hottest day of the year (which is ALWAYS when your AC breaks down) or when that big storm is headed your way, and one of your shutters is stuck.
Plumbing is another area that’s often overlooked, and one that can create real issues and very expensive damage to your home, and if you live in a building, to your neighbor’s home too.
I live in a 30 story building. A few weeks ago a neighbor on the 25th floor decided to replace a faucet in one of his bathrooms. Seemed like a simple enough job – he had access to the water shutoff valve to his unit, so in principle he could shut it off, do the replacement, and then turn the water back on. Easy, right?
His shut off valve (which was his responsibility to maintain, according our condominium by-laws) was from when the building was built, circa 1984. So when he turned the valve, it broke off in his hands. The resulting flood damaged his unit and 10 more below, costing several hundred of thousand dollars in recovery and repair to the community. This could have all been avoided with a timely valve replacement, which would have run him no more than $500.00.
Here's the risk that we all face: what you don’t know CAN hurt you! So, how do you identify any potential issues, and avert disaster before it happens?
For starters, you educate yourself on the things that need to be maintained, and the frequency needed. Then make your list, keep track of what gets done, and what will need to get done in the future. Be proactive, not reactive.
Here’s a great article from Better Homes and Gardens, that includes a seasonal checklist for what you should be doing, preventively, to avoid costly emergencies in your home. I’m sure you will find things that you never thought of, and that, if taken care of in a timely fashion, will keep your home a happy one.
If there are a lot of things on your list that haven’t been touched in a while, you should consider having your home inspected. Inspections typically only happen when people are in the process of buying a home. It should actually happen every few years, to ensure that everything is sound and functioning properly.
The health of your home is just as important as the health of your family members. So give your home some love, and it will keep you safe and warm for many years to come.