First Time Homeowner: Key Problems to Look For Inside Your Home

Gutter cover
You’re excited about your new home: stay excited by addressing home maintenance problems. 

It’s your first time in a new home. You’re excited: you’ve never owned a home before. You’re also a little bit worried. What kind of responsibility are you taking on? Can you manage a home? While houses require surface cleaning, they also require ongoing maintenance. Some of these maintenance needs are invisible until they become urgent. How can you look for problems in your new home and stop them before they begin? 

1. Roof Damage 

One place to look is up. The roof of your home protects you from the elements, but it’s also prone to damage from falling branches. If it gets icy and snowy in your area, water can also back up in your gutters and push back into your roofing, causing trouble under the roofing tiles or shingles. Small problems such as a gap in the flashing between the roof and a chimney can lead to large leaks as well. 

What should you do? 

  • Inspect the roof after storms. 
  • Take a closer look at the roof every year, examining the flashing. 
  • Remove extensive moss that can disguise roofing problems.
  • Add a gutter heating system if you live in a cold climate.

2. Water Everywhere  

While water is wonderful, too much water in the wrong places in your home can cause lasting damage. This is especially difficult to manage when it happens over time, drip by drip. When you’re inspecting your home for problems, look for signs of water damage inside and out.

What should you do? 

  • Maintain your roof well to avoid leaks. 
  • Look in the attic to see if there are leaks. 
  • Water can come from inside too. Watch for extra condensation in the attic.According to Realtor.org, you should “ensure that roof soffits are not blocked; install additional roof vents; vent bathroom and kitchen fans outside.”
  • Feel the walls and look for changes in the paint to discover minor leaks. 
  • Fix leaks in plumbing as soon as they arise, even if they are minor.

3. Foundation Damage 

Over time, the foundation that supports and protects your home shifts around. This movement can cause cracks that can severely damage the foundation, leading to leaks into your basement. 

What can you do? 

  • Look for foundation cracks – consider removing siding and looking under flooring if you have concerns 
  • Make sure gutters are not spilling on the ground near the foundation. Add a gutter cover if this is a chronic problem. 
  • Look for signs of dampness in the basement.
  • Make sure that your landscaping sends water away from the home foundation. 
Gutter cover
Keep insects outdoors where they belong.

4. Insect Problems 

Many insects want to live inside your home. It’s the perfect environment for them. Some like it dry, others like it damp, and many of them enjoy rotting wood. Unfortunately, it can be hard to see the damage from insects such as carpenter ants until the destruction is severe.

What can you do? 

  • Clean your gutters to make sure your siding stays dry.
  • Fill in cracks to remove entry points. 
  • Fix windows that have leaks around the frames. 
  • Look for signs such as holes, sawdust, and changes in the walls and flooring, such as buckling. 

5. Mold and Mildew 

Mold and mildew problems go hand in hand with the leaks. According to Consumer Reports, “any surfaces that harbor extensive mold, including drywall, carpet, and ceiling tiles, will need to be removed. Otherwise, mold spores will be released into the air, causing allergic reactions and asthma attacks.” 

What can you do? 

  • Look for signs of leaks from the roof to the attic to the basement. 
  • Prevent water from falling down the side of your house and pooling near the foundation.
  • Clean up any plumbing leaks or spills immediately. 
  • Inspect anything that has been damp for a long time, such as the flooring under a chronic plumbing leak.

Are you a first time homeowner? If you’re thinking of investing in new roofing, gutters, or a gutter cover system, Harry Helmet is here to help. Put our experience to work: schedule a free estimate today. 


Written by Del Thebaud

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