Since our homes are one of our biggest assets, no matter their age we need to keep things in good repair. Maintenance is often costly and sometimes hard to schedule a workman able to handle a variety of chores. And yet it’s so important to try to protect your home from even unpredictable events such as fire, flood or other natural disasters.
Good maintenance helps your home maintain its value should you decide to sell or even refinance. Realtors tell you that. Still, it’s easy to put things off or overlook little problems. Have you noticed a slow-draining sink, a door that doesn’t latch well or is squeaky? I recently had a couple of annoying drippy faucets replaced. I also invested in two new kitchen light fixtures. I was faced with the choice of replacing odd round florescent bulbs and ballast, or getting new LED fixtures. It was more expensive but I weighed the long-term benefit of spending the money upfront to buy lights said to last a dozen years. The young electrician reminded me that repairs let go never become less expensive. He said his mom kept tripping on a loose kitchen tile, and she put off taking care of replacement until she had a serious fall.
So safety-proofing your home may help you avoid accidents or injuries. And that helps your peace of mind. Because we all know falls can cause broken bones or may be fatal. I read somewhere that one of the most prevalent causes of injury or death in older adults are falls. It stuck with me, because of course I’m getting older. I think the article said one-third of people over age 65 fall each year. Some of those falls lead to broken bones, head injury or other more serious injury.
Falling once doubles your chance of falling again according to the CDC. Many people who fall put off seeing a doctor. A person shouldn’t put up with aches and pains that may limit mobility and increase risk of more permanent damage.
Often a person who has that first fall pulls back from routine exercise they maybe were doing prior to the fall. Why, because there’s real fear of falling a second time. And yet the decreased physical activity weakens the body.
Do you know an older person who doesn’t have handrails on their stairs? What about clutter? A person doesn’t have to be elderly to have kids and pets leave toys on the floor, which could cause a person to trip and fall, say crossing a room in the dark. Items you may trip over aren’t confined to toys, but shoes, floor mats, throw rugs or some other thing you think insignificant.
The truth is that safety pays. The leading cause of home or apartment fires are: candles, smoking, old lamps, dryers, Christmas tree lights. How about cooking? Don’t turn away from a pot left on your stove.
What can cause primary water damage in your home? Broken pipes, leaky hoses, overflowing bathtubs, broken toilets, long-standing basement humidity, or less common flash flooding in areas not said to be known for flooding issues. Truly with the odd weather patterns that have been sweeping the country the last few years, it’s not always possible to guard against natural disasters like flood, forest fire, or earthquakes. But being aware, taking care of general upkeep to make your home as safe and secure as possible is simply smart on so many levels.
I actually recall saying not long ago after having to have a tree removed that was lifting my perimeter wall, replacing coils in my heat unit, call pest control for some unknown critters (perhaps moles) that moved into my courtyard without asking, and those pesky kitchen lights, that I hate being a home owner. So what do you think? Is it any better being a renter?