Why Roof Inspections Are an Important Part of Home Maintenance
“Out of sight, out of mind,” is a handy phrase to describe the relationship many homeowners have with their roofs. Even though the roof is one of the most important parts of your house, helping to protect everything inside from the elements, it is sometimes forgotten about and left uninspected and unmaintained.
The Benefits of a Roof Inspection
A roof inspection is crucial for spotting signs of damage early and stopping it in its tracks. A professional roofer can check to make sure that your roof is free of potentially hazardous debris, structural deformations, broken gutters, and areas where water can pool and cause damage over time. A complete roof inspection can also spot signs of rust, rot, and leakage to the exterior structural components of a roof such as vents, fascia, drip edges, chimneys, and skylights, as well as to interior components such as trusses and rafters.
How a Roof Inspection Can Save You Money
While a roof inspection does require a modest up-front cost, it can save you thousands of dollars by preventing the need for much more expensive repairs or outright roof replacement. Minor roof problems such as leaks and cracks can cause extensive damage if left unchecked. It is always better to patch a small problem early on than to wait until it wreaks havoc on your whole roof. By preventing large-scale problems, regular inspections can greatly prolong the longevity of your roof.
Expert Advice: 5 Things to Know about Recessed Lighting
1. Wash the wall, not the floor, with light.
Recessed lighting comes in various configurations. A wall washer is a fixture that is typically placed 18 to 24 inches from the wall (depending on your ceiling height) and used in a series to spread light on a large surface. When light is bounced off a vertical surface into a room, it creates a great sense of illumination: You notice the wall rather than the fixture itself.
2. Spotlight art and objects.
Instead of blanketing a space with an even grid of lighting, introduce a spotlight (or a few) to orient the eye. Unlike wall washers, spotlights, with their narrow beams, draw your attention to a specific moment within a room. For example, installing spotlights in a bathroom over a porcelain sink and bathtub makes the fixtures sparkle and pop.
3. Choose the right trim style.
We all know that beauty is in the details. Recessed lighting comes with many different trim options and apertures, and choosing the right ones can make even the most unobtrusive ceiling lights feel considered and refined. High-end fixtures are offered in metal finishes that look great in wood ceilings. For more minimal applications, you can install flangeless fixtures that are plastered into the ceiling to look seamless: All you see is an origami-like cutout in the ceiling plane.
4. Test the bulb color (and aim for warmth).
Not all lightbulbs are created equal. I still prefer the warm glow of incandescent and halogen lighting. There are now a lot of excellent recessed LED manufacturers, but it’s still important to test the color quality of their LEDs before committing. For residential applications, I recommend using the warmest LED available (typically +/- 2700k). This gets close to the quality of halogen lighting, though it’s not exactly the same. Be warned that some of the more affordable LED lights have very little consistency in color quality, and you can actually see different shades of light from one fixture to the next.
5. Use dimmers throughout your house.
If you take no other piece of advice from me, you must install a dimmer on (nearly) every fixture in your home. Being able to adjust the intensity of lighting (especially overhead) based on the mood you want to create is paramount. This is not just important for your entertaining areas. I recommend using dimmers for all bathroom fixtures (think of relaxing in the tub), under-cabinet lighting, and even in walk-in closets. An added benefit of using dimmers is that when a bulb is dimmed even just 10 percent, you extend the life of the bulb. Note: LED lights usually require special electronic low-voltage (ELV) dimmers rather than typical magnetic low-voltage. Check to see what type of transformer is inside your recessed fixture before selecting the dimmer control.
Landscaping Tips That Can Help Sell Your Home
Spruce up outdoor containers.
Container plants, especially large tropicals, add considerable interest to patios and doorways where would-be buyers enter and exit the house. Such displays also demonstrate the endless possibilities for designing with container plants.
Touch up the mulch.
Nothing spruces up a place like a new application of mulch, so apply a fresh layer in all your garden beds. The color enhances the contrast of the surrounding plants and makes everything pop. What's more, mulch is relatively cheap and easy to apply.
Plant some instant color.
Seasonal color makes the landscape pop as well, and flats of annuals are also relatively inexpensive. Go for a splash of several colors or a more monochromatic scheme, whatever fits in with the look of your home.
Shape unsightly or overgrown trees and shrubs.
Regardless of the season, it's a good idea to tackle any overlooked pruning chores because nothing says neglect like a bunch of dead branches. The idea is to show how well not only your house but your garden has been maintained. It's okay to prune deciduous trees and shrubs any time of the year.
Tend to perennial beds.
Tidy up herbaceous plants, such as annuals and perennials, that don't look as good as they should. If a plant is in such bad shape that it needs to be removed, either replace it or stick a decorative pot in its place.
Now is also a good time to dig up any plants that you want to take with you to your new home. If you intend to remove any landscape plants and haven't already done so, you have an obligation to inform the buyer exactly which plants you plan on digging up. That's only fair, and in many states there are restrictions on removing plants from the landscape.
Clean up water features.
Get rid of any visible algae, remove leaves and clean filters so that the water is crystal clear. After all, a water feature that doesn't look good or function properly can be an instant turnoff.
Take care of any irrigation issues.
If there are any problems with an irrigation system, fix them. Irrigation system repairs can be expensive, and you don't want to lay the cost of those repairs on the buyer. Provide information about your irrigation schedule, especially if you have an automatic system. Include instructions as to how the system operates and recommend the same watering schedule that's worked for you.
Repair faucet leaks.
A leaking faucet suggests that there may be other problems elsewhere in the plumbing, and that can be an instant turn-off to buyers.
If you receive sufficient notice that your home is about to be shown, water a half-hour or so before the appointed time. The water reduces the glare of paved surfaces and also sends the message that your plants are well-maintained. You might even consider running your irrigation system just to show that it's working properly.
Consider labeling as many plants as possible.
That way the buyer will at least know the name of each plant and can then research their growing needs. Also consider creating a complete plant inventory in scrapbook form and leaving it out on a table for prospective buyers to browse through as they tour your home. This relatively simple step can have a powerful effect on buyers, whether they're gardeners or not.
Power-wash dirty surfaces.
Consider buying or renting a power washer to clean paved surfaces. With very little time or effort, you can make grungy, grimy surfaces look brand-spanking new. Power washers also do a great job of cleaning fences, as well as brick and vinyl siding.
Deck stain and sealers work together to help protect wood against:
- Dirt and grime
- Cracks and splits
- UV rays
- And more
Sun, water, and use are the main culprits behind damage and discoloration, and it is important to protect your deck through professional deck refinishing services.
A healthy, cared-for lawn is a marvel. In addition to providing your family with a beloved place to play and relax, it also nourishes the environment and raises your property value.
- Contributes to community green space, beautifying neighborhoods.
- Cools your home and neighborhood, reducing temperatures (Eight average yards have the cooling effect of about 70 tons of air conditioning, while the average home-size central air unit has only a 3-4 ton capacity.)
- Absorbs noise.
- Creates oxygen (a 50 foot by 50 foot lawn produces enough oxygen for a family of four).
- Absorbs rainfall six times more effectively than a wheat field, four times better than a hay field.
- Prevents runoff and erosion of top soil and stabilizes slopes.
- Purifies water for the aquifer, capturing and breaking down pollutants.
- Traps pollutants from the atmosphere, cleaning the air.
- Improves emotions and moods.
- Provides a safer landscape for sports and activities than artificial surfaces, offering greater cushion and flexibility.
- Increases property value and home marketability.