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Preventative Home Maintenance Saves Money

At the beginning of May a damp odour made itself known in our back mudroom.  I didn’t think much of it at first other than that I’d have to investigate further to find out where water was coming in and have it repaired.  Over the course  of the next 3 days, with the warm weather, the odour intensified and it became very clear that it was not a moisture problem but the smell of decay.  Not being one to panic I decided it was probably a mouse or squirrel that had met it’s demise underneath the deck.  Boy was I wrong.  The smell became almost unbearable and it dawned on us that perhaps something a little larger than a mouse was under the deck.  I investigated and was puzzled that there was nothing visible under the deck.  Clean as a whistle except for some skirting around the bottom of the mudroom that had come loose.  To make a long story short, a raccoon had crawled under the skirting and met it’s demise.  Over 20 pounds.

The cost started adding up.  $125 for removal of the carcass, and an additional $650 to replace the skirting with a synthetic lattice (no wood to soil contact) and do grading along the back of the house while the back deck, which surrounded the mudroom, was torn up.  This is where preventative home maintenance is so important.  What could have been a $100 dollar fix turned into $775.  That’s just the financial part.  In order to save money we decided to remove the deck boards ourselves.  Yes we were aware the skirting underneath the mudroom was reaching the end of it’s life expectancy but didn’t do anything about it.  Talk about a wake up call.

What happened to us can be considered a minor event.  Look at your home when you have a chance and make minor repairs immediately.  An example that can turn into a major headache and large financial expense is the roof or missing caulking on a window sill.  We may think a few missing shingles or a cracked bead of caulking is not a big deal but it can be.  Where is the water going?  Probably directly into the attic and the walls of your home.  If left and not repaired, a repair job which would be relatively inexpensive can turn into a financial nightmare.  Why?  Water can cause wood rot (it’s not easy or cheap to replace rotten rafters in the attic), drywall breakdown, electrical problems, and worse mould.  Mould cleanup is astronomically expensive and is something i wouldn’t wish upon my worse enemy.

So next time you see something on your home which is minor at the time but could use repair, take the time and have it looked after.  You’ll be protecting one of your biggest assets and saving yourself a headache down the road.