Property Value Killing Mistakes You Might Be Making Outside Your Home
Not so long ago, we shared a post detailing some of the mistakes that people make in their homes that may be causing damage, spoiling your enjoyment of your Waterloo Region home now and its potential resale value in the future (not to mention costing you a bunch of money in repairs.)
In the same vein, there are also a number of common mistakes people make outside their home that can have all the same consequences, and those are what we are going to take a close look at here today.
Failing to Trim Your Trees
Looking for an easy way to protect your house in a hurry? Start by trimming your trees. When tree branches grow too close to your home, this can cause significant damage to the roof or siding and cause significant rot from the branches' moisture. Not to mention the fact that one good storm could see larger branches come crashing down and causing all kinds of dangerous damage.
Planting Too Close to Your Home's Foundation
If you want to maintain the integrity of your home, make sure to leave some space between those pretty perennials and the house itself. Putting plants too close to your home can cause moisture damage to your foundation, or may even leave you dealing with root structures threatening to compromise it.
Grilling Too Close to the House
Who doesn't love grilling in the warmer months? But if you're putting your grill right up against your house, you could be putting yourself at risk as well as your home. Grilling causes approximately 10,600 fires per year, according to the National Fire Protection Association, but that's not even the only danger. Not only does putting a hot grill near your home increase your risk of a house fire, it can also melt and warp your siding.
DIY Outdoor Cabling
While you may need cables drilled into your home to provide access to TV or internet, DIYing it—or having a less-than-experienced installer do the job—can create major problems. Improperly sealed wall penetration will slowly and invisibly rot wood and potentially attract damp wood termites, as well as potentially compromise the efficiency of your HVAC systems.
Mulching at the Side Of Your House
While using some mulch in your garden can help protect your plants and cover up patchy areas, putting it too close to your home can cause serious damage over time. Mulch retains moisture, causing rot and allowing termites easy access to the home, none of which could ever be considered a good thing.
Removing Downspout Extensions
While downspout extensions—the long piece of gutter that runs along the ground—may not be aesthetically pleasing, removing them can lead to much bigger problems down the line. Downspout extensions keep water away from your home's foundation, and by removing them, you risk allowing water to pool directly at your foundation, increasing risk of water penetration into your basement.
Not only can this compromise the integrity of your foundation, but it may even dampen the wood framing of your house, causing structural issues or attracting pests.
Trying to Hide Your Outdoor AC Unit
Your AC system may not be the most attractive element of your backyard, but camouflaging it with hedges or a ton of plants can cause major problems. AC units need plenty of room for proper air flow to run efficiently, and so should not be impeded in any way.
Inefficient HVAC systems not only result in a home that's not cooled properly but also wastes a ton of money, as a unit that has to work harder will cost you more on your monthly utility bill but will also have a shorter useful lifespan.
Using Indoor Rated Extension Cords Outside
All extension cords are not created equal. If an extension cord is not rated for outdoor use, it's at risk of overheating and potentially causing a fire. So, how can you tell if your extension cord is safe for the great outdoors? The letter W printed on the cord jacket will let you know that it's OK to use outside.
Power Washing Your Roof
Just because power washing is good for your siding doesn't mean the same holds true for your roof. If the granule on your shingle roof is blasted off with pressure washing, it'll leave your roof exposed to the elements and weaken your roof. Over time, this can even puncture your roof and create leaks inside your home.
Also, if you have dormer windows, the pressure from a power washer even on a low setting is often enough to crack or even shatter them with ease.
Ignoring Mold and Mildew on Your Roof
While you may think the look of that mossy roof is charming, if there's mildew underneath, you could be setting your home up for some serious damage. Mold and mildew cause discoloration on your roof and weaken it.
In addition, that roof mildew is frequently a sign that something's wrong with your HVAC system, and so you should have an HVAC professional check what might be going wrong.
Allowing the Ground Around Your Home to Get Too Dry
You know having too much water around your home's foundation can cause serious damage, but a Sahara-like environment isn't actually any better.
The ground is like a sponge and when it dries out, it shrinks, creating an unstable base for the entire foundation of the home. Over time, this can lead to cracks in your home's foundation and may even allow water to seep inside.
To keep this from happening, make sure to water the grass and dirt surrounding your home frequently—just not so often that water pools near your foundation.