Make these Home Repairs a Top Priority for the New Year

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New Year’s Eve is fast approaching and while those resolutions to be healthier are more important than ever, it’s just as critical to put your home’s “health” toward the top of that to-do list too.

Have you ever heard a strange noise coming from your car's engine but instead of driving to your mechanic's shop, you turned up the radio and hoped the noise would go away on its own?

Not only is that a bad idea, it could be a sign that a major breakdown is ahead. Not only could it be dangerous to ignore the problem, it could also end up costing you "megabucks!"

The same concept applies to avoiding regular home maintenance or putting off easy, quick home repairs—seemingly small problems can get much worse if you don't take care of them right away. With a new year upon us, now it’s time to stop procrastinating and make these home repairs a top priority. 

Here's how to identify and fix these "ticking time bombs" before they blow up.

1. Prevent Water Damage in the Bathroom

Approximately one out of every 50 homeowners will make an insurance claim for major water damage each year. Surprisingly, there are only a few scenarios where your homeowners insurance will fully cover water damage. If a pipe bursts without any prior warning, you'll be covered. However, if damage occurs slowly over time and you don't take steps to correct the problem, the thousands of dollars you'll need for repairs will be on you.

The bathroom is the place that commonly goes unchecked.

  • Caulk around the tub/shower—look for gaps in the caulking, including around the faucet. Look for moisture build-up behind the caulking that may indicate a leaky pipe or faucet. You should also replace any missing grout between wall and floor tiles. This simple fix will help you avoid mold, mildew, and water that can rot the underlying wood, destroy the shower pan, and cost thousands of dollars to replace.
  •  Repair a leaky faucet—stop pushing harder on the bathroom faucet expecting it to stop leaking. Not only are you wasting water and dealing with an annoying dripping noise, it could also lead to a major pipe break. Replacement kits are available at home improvement centers to fix the leak by replacing washers and O-rings. A handyman can also take care of the repair or replace the faucet with a shiny new one.
  •  Fix a toilet that keeps running—occasionally the handle will stick and jiggling it will correct the problem, but more likely, the flapper and fill valve inside the tank need to be replaced. If you notice water pooling around the base of the toilet, you should contact a plumber quickly. The wax seal underneath may have deteriorated. Ignore this and risk rotting the floor and major damage.

2. Clean Out Clogged Gutters

This job seems like such a minor one, you may not realize just how important it is. Leaves, twigs, dirt, and debris build up over time (especially during the fall season) and need to be removed. This gunky mess will prevent storm water from safely disbursing along your gutters to the downspouts. Instead, it will spill over the top and pool on the sidewalks and driveway below. As the cold weather arrives, this water can freeze and cause a slip hazard.

Clogged gutters can also back up under your roof shingles and cause an ice dam situation. This can rot your roof leading to water infiltration and major damage.

Your basement isn't safe either. Without the roof water properly being discharged away from the house, extra pressure along the foundation can cause cracks and leaks.

Avoid the ladder and safely take care of this messy job by bringing in a handyman. For a long-term fix, consider installing gutter guards.

3. Repair Flickering Lights

The flickering lights in your home are probably not a message from another world. They could signal a major electrical issue. Contact an electrician or handyman to check for these problems:

  •  Too many appliances on a single circuit
  •  Faulty wiring behind the walls
  • Wrong bulb type for dimmer switch
  • Loose, outdated wiring connections
  • Electric spikes/fluctuating electrical voltage
  • Main connection issues

Electrical issues are a major contributor to house fires. Keep your family safe from harm by making sure you have working smoke detectors throughout your home and have a professional correct any electrical problems quickly.

4. Repair or Replace a Faulty Sump Pump

If you've got a sump pump in your basement that safely redirects water from the drain tile around your foundation to a storm sewer, you'll want to make sure it's working properly. It may be "out of sight, out of mind" but you should make it a habit to check it regularly. One breakdown could be disastrous.

The average lifespan for a sump pump is 10 years, so around the 7-year mark, you should start considering replacing it. Contact a plumber to choose the best model and water capacity/flow per minute for your home.

Don't risk a flooded basement that could lead to mold and mildew growth. Black mold can present major health issues for you and your family, causing coughing, respiratory issues, red and itchy eyes, or skin rashes. Just a few inches of standing water in your basement can require professional remediation as well as an expensive renovation job (if left unresolved, mold can permeate to the upper levels of your home.)

Let Puls Keep Your Home Repairs in Check

Make a New Year’s Resolution to take care of your home repairs and let Puls help.

You can stop worrying about all the "little" things that might become "big" things with a Puls+ membership. Be prepared for anything by becoming a Puls+ member. Several peace-of-mind protection plans are available to safeguard your budget from unexpected expenses for all home services. Membership entitles you to benefits such as discounts, dedicated service line, concierge service, extended service guarantees and so much more. You'll never worry about unexpected costly bills for repair or replacement again.

Our wide range of services handled by skilled professionals such as handyman, plumbing, appliance installation and repair, TV mounting, house disinfection, smart home installation, garage door repair, and even iPhone repair means that you'll never have to put off doing those home repairs again. You're protected from major breakdowns and enjoy peace-of-mind protection with a comprehensive, affordable plan.

Book a service today and stop procrastinating. Puls team members will work hard to exceed your expectations and make it easy to stay ahead of all your home repairs.

Debbie D.
Debbie Dey is a professional writer with over three decades of experience in residential construction. Her background gives her a wealth of knowledge about all kinds of home improvement projects, which she enjoys sharing through her writing. She has been a Puls staff writer since 2018. In her free time, you can find her relaxing by the water or cruising with her husband in their sports car.
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