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Common home problems

Molly Cerreta Smith loves writing about all things mommy, parenting, food, health and travel. When she's not staring into the face of her Mac, she loves to hike, read, do messy crafts with her kids and compete in BBQ competitions with he...

Preparing your home for problems

With the pride and equity of home ownership often come home problems. There are many home problems that may arise when you own your own home, and we've got a list of some of the most common and what to do about them.

Home in flooded area

Break-ins

Being the target of a break-in can make you feel violated. Even though there is no way to predict a break-in, you can certainly prepare for it or try to prevent it. Having your home secured with an alarm system is a great way to ward off possible predators. And, although it sounds obvious, always lock all doors and windows, especially when you are home alone or leaving the house for an extended period of time.

Fire

Having your home sprayed with non-toxic fire-resistant foam could very well save your house from being entirely destroyed during a fire. Make sure your windows are tempered or double-paned for an extra layer of protection and your roof is constructed of a fire-resistant material such as slate, tile, terra cotta or metal. Be sure that there are no flammable brush or trees within 100 feet of your house, in the event of a wildfire. Finally, invest in a fireproof safe to protect important documents and priceless items.

Flood

Whether from a broken pipe in your home or a natural disaster, a flood can quite literally wash away the precious contents of your home. FEMA suggests adding a waterproof veneer to the exterior walls of your home and seal openings such as doors and windows to prevent water entry from an outside flood.

Leaky roof

Before your area's rainy season, check the places most likely to experience a roof leak, such as the chimney, plumbing vent flashing, and skylights, but note that a leak does not always end where it initiates. It's also a good idea to make sure the shingles on your roof are not damaged or missing.

Heating and cooling systems

If your heating and cooling systems are not working properly and efficiently, you are throwing money out the window. Energy Star suggests having your HVAC equipment tuned on an annual basis, installing a programmable thermostat, sealing the heating and cooling ducts to ensure efficiency, changing your air filter regularly, and investing in Energy Star-qualified heating and cooling equipment.

Mold and mildew

Mold and mildew are likely the result of either a water leak or very high humidity. Theses issues can cause structural damage and rotting, and, in some cases, health problems to the residents. If you suspect you have mold or mildew, have your home inspected for leaks and, if you already have extensive mold or mildew, make sure you hire a contractor who specializes in mold remediation repairs, according to Energy Star.

Dust

Dust is a common problem and usually involves easy fixes: change out the air conditioner filters on a monthly basis; tape the air filter in place with duct tape; make sure the vent duct on your clothes dryer is securely attached to the dryer; and seal air leaks.

More ways to prepare

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