What To Check For When Buying a Home

What To Check For When Buying a Home Buying a home is the biggest purchasing decision a person can make. It can be a very daunting task and you can easily get overwhelmed with the number of items on your new home to-do list. Completed_roofs_40 There are a million little decisions to be made such as if you need that many bedrooms, the flow of the house, if the backyard is big enough, etc. However, there are a few very important things to check for to make sure you don’t have unexpected maintenance bills down the road. Here are some simple things to look for when you are considering a potential home:
  • Roof – The roof is one of the most important items to check. If the roof is leaking, it can affect many other aspects of the home.
    • Check to make sure the external roof lines are straight and free from deflections.
    • Check the inside of the roof gutters to make sure they are rust free.
  • Water Damage – If the house has issues with internal pipe leaks, they could turn into a costly repair bill.
    • Check the inside of the cupboards for mildew, dampness, and mold.
    • Check for water stains and corrosion on the walls that back onto showers and baths.
    • Check for mold on the ceilings and walls. If it has been cleaned recently, the walls will look like they have grey clouds on them.
  • Drainage – This is an important item to check as it will save you costly water damage bills to your basement.
    • Check the drainpipes that come down from the roof and make sure they drain to the sewer and not straight onto the ground.
    • Check for drain holes on the exterior door and window frames. These allow water to escape the cavity walls so water won’t penetrate the interior walls.
While these are the most important things to check your new home for structurally, there are more items that most people look for in a home:
  • Steepness of the lot
  • Window size for natural light
  • Driveway length and street parking
  • Heating and cooling devices
  • Kitchen features
  • The neighborhood
There are many features to check when buying a home. Buying a home is a big decision and you should make sure you absolutely know what you are buying. Looking at all these areas yourself is fine but make sure you also have the house checked out by a qualified home inspector. A good home inspector knows where to look and what to look for, and will lend their expert opinion on things such as the quality of the foundation, electrical wiring and general durability – among others. If your home does need some repairs you can count on Grennan Construction to give you the best service and advice there is. Grennan Construction specializes in siding, gutters, windows, roofing, insulation, painting and drywall, masonry, weather damage, and general repairs. Grennan Construction can help you turn the home you buy into the home you want!

The Best Method to Wash Your Home

The Best Method to Wash Your Home 369D8C305ADuring the summer months, your home can take a beating from nature’s elements. Dirt, mildew, pollen, and other materials can build up more easily on the outside of your residence over the course of several months. To get your house looking as new as the day it was built, give it a high-quality wash! Depending on what type of siding you have on your home, it is important to choose the proper method to clean your house so as to not damage the siding. Most people will automatically think to opt for the pressure washer (who can blame you? It’s a fun tool!). While it is often the best (and fastest) method if you have some serious dirt on your house, some materials just can’t handle the intensity of a pressure washer. If you have a home made from stucco, brick, or delicate woods, it would be best to avoid the pressure washer and stick to your garden hose. If that isn’t strong enough, or if you have heavier dirt that your hose just won’t handle, there are many different chemicals and nozzles that will easily remove dirt, and keep your siding safe. Homes made of vinyl, wood, and hybrid materials are generally strong enough to withstand pressure washing, but even so it is usually better to start light and work your way up. Most dirt and grime will come off with your garden hose so that’s always the best place to start, just in case. If you do opt to use a pressure washer, here are a few important safety and procedural guidelines to follow in order to make sure you get the most out of your pressure washer:
  • Make Sure Windows and Doors Are Closed – Self-Explanatory! No one wants a wet carpet.
  • Wear Safety Glasses – While you obviously don’t want to point a pressure washer at your, or anybody else’s eyes, there will be dirt and other particles flying off of your house that could still strike your eyes.
  • Keep Others Inside – Other family members, children, and pets should be kept indoors during pressure washing because of flying debris, as well as the potential dangers of the pressure washer itself.
  • Test First – Pressure washers are very powerful. Before starting on your whole house, test its effects on a non-visible portion to be sure that it won’t cause damage.
  • Keep Moving – Keeping the hose moving will prevent the pressure from damaging your house. Use a side to side, sweeping motion will effectively remove the dirt from your home.
  • Point the Hose Downward – Regular dirt from rain, snow, and wind come from above so it is important to make sure you spray from the top down. If you don’t then getting pressurized water up behind your siding or into cracks will be very damaging.
  • Avoid Spraying Windows – While your windows might be just as dirty as the rest of your house, there is a chance that the intense pressure could crack or break the windows, especially in older homes.
  The best way to make your house look beautiful for this summer is to give it a nice wash! Just make sure you know what type of washing is best for the siding that is on your house and be safe when doing it. Remember, if it is too big a job, or you don’t feel safe on a ladder, consult a professional.

Tips and Tricks to Prepare Your House for Summer

5F7649370BWell, Summer is almost here! The warm weather that we have all been waiting for is imminent and there are some simple techniques available to make sure your house is as energy efficient as possible. We want to help you keep cool air inside and hot air where it’s supposed to be…outside!   What We Are All About Grennan Construction can provide you with all your necessary home improvements that are needed to keep your house running at peak efficiency during the summer months. We can also provide many options to make your house more energy efficient including siding, gutters, windows, roofing, and insulation. Also, if the worst should happen, Grennan Construction is ready to repair and replace whatever has been damaged, whether it be from regular wear and tear or from the weather.   Keeping Your House Efficient The simplest way to save money and energy is to make sure your home is up to date on all energy efficiency matters. No matter if it is a new roof, or simply securing windows and doors, Grennan Construction is the best way to make sure your home is well prepared for the coming summer months!   Checking for Leaks For optimum efficiency; windows, doors and air ducts of your home need to be leak-free. The caulking on the windows and doors is the first barrier to ensure energy efficiency by keeping the warm and cool air separated. The same principal for keeping heat inside in the winter applies to keeping the cool air inside in the summer. Making sure the windows and doors are properly sealed will not only make your home more energy efficient but will also help with keeping out insects, which can also come along with warmer temperatures.   Check Your Foundation By simply walking around your basement and the outside foundation of your house, you can save yourself thousands of dollars in potential damage. The biggest threat is water damage. Leaks, cracks, and imperfections of your foundation can cause a lot of headaches when the rains come in the summer months. Grennan Construction has experts to inform you of potential leaks and can fix any structural foundation problems you might have, providing you with the proper assistance and best materials ensuring your home is protected from the summer elements.   Your Roof The roof of your house is the most important defense against the forces of nature in the coming summer months. Rain, hail, and sleet from summer storms can take a toll on any roof over the years. It is important to make sure there are no cracks, leaks or other imperfections in your roof in order to prevent flooding or other damage to the inside of your home. If you do find an imperfection in your roof,  you should repair it immediately in order to avoid costly indoor damage. Replacing your roof is one of the most valuable ways to increase your home’s value and is the best way to prevent damage to the inside of your home. Grennan Construction has the most energy efficient roofs available, as well as being aesthetically pleasing. Whether you are looking for a Metal Roof or a Cedar Shake Roof, Grennan Construction has exactly what you desire!   Summer Time! Summer time is a great time to relax and enjoy yourself, so take a moment ensure your home is secure from rain, hail, heat, and insects. Then call Grennan Construction for all your home efficiency needs, and then enjoy the summer!

Fixing Drywall Cracks And Nail Holes

If you take some time to examine the walls in your house, chances are that you’ll find one or two spaces where the surface isn’t completely perfect. Many walls in residential homes are made from drywall or wallboard – and as many homeowners will discover – drywall isn’t necessarily as sturdy and reliable as it should be. The walls of your home will contract and expanding according to humidity, and the temperature of the weather. Because of this, the framing of a house can easily swell and shrink over time, leading to cracks and damage in the drywall. Fortunately, although this material is particularly easy to damage, it is also quite simple to fix, depending on the extent of the problem – and where it is located.  With that in mind, here’s a step by step guide for how to fix nail holes and cracks in drywall. drywall cracks

Fixing Nail Holes

Whether you’re handing a painting, or simply doing some DIY around the home, it’s easy to make holes in drywall that you may want to get rid of further down the line. There are lots of reasons why a nail might be used to hold two pieces of material together. However, it’s all too easy to push the nail head too deep beneath the surface of the wall, causing it to lose its holding power and result in surface damage. After all, even small holes provide a perfect opportunity for moisture to enter into the drywall and start to cause rot. Fortunately, these problems are usually quite easy to fix. To fix a small hole, all you’ll need is some vinyl spackling compound, a damp sponge, a hammer, a 3-inch putty knife, and some steady hands. To fill small holes:
  1. Start by denting the surface of the wall where the hole is located very slightly, so that you can produce a clean void.
  2. Clean the hole and dampen the surrounding area with a sponge
  3. Apply your compound with a 3-inch putty knife and draw it smoothly across the dent, to ensure you have a clean, level surface.
  4. Sand down the surface as evenly as possible, and repair the wall with a coat of primer and paint.
If you have a particularly large area of damage within your drywall – perhaps from a DIY-gone-wrong nail hole – then you may need a piece of new drywall to replace over the space. Importantly, the new piece of drywall should be of identical thickness to the existing surface, and it should fasten securely, and blend seamlessly with the remainder of the wall.

Fixing Cracks In Your Drywall

Hairline cracks that appear in drywall, particularly around the tops of doors and windows, can be a sign that the wall framing has moved or settled slightly – a common condition for most houses. Fortunately, cracks that appear on flat surfaces are generally quite easy to repair – but if the repair isn’t completed properly, it is far more likely to re-appear.
  1. Using a sharply-bladed utility knife, carefully widen the crack within the drywall into a V-shape that is readily available to accept compound.
  2. Using a broad putty knife, spread either spackle or joint compound over the groove that you have created so that it completely fills the void, and also covers a couple of inches on either side. Smooth the compound out, and allow it to dry.
  3. Sand the area as smooth as possible with fine sandpaper – be careful that you don’t go over-the-top here or press too hard, as you could end up ruining your repair completely.
  4. Touch up the area with paint and primer to match the wall, or repaint the entire wall if you’re looking for a completely seamless job.
Remember, if a crack appears on a flat surface, you can use spackle or joint compound to repair it. However, if cracks appear where the ceiling meets the wall, it may be better to use caulk which is more flexible – and capable of withstanding some movement.

Care For Your Home

Most of the time, drywall repairs don’t require a great deal of effort in terms of DIY, but that doesn’t mean you can’t benefit from accessing the help of a professional. Even something as simple as filling in dents, embedding popped nails, and patching holes can lead to further problems in the future if not done properly. How frequently do you notice cracks and holes in your drywall, and have you tried to fix the problems yourself? Let us know how it went in the comments below! Image source: Flickr

7 Trees You Should Never Plant In Your Yard

Most homeowners know the value of curb appeal, and want their properties to be aesthetically pleasing on the outside, as well as the interior. Because of this, we frequently plant all kinds of organisms, from flowers and shrubs, to grass and vegetables throughout our lawn. The chances are, if you’re passionate about exercising your green thumb, you’ll eventually decide to plant a tree or two of your own as a way to maximize the visual appeal of your home, and access great summer shade. Unfortunately, there are a few trees that you will need to avoid for a variety of reasons – from weather dangers, to damaging your foundation, pests, and even making allergies worse. Here are just some of the trees that you should never plant in your yard. 7 trees you should never plant

1. Cottonwood Trees

Plenty of tree lovers enjoy the appeal of the cottonwood tree – particularly because of its charming appearance and low need for maintenance. Unfortunately, the cottonwood tree encompasses a soft and shallow root system, which makes it prone to instances of rotting, and can mean it becomes unstable throughout periods of bad weather and severe storms. Besides the fact that the wood itself is highly brittle, it’s worth noting that diseases and insects frequently damage it too, creating all the more risk that it will end up on your roof, car, or garage after a rough storm.

2. Mulberry Tree

Though some trees, such as the cottonwood, struggle with a weak root system and soft wood, the Mulberry tree is dangerous for a radically different reason. Most people should avoid planting this tree in their yard simply because it produces huge amounts of pollen, which attracts insects and pests. Though it can offer some great summer shade, it’s not worth the extra creepy-crawlies that will infest your home.

3. White Pine

Though the white pine doesn’t typically reach extensive heights – like many other trees, an issue arises in the fact that this tree is particularly sensitive, and requires a lot of maintenance. In colder climates, the white pine often suffers winter or ice-related damage, and also attracts plenty of pests, ranging from bagworms to sapsuckers.

4. Leyland Cypress

The Leyland Cypress is a tree that grows incredibly fast – meaning that it needs trimming frequently to ensure you don’t end up with branches everywhere. This is another form of tree that can frequently be uprooted during periods of severe wind or stormy weather, even if they are decades old – making them quite dangerous to grow around houses. What’s more, pests like bagworms love to reside in this particular kind of tree.

5. Mimosa Tree

Similarly to the cottonwood tree, the mimosa tree has particularly weak wood that makes it highly unpredictable during storms. What’s more, this type of tree attracts webworm and pests – what’s more, the Mimosa is also famous for producing quickly-germinating seeds. This could mean that you might end up with a huge forest of mimosa trees quicker than you could possibly imagine.

6. Bradford Pear

Plenty of professional gardeners and homeowners alike love the aesthetic appeal of the Bradford pear tree, as it’s durable, beautiful, and requires very little in the way of long term maintenance. Unfortunately, the naturally pyramidal shape of the tree serves to make it particularly fragile. The way that the branches grow ensure that ice, snow, and high winds are not its friend, as the branches cannot take the weight and the limbs will quickly start to split. If that’s not enough, the flowering blooms also have a particularly unpleasant smell.

7. Quaking Aspen

Found often in northern climates, the quaking aspen has gently vibrating leaves and white bark – making it highly attractive in most yards. Unfortunately, the root system is insidious – sending up numerous suckers that turn relentlessly into brand new trees. In other words, when you plant a quaking aspen, you could be fighting against a forest that’s quickly trying to overtake your home.

Plant Carefully

Too many homeowners fail to regard all of the necessary factors when choosing the right tree – thinking instead about how pretty it might look when combined with the other aspects of their yard. However, some trees have deep strong roots that slowly destroy the foundations of your house, whereas others have brittle branches that could destroy property when caught in the throes of a storm. Which kinds of trees do you prefer to plant in your yard, or do you know of another variety that should stay away from homes entirely? Let us know in the comments!

Weather The Winter With These Winter-proofing Home Tips

Warm up your home without the thermostat
Warm up your home without the thermostat
After some mild fooling around, winter’s finally here for real. We’re never surprised by the cold, but we know winter can also deliver incredibly harsh storms that cost a serious amount of cash to repair, and wreak havoc on your home. As the days get progressively colder – there are few things more comforting than being able to retreat into the warmth of your home. However, having this spoiled by a sudden property emergency can lead to serious problems. Planning ahead today can be a good way to ensure you remain protected against future problems. Here are some simple ways to avoid the winter blues and keep your home defended as the temperature starts to drop.

1. Remember Routine Roof Maintenance

The chances are you don’t want to come home from a hard day of work and clean out the gutters – but a little bit of routine maintenance can actually do a great deal of good for your home. Start by checking the roof for missing or cracked tiles that might allow rain or snow to seep through and cause rot or damp. If you don’t want to climb up there yourself – you can always have us come and do the check for you. While you’re at it, make sure to clear all drains and gutters of any leaves, debris, and plants which can lead to a buildup of water in the system. Clearing these spaces out is crucial if you want to protect your home from water damage – and you should also ensure the gutter junctions are tight too!

2. Make Sure Your Home Is Properly Insulated

Dedicating some time to properly insulating your home can be beneficial not only for your comfort and family health over the winter months – but also for the health of your wallet. The right insulation can reduce the amount of heat your home regularly loses, meaning that you are more likely to cut down on household bills, and conserve that much-needed energy. When it comes to insulating, the loft is usually a good place to start, as you can lose anywhere up to 25% of the heat in your house through the roof without the right loft insulation. You can also consider cavity wall insulation if it’s suitable for your property, and don’t forget to take time to insulate the water tank too.

3. Double-Check Doors And Windows

If your windows and doors aren’t in great shape, then you could be letting rain water, snow, and cold air into your home on a regular basis. This means it might be a good idea to ensure that everything is air-tight now – so that you can carry out repairs before the problem grows to be too significant. Remember to check the woodwork outside of your house as well – even on the upper floors of the house – around the windowsills, for damage or rot.

4. Insulate Your Pipes

If you have un-insulated water pipes throughout your attic, or crawlspace, it’s a good idea to insulate them before the winter hits. Aside from simply helping you to avoid the pain of frozen pipes – which can lead to serious damage and bursting – insulation also helps to prevent condensation and keep the water in hot-water lines at a good temperature. Many hardware stores are packed with foam tubes that you can install yourself – or you can easily contact a home-improvement or DIY provider to do the renovations for you.

5. Take Prompts From The Snow

Even a light spattering of snow can be enough to assist you in finding maintenance issues that you might struggle to notice otherwise. Try going outside after snow has fallen and watching how it melts. If you see numerous strips of bare roof between lines of snow – the chances are that you’re dealing with inadequate insulation. If you regularly notice that icicles form rapidly when the weather isn’t even warm enough to melt the snow – this could mean that warm air is circulating in the attic – meaning that a leak needs sealing, or the insulation is too thin. How do you look after your home during the winter months? Do you have any winter-proofing tips that can help fight off the chill this year? Let us know in the comments!

7 Home Improvement Ideas For Increasing Property Value

home improvementAs property prices remain high, and interest rates continue to bite, many homeowners are staying in their houses for longer instead of moving elsewhere. Instead of having to pay out excessive amounts of cash on survey and estate agent fees, legal costs and more, they’re investing in their current properties by maximizing the space they already have and adding value for the future. However, if you don’t know which improvements may be the most beneficial to carry out – you’re unlikely to see much of a great return on your investment. Indulging in a garden makeover or new swimming pool may seem like a great idea as things that add to the quality of your life – but they may not be the best way of boosting your home’s value. Here are some home improvement ideas specifically tailored to help you get more out of your property in terms of financial appraisal.
  1. Convert Your Loft
One of the most common and popular ways of adding space to a home is with a loft conversion – and these upgrades are capable of increasing the value of a property by as much as 20%. In certain cases, it may be possible to complete the work without planning permission under permitted development rights, but you will need to do some Detroit-based research before getting started.
  1. Consider An Extension
Another way to add extra space to your home – something that can be a common factor when it comes to increasing value – is with an extension. Providing you choose the right materials and building professionals to get the job done – an extension can offer significant extra value to your home, and may offer an easier, cheaper alternative to having a basement installed.
  1. Install An Extra Bathroom
Everyone loves having an extra bathroom in a house, but you’re going to need to use your common sense when it comes to making this home improvement. Converting a small bedroom into a bathroom may be a good idea if you have a five-bedroomed house with only a single bathroom. On the other hand, it may be a poor idea to transform your three-bedroomed property into a two-bedroom home with two bathrooms.
  1. Work On Curb Appeal
Curb appeal is often more important than many homeowners think. It’s the factor that draws potential buyers into your home and underestimating its importance is a huge mistake if you want to increase your property value. Consider investing in professionals to help you improve your landscaping if you feel as though a lot of work needs to be done. Remember, curb appeal shouldn’t stop at the front garden – you can also extend your efforts to the back yard too.
  1. Offer Plenty of Storage
Most new homes that you view today will be equipped with numerous innovative solutions for storage, whereas older homes lack even some of the most basic options. If you don’t have the space to add new storage spaces or closets – consider redesigning the area you have to make the most out of space. There are plenty of stores around today dedicated completely to offering incredible storage options.
  1. Go Energy Efficient
Many buyers today shop for homes with energy efficiency in mind. In a world where we all want to save as much cash as possible – old and drafty windows can be a serious problem. Adding energy-efficient windows to your home can not only save you money on your cooling and heating costs, it also ensures that your home is more appealing to future buyers.
  1. Don’t Forget The Basic Updates
Remember that sometimes it’s the simplest things that can add value to your home. Fixing the roof when it starts to leak, replacing rotten wood, getting rid of mold and keeping the paint fresh are all important in ensuring that your home doesn’t begin to deteriorate over time. Buyers want a home that is safe, solid, and healthy – so they’ll be sure to check for signs of regular maintenance. Boost Your Value Improving your property value can be an expensive task, or a cheap one – depending on the amount of work that needs to be done. However, one thing you’re sure to find is that the challenge is on-going. You’ll need to dedicate time and effort to ensuring your home stays in top condition over the years. What are some methods you use to increase property value? Let us know in the comments!

Top Tips For Taking Care Of Your Tools

taking care of toolsInvesting in a sturdy, reliable, high-quality set of tools can be a costly endeavor. However, if you care for them properly, they’re likely to last for a pretty long time. Ensuring that your tools are properly stored, maintained, and cleaned could help to save you money and time in the long-run; keeping you prepared for any DIY demands. If you’re new to keeping your own tools, you might need some hints on how to keep them safe and impeccable for years to come. The following tips should help.
  1. Adapt Proper Storage Habits
Most likely, you aren’t going to be using your tools all day long. Even if you do work with them on a professional basis, you should ensure you’re storing them in the right place when the day comes to an end. Simply throwing your tools anywhere isn’t a great idea – but you do have to work with whatever space you have. This means that you could hang them on pegboards, store them on shelves, or keep them in drawers. For those with restricted storage space, pegboards can be a great option, as they permit you to see all of your options with a single glance, and ensure that you utilize your available wall space. On the other hand, toolboxes can also be a great solution, as they offer individuals the chance to take advantage of convenient organization, and portability. Although some people may store all of their tools within the same toolbox, others choose to store only their most-used, and preferred tools, while leaving the rest stored in drawers, on shelves, or pegboards. Wherever you choose to store your tools, remember that rust is the primary enemy you’re fighting against. To avoid the threat of rust, make sure to store your tools in a dry place. Although this may seem like an obvious suggestion, many basements and garages have issues with humidity – particularly if they don’t have the appropriate air conditioning or ventilation installed. If you do store your tools in a location like this, you may want to invest in a dehumidifier to reduce the risk of dampness. You can also take advantage of silica gel packs or rust collectors that come with the packaging of various items today. These are great for keeping moisture at bay, and you can simply throw them into your toolbox or drawer to provide a barrier against rust.
  1. Remember To Clean Your Tools After Use
Spending time cleaning tools after a long day of work doesn’t sound like a lot of fun, but it is important when it comes to keeping your tools in great condition. It should only take a short time to conduct a thorough cleaning, unless you’ve had a heavy-duty day. The little bit of extra effort is certainly worth the time if you compare it to the cost of replacing or repairing a tool later. Here’s how you can clean different types of tools:
  • For hand tools, all you need to do is simply wipe them down with a clean rag. If they’re really dirty, you can always opt for an in-depth wash with soap and water – so long as you make sure you thoroughly dry your tools after.
  • For garden tools, the same rules can be applied, simply wash them if necessary, dry them, and oil them with WD-40 to keep the rust away. If you want to care for wooden handles, try rubbing them down with a small amount of linseed oil.
  • Finally, for power tools, make sure that you unplug the tool before you start cleaning. Get all of the dust off with an air compressor, then wipe down the tool surface, and lubricate any moving parts with machine oil.
While you’re in the process of cleaning, don’t forget that your bags, toolboxes, and belts need some care from time to time too. Clean them out by emptying them and wiping them down to get rid of any dirt and dust. Remember, taking care of tools requires commitment, but it’s a small price to pay for long-lasting quality. What do you do to keep your tools in top condition? Let us know in the comments!

Top Six Home Maintenance Mistakes People Make

top-six-home-maintenance-mistakes-people-make-grennan-constructionA home is probably the biggest asset people will own in their lifetime, next to their vehicle.  Like a car, your home requires a certain amount of maintenance over the years to ensure that it will proper withstand weather conditions, general living wear and tear and to keep up its value.  Without proper care, it is easy to see how a house can simply fall apart and not properly function like it is supposed to.  Again, just like a car. Here are the top six common home maintenance mistakes that people make. Home Maintenance Mistake #1: Forgetting to Unclog Gutters. Gutter maintenance is a really common overlooked maintenance task for many homeowners.  It’s out of sight and out of mind for many homeowners.  Gutters channel water away from your home’s roof and foundation.  If you neglect to properly maintain your gutters, it can lead to roof leaks and problems with the foundation.  It’s important to clean out your gutters for any clogs or backups at least twice a year.  If you don’t want to do this on your own, you can hire a professional to help you unclog your gutters and check for any leaks or deterioration of your gutters.   Home Maintenance Mistake #2: Neglecting Dusting Duty. Another common home maintenance mistake that people make is neglecting the battle with dirt and dust.  Many people will take care of the obvious dirt or dust that they see visibly on a table or counter, but what about the dirt you can’t see?  It’s important to change your air conditioning and heater filters regularly as they can build up dirt and dust, preventing proper air flow and energy efficiency.  Additionally, cleaning the coils on the refrigerator is also advised to prevent premature breakdown and help keep down energy costs to keep your food cool.  Dirt and dust also breaks down carpet fibers, causing increased wear and tear.  You can help the battle with the dirt by placing doormats outside all doors and vacuuming carpet once or twice a week, especially if you have any pets.   Home Maintenance Mistake #3: Ignoring Leaks. Plumbing leaks are probably the most costly of all of the mistakes, because ignoring even the seemingly smallest and “most harmless” water leak can eventually compound over time and result in a very expensive repair (or replacement) cost.  From damage to laminate flooring, carpet, roofing, drywall, cabinets, insulation and unseen structural supports (such as wall studs or floor joists)—water leaks and damage caused by water need to be addressed right away.  Ignoring these leaks can also prove deadly if mold and mildew start to develop.   Home Maintenance Mistake #4: Filling Grout Gaps. The purpose of grout isn’t aesthetic.  The purpose of grout is to seal gaps between floor tiles.  If you have a gap in grout, you shouldn’t ignore them or simply fill them.  Gaps in grout mean that moisture is already starting to get through the grout and mold or mildew growth, plus potential water damage, is already a risk.  The best way to handle any gaps in grout is to clean out and remove any old grout and seal the gap with brand new grout.   Home Maintenance Mistake #5: Let Paint Chip and Peel Off. Neglecting paint that is chipping or peeling is never a good idea.  Cracks in the paint expose drywall or exterior wood surfaces.  This means that water is penetrating the surfaces underneath the paint, which will cause further damage and only worsen the cracking and peeling paint.  If you spot any paint peeling or chipping off, remove any loose paint from the surface, repair any damage, prime with a coat of primer and then repaint.   Home Maintenance Mistake #6: Disregard Foggy Windows. If you ever notice foggy windows, it’s a potential sign that the seal of the window is broken and may need replacing. Disregarding foggy windows may result in added heating and cooling expenses, so be sure to replace the seal as soon as possible. Owning a home is a big responsibility and it doesn’t make sense to neglect your home.  Some neglect their home to save money, but as you can see, some of these home maintenance mistakes result in added expense (and headaches!).  If you properly maintain your home, you will help save on a lot of unnecessary repairs and expenses, including additional energy costs to run an improperly maintained home. This post is brought to you by the good folks at Grennan Construction, a family owned and operated company since 1998.  We specialize in roofing, siding, windows, insulation, gutters and chimney repairs. We would love to connect with you on Facebook and Twitter. Photo Credit: renjith krishnan via freedigitalphotos.net