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Under The Surface: Invisible Issues Sabotaging The Home

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When making changes and updates to the home, we most often think of what we can do on the surface. The renovations, the new décor additions, the updates to the fixtures. In fact, some might say we put too much focus on the surface and not enough on what’s lurking beneath. Here, we’re going to look at some of the changes and checks you can make to ensure your home is in good health as well as looking great. After all, there’s nothing that can undermine your style better than a long-hidden issue coming to light.

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Need a breath of fresh air?

Let’s look at one of the aspects of the home that might be invisible but is easy to feel if you spend any real amount of time with it. Air quality isn’t the first thing a homeowner tends to think about, but it has a big impact on the health of the home, as well as your sense of comfort. The air in the home can have plenty of toxins and allergens in it that can exacerbate respiratory conditions as well as making you and the family sick. It might be worth looking into a smart air filter or a dehumidifier that can clear up the air can give you some space to finally breathe.

Those pesky leaks

One hidden problem that can contribute majorly to the air quality (or lack thereof) in the home is how well your home can keep the outdoors out. The boundary of the home has to be maintained for air quality, to fight damp, and to make it easier to manage the temperature in the home. Air leaks can sabotage all of that by giving the outside a way in, letting in rain and wind and making the home a much less pleasant place to be in general. It’s not too difficult to find air leaks and seal them up with caulk. It’s a quick, yet effective fix but so many homeowners don’t so much as think about it.

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Things are looking up

There are few leaks more serious than a leaky roof, however. The majority of roofs have a life cycle of about twenty-five years. If you haven’t been living in a house that long, it can be difficult to tell when it’s time to replace. For that reason, it’s worth inspecting the roof twice a year, once in Spring and once in Autumn. This way, if there are cracks, missing tiles, or the roof is simply becoming porous, you can get them changed or repaired in time before the weather undergoes major changes. Having a roof that’s well past its best will make the home freeze in winter, boil in summer, and will make it easy for the rain to infiltrate your home all year round. The water damage that can go uninspected in your attic can cost a lot more to repair than the roof alone.

Your unwanted guest

Speaking of the attic, one issue that can go unseen for a long time, and get worse as it does, is the presence of pests in your home. Some people might think “out of sight, out of mind”, but that’s a dangerous mindset to take. First of all, animals in your attic leave droppings, which are highly unsanitary and can leave your family vulnerable to disease. The longer they remain, the more damage they can cause by chewing and scratching on wood, and the worse the home will smell thanks to them. Furthermore, the majority of animals in the attic are expectant females. This means that before long, you could be dealing with not one pest, but a whole host of animals in your home. If you suspect you have a pest, it’s best to contact specialists who can help remove them as soon as possible.

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To the windows

Back to the idea of protecting your boundary, it’s always worth keeping a close eye on your windows. Not only to fix the aforementioned air leaks, but windows lose their ability to thoroughly seal the home after some time. If you’re moving into an older home, it’s better to assume that you’re going to need a window replacement. They will be much sturdier, not to mention more energy efficient. You might not necessarily feel the impact of older windows in the form of a draft, but they are more likely to cause your energy bills to skyrocket by making it harder to warm or cool the home.

Old and busted HVAC

Speaking of controlling the climate in your home, that’s what your HVAC plays a central role. Many people simply don’t maintain their air conditioner or their heating as they need to. Moisture and dust can build up in the AC, for instance, to that point that its ability to distribute cool air is greatly diminished and it’s more prone to breakages. Even the little air vents in the home need cleaning so that air can flow as its supposed to. Take the time to inspect your HVAC and figure out whether you need a repair or if it’s time to upgrade.

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Drainage is a drain

Just as we tend to focus on fashion rather than function, we also tend to forego the exterior or the home for the interior. However, besides the roof, the most important part of your home’s exterior health is the guttering surrounding that roof. Your drainage system plays a vital role in directing water away from the home. A gutter cleaning tool can help you ensure that dirt, debris, twigs, and other gunk doesn’t pile up, leading to a blockage. When the gutter is blocked, it means that water can’t flow its usual route and has to find another place to go. That other place tends to most often be a crack or tiny gap in the exterior that can lead to serious damp and mold issues.

Whether you’re buying a new home, selling yours, or it’s simply been a while, it’s worth inspecting the little hidden details of the home. You might spot something that could become a crisis if it went undiscovered.


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Karen LeBlanc

Karen LeBlanc is a travel host and writer with a popular travel show, The Design Tourist, and a companion lifestyle blog. As a widely published travel journalist and content creator, Karen is a member of the North American Travel Journalists Association. She also serves as the Design and Travel editor of the national lifestyle magazine, LaPalme. Karen believes that every destination has a story to tell through its local art, architecture, culture, and craft. This immersive creative exploration begins with authentic accommodations where the narrative of place unfolds through art, accessories, accouterments, furnishings, fixtures, and food. 

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