As we close out 2020 and look ahead to 2021, we reflect on the accomplishments we’ve made and the lessons we’ve learned, and especially… the unexpected events this past year brought our way. No one knows what 2021 has in store. However, as the leading (and pandemic friendly) home repair company, we can give you a heads up on the most common items in your home that should be repaired, especially if you plan on putting your home on the market.
These are the items that PunchList repaired most frequently in 2020:
1. Faucet Repairs
A leaky faucet is a nuisance that every homeowner faces at some point. The sound of incessant dripping is easy to overlook, but even slow drips can lead to high water bills, wasted water, and the potential for water damage… even from the smallest leak.
As with anything else, faucets deteriorate with age. If your faucet is old, it might be time to replace it with a new one. Most faucets have a lifespan of about ten years before they require major repairs or replacement.
2. Water Diverter Repair
Is your shower experience subpar? The problem may not be your plumbing or showerhead, but a small yet vital part of the bathtub spout — the water diverter. A water diverter is a small knob that diverts water flow from your bathtub faucet to the showerhead. Diverters naturally wear out and break down over time and eventually need repairing or replacing. Luckily, this repair isn’t too costly to fix, but your water bill can become expensive if you take your time getting this repair.
3. Inoperable GFCI Outlets
GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) outlets are an essential preventative measure located in your bathrooms, kitchen, and laundry room. Any outlet that is near water should have GFCI protection to prevent potential electric shock in case water comes in contact with the outlet.
A GFCI outlet contains a sensor that monitors the flow of the electrical current through the wires. When the GFCI senses variation from the normal current, it shuts off electricity flow in the outlet. Periodic testing by pushing the ‘test’ and ‘reset’ buttons is crucial to ensure that the outlet is functional at all times.
4. Wood Rot
What causes wood to rot? The short answer is moisture.
The primary cause of wood rot around windows, doors, and siding is water running toward your home. Improper flashing, older siding, and leaky gutters can result in water pooling and building up beneath your house’s exterior trim.
Termites and other bugs love this moisture and find these cool, damp areas ideal for setting up their own homes. When these critters get into your woodwork and destroy it, you often need professional assistance to address the problem.
Few things send homebuyers into a panic as quickly as discovering wood rot in their potential new home as it can lead to many structural problems, resulting in high repair costs. Wood rot could also eat away at your resale value. Contact a PunchList Pro to evaluate and repair any areas that seem suspicious.
5. Service HVAC Systems
Air conditioning and heating systems require regular maintenance for them to work efficiently. PunchList Pros encourage homeowners to have their HVAC system serviced twice a year, once in the spring and once in the fall. A spring tune-up examines the air conditioning unit to prepare for summer heat, and a fall tune-up examines the furnace to prepare for colder months.
Preventative maintenance prolongs the unit’s life, reduces the frequency of breakdowns, conserves energy, lowers utility bills, and ensures a more comfortable indoor air environment. Also, don’t forget to change your air filter once a month! A clean filter ensures that air flows smoothly through the system, reducing energy usage by up to 15 percent and improving the overall quality of the air you are breathing in.
6. Roof Shingles Repair
The average lifespan of a roof is approximately 20 years. However, weathering and accidents can drive homeowners to have parts of their roofs repaired or even replaced long before that milestone.
Depending on where you live, the shingles on your roof have exposure to elements like rain, snow, heat, and high winds. Over time, shingles will weather and lose granules, brake, split, lift, or curl, depending on what type of weather they experience. When your roof loses its protective barrier, leaks are likely to happen. If your roof starts leaking, it can lead to wood rot and other repairs that will become costly.
7. Slow Drain Repair
A slow drain is a type of plumbing problem that can sneak up on you. It may be something you ignore until you find yourself showering ankle-deep in dirty water or brushing your teeth over a sink filling up with toothpaste.
Drains of showers, bathtubs, and sinks will become slow if they become clogged with debris, soap scum, or hair. Not only does a clogged, slow-moving drain require you to clean your sink or bathtub more often, but it can lead to significant plumbing issues that could end up causing extensive interior damage or broken water pipes. By calling a PunchList Pro as soon as you notice slow drains, you can pinpoint the source of the problem and correct it before it escalates into more serious repairs.
8. Replacing Damaged/Missing Attic Insulation
Properly insulating your attic is one of the simplest ways to keep a lid on your electric bill. Insulation keeps warm air from entering during the summer months and cold air from entering when the temperature drops. Inadequate attic insulation can not only run up your electric bill but also lead to discomfort in your home.
Proper attic insulation also helps prevent warm and cold air transfer between the two different temperature zones of the attic and the living space that can cause mold and mildew where insulation is damaged or missing.
9. Adjusting Interior Doors and Windows for Proper Operation
There are many possible underlying reasons that doors and windows may not close properly.
Doors sticking due to misaligned door hinges are a common operation issue. The misalignment has many possible reasons: banging the doors, loose screws, kids playing with the doors, and so on. Foundation problems are the most severe cause of door operation issues.
If it is difficult to open and close your windows, it suggests that there may be an issue with the window balances. There are several types of window balances depending on the age of your windows. The most common cause of non-operating windows is caused by dirt and grit that can build up over time.
10. Double-Tapped Wires at the Electrical Panel
A double-tapped circuit breaker is an electrical defect inside an electrical panel. A double-tap occurs when two wires connect to a single circuit breaker only engineered to accept one wire.
The problem with double-tapping is that it overloads a circuit breaker since it isn’t designed for two wires, this can also cause loose wire connections at the circuit breaker. A loose connection can potentially spark, continuously trip, or overheat…And, in worst cases start a fire! Double-taps are only visible when the panel cover is removed and is the most common electric panel defect that we repair at PunchList. Have your electric panel checked often to prevent this fire hazard!
When it comes to your home, an ounce of prevention is certainly worth a pound of cure. Routine maintenance is crucial to your home’s appearance and overall health. It also helps save money while giving you peace of mind when it comes to your biggest investment.