Homeownership is a year-round job just as much as a joy, and for many of us, fall home repairs are the ones that need to get in before the weather turns nasty. Many of these repairs to watch for can become worse with the progression of winter conditions, and while here in Southern California we don’t experience the snowstorms and ice that wreck our fellow states, we do have our fair share of things that can damage a house between winter and spring.
The first of our fall home repairs is pretty easy for the do-it-yourself type. Stucco is a key material in much of the construction being made in California, new and old alike. Spanish-style and Adobe homes as well as many new construction projects use stucco as an inexpensive and heat-tolerant siding for the local climate. With the switch between heat and cold, the stucco can develop cracks from stress which will grow longer and larger as time passes. The best way to handle this is surprisingly simple: a quick trip to a home improvement store to get some stucco patching will allow you to apply this directly to cracks before they can become a gateway to mold and other interior damage. While it won’t be the same color as your currently existing stucco, it dries quickly, allowing homeowners to paint over the repaired area within the same day and avoid unsightly in-progress work.
Concrete foundations may develop gaps that let in moisture, and will expand over time into a much larger problem that has the potential to create a lot of stress in a future home sale. The more deteriorated the foundation becomes, the more costly the repair. Take a walk along the outside of your house and check for abnormalities in your foundation. There are mortar mixes that can be used for minor repairs, but substantial problems probably call for a contractor or home inspector to sort out what needs to be done.
This can extend to homes that don’t have concrete foundations as well; raised homes should be watched to make sure any paneling on the sides are secured from weather, water, and critters. When it gets cold, a nice dry space under the house is the perfect place for an animal to wait out the colder days and do a lot of damage in the interim. Rotting wood on foundation posts holding up subfloors, decks, and other important structures on your home can be just as problematic in the long-run as a concrete foundation’s problems.
Leaks are a problem regardless of season, but this is the time of year where leaks can take themselves from small nuisance to plumbing and health hazard. Where dry weather may have kept small leaks and seepage from becoming an issue, cooler and damper weather may mean that mold now has a great opportunity to expand. If you’ve noticed water spots near known water sources, or are seeing discoloration in drywall and flooring, it’s a good idea to get the ball rolling on repairing this. If you live in a place that water is likely to freeze, this can also become a vector of damage by breaking pipes. An already weak spot in plumbing doesn’t stand a chance in a cold snap.
Fire season is constant in a drought-ridden California, but the Santa Ana winds are what will make watching your tree branches worthwhile as one of your fall home repairs. As strong winds come from the east, our already brittle trees may find themselves losing branches, which can fall onto homes, cars, and other structures. Ensuring that these are trimmed back and away from areas that can be damaged is good insurance for the days that the breeze isn’t a gentle one from the coast.
For those of us with gutters and regular rain, clear out any debris that has gotten cluttered in the gutters while it’s still dry. If there comes a day where torrential downpour overwhelms its ability to drain the water safely, you might find yourself with a whole different world of water damage to address near the foundation.
Reasons For Repair Season
Owning a home is a challenge in that you should take care of it; a well-maintained home will return the favor by taking care of you. Making sure you’ve done your due diligence on any number of these projects can ensure that your home is prepared for inclement weather, future potential damage, and from costing you more money in the long run. If you feel that you have a problem beyond a simple fix, ask for a contractor’s opinion. While it might take a home visit fee, it might save you from making more costly mistakes or underestimating a problem that can wreck havoc on your home value.
Need a recommendation for home repairs or want to know your home’s value? We’re happy to help, with multiple trust-worthy contacts in the Southern California area for your home repair needs, and decades of experience with property in our part of the country.