I had a question on home maintenance, and although I am not a handyman or a builder, I do have a good understanding of maintenance issues specific to our area here in Teton Valley, Idaho.
The question I was asked was pertaining to termites, fortunately termites aren’t the big problem in our area. Though they are found in most every state in the US (except Alaska), our Valley is not really an ideal climate. So, what are some maintenance areas, pests, rodents, or otherwise that we should keep our eyes open for?
To answer that question, I looked back on previous showings, home inspections, and issues with rental homes that have been problematic. I will touch on a few issues that always seems to be a concern below:
Moisture. Even though we live in a dry climate, it doesn’t mean that moisture can’t cause problems with homes in this area. A few examples would be runoff, snow, ice, wind driven moisture, and so on. Keep your eyes peeled for moisture in your crawl space or basement, and any place where snow builds up or sits for too long. An example would be a deck against a log home. I see so many log homes where the bottom log which sits on a foundation, actually acts as a wick, and absorbs moisture. It becomes obvious when the wood is discolored or deteriorates.
Ants. As I mentioned above, termites are not a huge problem in the area, though carpenter ants can be just as bad. A couple of tips, if you see one ant, you can bet there are thousands. Another tall tale sign is little bits of sawdust, ants will actually eat their way through the inside of the timbers and logs in your home, and leave a small amounts of powdery sawdust behind on your floors and furniture. Do some research for mitigation, some people are uncomfortable with poisons available for fear of consumption by their pets. If you aren’t concerned about it, an application around your foundation twice a year can really do wonders.
The Sun. As with many areas, southern sun exposure can really eat away at siding. Keep a fresh coat of stain on your home, and if you are running short on time, at least do the south side. Once the siding starts to warp, peel, and curl, it’s really hard to save. Preventive maintenance can save you thousands when it becomes something that must be repaired.
Obviously, this is more construction related than real estate related, but when it comes to your home inspection when you have a contract on your home, a clean bill of health can really make things easier when you’re trying to buy or sell your home. That being said, take a few minutes out of your day and do a quick 360 degree inspection of your home. you might not be a handyman or a carpenter, but it’s pretty easy to tell when something isn’t right. If you’re not sure, we’re fortunate to live in an area with plenty of skilled tradesman who would be happy to help!