The Economics of Good Maintenance

09 Dec 2015

As a society we take much time and trouble to research and shop for the best deal, but our record of maintaining the products we buy isn’t all that good. Time and again I see it when I visit a home. Had proper maintenance occurred, the costs or repairs involved would be nonexistent or much lower.

When such cost involves a section of wood trim or a deck board, the replacement price doesn’t bite too hard. But when your home needs a $10,000 repair because your siding wasn’t sealed and painted correctly, that hurts. The key thing to remember about exterior home maintenance is that there are two elements
that cause 90% of deterioration: The sun and water.

The sun beats down in our mile high atmosphere, and roofing, paint, synthetic material, etc. break down. Some items are damaged slowly, like composition roof shingles, some much more quickly, such as exterior wood finishes. Water can be much more complicated. Commonly expensive water damage is caused by a slow seepage leak that isn’t obvious until major staining or wood rot is noted. When flooding from heavy rains, snows, or plumbing leaks happens, usually you’ll get obvious signs. Inside, the sun may not be a big factor, but watch for water damage and normal wear and tear.

Maintenance should be ongoing. Expect to have at least some work done on your home every year. Some will be minor, like caulking a shower or touching up exterior trim paint. Other tasks such as painting your wholehouseorreplacingyourroofwillbemoreexpensive. Woodtrimpaintonthesouthsideofyourhome may need painting 3 or 4 times for each time the north side needs paint. Regular attention and good judgment on what to do and when is key. When in doubt, give Thompson’s a call!

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