Home Owning

Home maintenance and repair

Home maintenance is different than making home repairs. It is to fix by replacing, cleaning, oiling or painting the components that make up the physical home and keeping them doing what they were intended to do. When those components fail, we fix it with a repair or replacement.

Some examples of maintenance items are painting trim, oiling an electric motor, replacing or cleaning furnace filters, replacing light bulbs and keeping the lawn and shrubs free of weeds and trimmed. If maintenance items are left unattended the components cannot function indefinitely before something goes wrong. If the aforementioned examples were left unattended; wood would rot, motors would burn out, filters would clog and strain the furnace, the house would be dark at night and the lawn choked with weeds.

There is a multitude of remedies, tricks, theories and products offered to help homeowners maintain their homes in the market place. “How to” questions about maintaining a home are often asked, browse the questions, search by subject or just Ask Monty. We are here to help.

  1. I can restore the soffit damage for $920, or replace it with vinyl for $6,000. Will the $6,000 investment increase the value of my home?

    Reader Question: I have a mid-century, brick, two bedrooms, and two-bath vintage home in a nice older neighborhood. Paid $215K for it and did some remodeling. The last appraisal was $236K. The soffit is very wide (4′ or so) and is part of the architectural design of the house. I have four spots that need repair […]

    October 19, 2015
  2. Is radon gas harmful, or not?

    Reader Question: Our home is currently “for sale” and a prospect has visited the house several times. They asked us if we ever tested the house for radon gas, and we have not. They want us to have the house tested, but we have heard conflicting stories about radon. What can you tell us about […]

    June 24, 2014
  3. Pay attention when planning concrete driveways

    Reader Question: Monty, I built my house back in 2001. I have a concrete driveway that is 250′ long. It started to lift (push up) in the center of the slabs within years 4-5. Over the last 3-4 years, it has drastically been lifting up. The base of the driveway is slag. The builder put […]

    January 8, 2013
  4. The Mystery Of The Defective Dryer Vent

    Reader Question: I just sold a home that I have been living in since 1996. The home inspector informs me that whoever built this home installed 40 feet of PVC pipe for the dryer vent. He says it is not up to the code now, and never was. I now have to replace the venting, […]

    November 20, 2012
  5. Who is responsible for a sewage leak in the basement?

    Reader Question: Monty, I am seeking a resource that might be able to help a client with a unique problem. They entered into a contract for the construction of a home near the local university. The initial contract was with a building contractor, who sold out to another building contractor that finished the home. They moved into the […]

    October 2, 2012
  6. What is radon gas?

    How Small Is Small? Radon is a radioactive gas which occurs in nature and has always been present in the air. You can not see it, taste it or smell it, and it can only be detected with specialized testing equipment. Radon is measured in units, called picocuries. The curie is a standard measure for […]

    May 21, 2011