If you own property, whether it’s commercial or residential, you know there will always be something that needs to be fixed. It might be a simple issue like a light fixture, or it could be more serious, like a leaky roof or a plumbing problem.
Whatever the case, there are often signs that will signal that maintenance is due if you don’t already have a regular plan.
- A loud transformer
If you have a transformer on your property, there are some signs to look for that can indicate it needs maintenance. Louder-than-usual noise is at the top of the list. Most transformers will hum, but they shouldn’t be abnormally loud. If you notice a change in the level of noise or pitch of your transformer’s hum, get it checked out by a professional as soon as possible.
Other signs that your transformer needs maintenance and might be failing include a unit that starts shaking, significantly dark insulation during inspections, shifted coils, and failed tests.
For example, if your dry type transformer fails a dielectric absorption test with a Polarization Index (PI) ratio under 2.0, it needs some attention.
- Water damage
The consequences of ignoring water damage can be devastating to your wallet. If you spot any kind of water damage, whether it’s in the ceiling, a wall, or the floor, address it immediately. When water starts to become visible like that, it indicates a much bigger problem is happening beneath the surface.
For example, a leak in the roof might go on for months or even years before finally trickling down where you notice it coming through the plaster. By the time you notice, your roof’s sheathing could be rotting.
Mold and mildew form fast and multiply faster. If you spot any kind of mold anywhere, it means there’s a maintenance issue that needs to be addressed. It could be that condensation is coming in through the walls or windows, or it might just be a leaky pipe under the sink. Either way, mold is a sign that maintenance is needed, and it’s something that shouldn’t be postponed.
- Your fires aren’t burning right
Getting a yearly chimney inspection and cleaning is crucial for your safety. So much can happen in a year without your knowledge. If you’re struggling to get fires going in your fireplace or wood stove and you’re not accidentally using green wood or making them wrong, it could be a sign that your chimney is clogged with debris. This is a big possibility if you don’t have a chimney cap.
If your chimney is clogged, building a fire will push the smoke, including dangerous gasses, right back into your home, putting your life at risk. If you haven’t had your chimney cleaned or inspected in a while, difficulty building or maintaining a fire is a key sign that it’s time to do some chimney maintenance.
- Your roof is missing shingles
At first glance, it might seem like a couple of missing shingles aren’t anything to worry about, but consider that shingles protect your roof from rainwater, and if there are any gaps, water will follow the path of least resistance right into your building.
If you spot a missing shingle, or even one that has been broken in a storm, it’s worth replacing right away. Hopefully, you already get yearly roof inspections because that’s the easiest way to know when you have an issue without climbing up on the roof yourself. Many roofing companies will fix broken or missing shingles on the spot.
- Condensation on the windows
If you have condensation forming on the windows, you likely have a draft coming through that needs to be sealed. This can happen when a window frame is not perfectly installed or the window itself is crooked. Sometimes, all it takes is a simple draft sealing kit you can get from the hardware store, but if you need to be able to open the window, you’ll need a more permanent solution.
- You have broken concrete
Whether it’s your driveway or backyard patio, broken concrete is something you’ll want to fix quickly because it can be a safety hazard for trips and falls. It also just looks bad, and fixing a broken concrete driveway will go a long way to support improving your curb appeal.
Address maintenance needs quickly
No matter how small it seems, addressing issues quickly is the best way to keep your property in good shape. However, don’t wait for a sign. Conduct routine inspections and perform regular maintenance to be proactive about protecting your investment.