Solano Real Estate Scene: Water leaks are a home’s worst enemy

My buddy Mike once told me that water can be a home’s worst enemy. The reason the VA requires a structural termite report is because they understand that termites and dry rot can ruin a house if not corrected and protected from deterioration. It appears the sad and horrific condo disaster in Florida may have been caused by a lack of waterproofing and maintenance over the years where water slowly but surely ate away at the concrete and wood causing the structure to collapse from decay. Painting and roof maintenance is probably the most important thing a homeowner can do to insure their house will last a lifetime. People often underestimate the damage that can develop when small leaks under the sink in the kitchen or bathroom are left unchecked for a year or two. A $50 repair can turn into a $5,000 to $10,000 cost to replace a rotted floor filled with mold and mildew. The other thing that can be dangerous to a structure is water under and around the perimeter of your home. One of these years, we will have big rains again and making sure the water drains away from your home is critical to avoid foundation problems and dry rot under your home, which may not be visible until it is too late. French drains and making sure your roof gutters and drainpipes are clear will help you protect your most prized possession. In this seller’s market many buyers are buying homes as-is with no inspections and in most cases, this is safe because a buyer can certainly tell if a home has been cared for over the years, but water damage can be hard to see under the home or in the attic and painting over the top of dry rot does not eradicate the rot, it just hides it from the naked eye. It isn’t a bad idea to have an inspection of your home done once every 5 to 10 years by a licensed professional and your trusted local Realtor can usually get you the name and number of their local favorite.