Tips on How to Repair and Maintain Your Home: Topcoat Construction Limited (TCL Associates)

Even in the aftermath of plummeting prices of homes in many developed countries as a result of the prevailing global economic crisis, a home remains one of the primary and essential commodities which are still beyond the reach of majority of low-income families in developing countries. Whether one owns a home or not, keeping it in proper condition is a necessary step toward achieving safety and comfort.

Here are some tips homeowners or families, in general, need to know for maintaining a home:

1. Maintenance means prevention. The basic idea is to avoid having to repair something; hence, you prevent damages or defects before they happen. For instance, before leaks start to occur on your roofing, you need to check for possible sources of leaks, such as cracks or clogged debris inside downspouts.

2. Maintenance, as the word implies, also means keeping the proper condition of anything that is bound to have defects. In this case, the painting on a house has a certain expiry period before it deteriorates due to the elements. Hence, repainting must be done on or before the scheduled time, based on the actual condition of the coating. Neglecting this step will cause deterioration of walls.

3. Maintenance implies repairing something that has defects. And so, when a pipe leaks, we call the plumber to replace the pipe or the gasket or caulking that has given up. It can mean plugging up a leaky roof with epoxy or providing sealant on cracked window frames.

4. Maintenance may also require replacement of home parts. When a screen door no longer swings properly or its frame has been distorted or misaligned due to strong storm winds, it might need replacement instead of repair. A point will come when something no longer functions properly and must need a replacement; one must do so before greater damage occurs.

5. Maintenance can mean enhancing even when no damage has occurred. Maintaining a home may simply mean improving its value with upgrades in decoration or function (a new paint coating or an extension room). Turning a garage into a new room may actually prevent deterioration of the home due to constant exhaust gases and vibrations coming from the garage.

6. Finally, maintenance can also mean diversifying the utilization of the home. When a family takes a month-long vacation, it might be a good idea to lease it out to vacationers, especially if its location merits such a practice, or if the house has certain unique features that provides appeal for renters. Some homes are often rented by movie companies for its unique look or location. Although that may led to rapid deterioration of the home, the monetary return can cover up any physical deterioration. The best argument for doing so is the historical or "celebrity" value that the home gains from the temporary rental.

Most things decrease in quality and value through misuse or lack of use. Using a home fully, while maintaining it properly, can be the best option for homeowners. Compared to vacation homes that are left vacant and unused more than half of the year, a fully utilized home has a better chance of gaining value as well as character. For the ordinary homeowner, maintaining a home is the only way of prolonging its usability while keeping it value intact, if not appreciating.

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