Now that one of our ChangingStreets.com agents has helped you find your dream home, there are a few things to become familiar with so you can protect yourself and your most valuable asset. Here are a few important ones:
· Make sure everyone knows where the main water shut-off valve is! It’s usually where a water main enters the house. If there is a broken pipe or some other water emergency you will probably be in panic mode. Knowing where the main water valve is and getting it turned off quickly will prevent further damage to your house. Make sure you’re able to turn the valve off. Some oil on the valve stem will help keep it in good working order.
· Before you start digging in your yard be sure to call 811. In Michigan, dialing 811 will connect you to “Miss Dig” which is a free utility notification service. They will mark all the utility lines buried in your yard so you don’t accidentally dig into one. You may be fined if you damage a utility line and knowing where not to dig may even save your life.
· Check the ground around the foundation of your house. It should slope away from your house at least 6 inches over 10 feet. This will help prevent water from soaking the soil by your foundation walls which may eventually cause cracking and leaks. Also, your downspouts from your gutters should extend at least 5 feet away from your house.
· Be careful about drilling into your walls when you hang shelving or artwork. There could be plumbing, electrical wiring or cables and ductwork behind the drywall. There are tools you can buy that can be helpful in detection but they are not always fool proof. You should be pretty safe if you drill no deeper than 1.5 inches to clear drywall or plaster.
Owning a home requires some general knowledge and effort but it’s all worth it. The more you know the better you’re able to protect yourself and your investment.