HOME MAINTENANCE Clogged drains are likely to happen in new homes just as much as they can happen in older homes. Did you know the main ingredients in chemicals like Drano and Liquid Plumber – used to clear clogs, is the same thing used in bleach. Pouring bleach in the toilet bowl not only keeps stains from sticking to the surface longer, but will keep your pipes clear. Buy an extra bottle when your shopping for laundry detergent and pour a few cups periodically into your toilet.
SECURITY & INSURANCE Did you know that many insurers like State Farm and USAA are now offering discounts on home insurance policies if you install certain internet enabled devices in your home. Security monitoring systems not only protect you, but help the insurer reduce their exposure to claims making it a win-win situation. Check with your provider to see if you get discounts for alarm systems, thermostats, leak detection, cameras, and other devices that can be accessed remotely.
FOUNDATIONS When "outsiders" move to Texas you may hear homeowners talk about watering their foundation. It's done to keep the clay soil with the right amout of moisture. Too much sun from the Texas heat and the soil dries out and cracks. When a heavy Texas rain comes in over days, the clay soil absorbs a lot of moisture and expands. This constant cycle over years, causes a lot of stress on the home's foundation which eventually will crack if the shifting is uneven.
Installing soaker hoses is one way that homeowners try to combat this issue of a shifting foundation. When problems do occur, a simple fix of pilings can run between $6,000-$11,000. Cracks running through the entire house may require pilings to be drilled in the interior of the home. The most expensive job we've heard was a job in North Texas on a large two-story home - that cost $80,000. Pay attention to your foundation and address any issues early with a foundation engineer, not a foundation company that fixes foundations. You call them once you've confirmed there is truly a problem.