It's not uncommon for us as an exterior home improvement contractor here in the Twin Cities to get calls for home repairs. We understand that severe storms hit our area often, and we realize our weather is hard on buildings. We also know that things deteriorate over time. But when we encounter things that need repair or replacement on a home because the owner ignored the warning signs, that's when we feel bad. Why? Because most often when you spot the signs of trouble and take care of it early, you'll avoid a costly repair later.

Here are some of the most common red flags you should be on the lookout for when it comes to protecting and preserving your home:

Tree Limbs Overhanging Your Home: Yes, you probably like the shade, but tree limbs that come close to your roof's surface have the potential to come crashing right through it during a storm that includes high winds.  And that could spell an expensive roof repair or other damage, like broken windows or damaged siding. No, you don't have to take the tree out - just cut back the branches so there is at least a 6-foot clearance between the lowest overhanging branch and your roof. Water Leaks: Whether the leak is from pipes within your home or from your roof, water leaks should never be ignored.  Even small drips need to be investigated immediately. Sudden leaks - like a pipe that bursts from subzero weather - are easy to spot. The most dangerous ones are those slow leaks that take awhile to show themselves. You should never ignore brown or yellowish stains appearing on a ceiling; they are often signs of a leak in your roof. If not repaired quickly, that could lead to rotting of structural components of your roof as well as interior damage. Roof Repairs: Even if it seems like a simple fix, roofing is not something a homeowner should tackle (unless the owner happens to be a roofing contractor).  First of all, it can be a safety issue for you to be up on your roof without the proper equipment and experience.  Plus, your roofing warranty may be compromised or voided if the repairs you make aren't in keeping with the manufacturer's specifications.  Roofing repairs done wrong can lead to an expensive fix by a roofing professional later on. The moral of the story?  Stay out of the emergency room and hire a reputable roofing company to handle your repairs as soon as you realize they are needed.  Your roof is the #1 protection for your home, and this is definitely one instance where putting something off can be costly Attic Insulation: Sure, you can buy those rolls of insulation at any home improvement store, but we don't recommend you do this yourself, or at least not without good direction from a roofing company or other building contractor.  Too much insulation in the wrong place can be a bad thing.   Damage like wood rot can be the result, and unfortunately it may be years for evidence of the problem to show up. If you believe your attic space needs more insulation, get a consultation from a licensed Minnesota home improvement contractor like Quarve.  We're used to installing attic insulation that keeps a roof and the home beneath it at optimum temperatures.  DIY projects CAN save you money, but sometimes they end up costing you more in the long run.  If you've got questions about your home's exterior - like your roofing and siding - give us a call.  We'd be happy to meet with you in your home and talk about your concerns.