Princeton Capital Blog

Three Things No One Ever Told You to Do As a Homeowner

September 17th, 2014

home maintenanceThree Things No One Ever Told You to Do As a Homeowner

Whether you bought your house this year or twenty years ago, there are things no one ever told you about home ownership. And we’re here to tell you that you’re not alone.


Don’t cringe. Rats happen especially when there’s construction going on. If they had their colony ripped out for more housing, they’re going to look for a place where they can get shelter and food. We’ve written up about rats in the past. The thing to remember is that they have to chew on things to wear down their teeth because the teeth don’t stop growing.

You can see signs of rats if there’s chewing on your house, you hear them in the walls, you find droppings, they’ve gotten into cardboard boxes in your garage and torn everything to pieces, you see them, etc.  Professional exterminators look for dirt smudges along studs in garages where the rats travel. The smudges is what’s left after their bodies rub against it.

The problem is that we get embarrassed at the thought that we have rodents. You should talk to your neighbors. Often, if you suddenly have a rat problem, your neighbor had one and started setting out traps, and cut down ivy where they lived. Then the rats move to your house. If you and your neighbors work together consistently removing the habitat and trapping the rats, everyone will benefit.

You can also contact Vector Control in your county. They can let you know if they’re seeing problems in your area as well as offer you free snap traps and information on how to protect your home.

In California, rats are not a sign of a dirty home. They are everywhere. And with persistence, you’ll get them to move on to somewhere else and leave your house alone.


There are some of you that love repainting your interior rooms regularly. Others have never known that they should repaint. And the age old question is how often should you repaint the outside of the house.

You should walk around your home in the Spring and the Fall and look for cracks, chips and other signs that your home needs maintenance. If you’re seeing many chips in the paint, then you know it’s time to repaint. You will want to paint the trim every few years since it will wear faster than the house.

Also, look to see if the siding needs repair. You may only need to hire a carpenter to repair or replace one piece of siding. If your home has gone for a long while, and there’s a lot of buckling or rotted wood, you may want to find a company that specializes in general construction and restoration.

Some people pressure wash their house once a year to get the grime off and make the paint look fresh. Remember to be careful that you don’t strip the paint or damage the wood.

Maintaining Fences

When you have a fence put in, ensure that the wood posts were pressure treated. If you use pickets, they stay above ground and won’t need to be pressure treated.

Water-repellent preservatives and sealants are sold at home-improvement and hardware stores.  Exterior stains, which usually also are sealants, are another option if homeowners want their fence to coordinate with the exterior of their homes. As a rule, when water no longer beads up on the wooden fence but soaks in, it is time to reseal. How long sealant will last will depend upon the weather, In a moist climate, resealing should be done about every 2 years. Staining will have some of the properties of a sealant, but you should always seal before staining.

If wood has been pressure-treated, a sealant isn’t necessary, as the wood already has been injected with preservatives.

Homeowners also should keep sprinklers from wetting the fence, which causes the wood to rot faster. And bushes and vines should be kept off the fence as their weight will pull the fence and potentially damage the posts. If you wait too long, the fence may fall over.

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