6 Subtle Signs of Major Home Problems

By Lindsey Johnson

Have you ever noticed small imperfections around your house but let them go until it’s too late? Check out these six subtle signs you should not ignore! 

1 – Bulging or Peeling Paint
If interior paint starts to show bulges, cracks or peeling, it’s possible there’s a leak behind the wall that needs to be addressed.

2 – Tiny Holes in Wood or Drywall
Finding a cluster of very small holes in wood paneling or drywall could indicate the presence of termites. Call the exterminator immediately for evaluation. 

3 – Slow Drains
If you notice a slow drain, try unclogging it with a plumbing snake to remove hair and buildup. If this doesn’t solve the problem, there might be a bigger issue. If you have multiple slow drains throughout the house, contact a plumber. There could be a backup in the main sewer line. This is a plumbing emergency and needs immediate attention.

4 – Water Stains
If you notice water stains on the ceiling, there potentially may be a leak somewhere. If you are unsure if it’s a new or old stain, mark the edges with a pencil and keep an eye on it to see if it grows. If you’re certain it’s a new stain, evaluate it for a leak. 

5 – Smelly Electrical Outlets
If you notice a funny odor coming from any outlet, unplug everything in that area. Carefully smell individual outlets and light switches. If you can identify that one is producing the scent, turn off the breaker and call an electrician immediately. Faulty wiring could be the cause. 

6 – Flickering Lights
If you notice a flickering light, determine whether the light bulb is screwed in fully and that it’s the proper type of bulb for the fixture. If flickering continues or you have multiple lights flickering, call an electrician immediately. Your home could have faulty wiring. 


You can avoid many home emergencies with routine maintenance. Mark your calendar and complete this checklist regularly. 

Flush the Air Conditioner Drain Line 

A clog in the drain line that carries condensation outside can cause the system to stop working. To prevent this, pour 1/4 cup distilled white vinegar into the drain line monthly. This breaks down clogs by killing algae and bacteria before they plug the system. 

Vacuum Fridge Coils 

The condenser coils underneath the refrigerator push out heat from the refrigerator. Vacuum and clean these twice annually to keep the refrigerator running smoothly and cooling foods appropriately. 

Change Air Filters 

Each air conditioning unit has a filter that needs regular replacement. FIberglass filters typically need replacing monthly. Pleated filters last from three to six months, depending on type. Consult manufacturer recommendations for suggested frequency. Write the date of your last change on the air filter and mark your calendar for the next one. 

Clean Dryer Exhaust Vents 

The exhaust vent pushes air from the dryer outside the house. These vents get clogged with lint from clothing. Dryer vents should be fully cleaned and inspected every 6-12 months (depending on usage) to avoid fire hazards. 


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