#2. Leaks and Infestations
Outside of natural disasters, the most destructive force on any house is time. Your new home has likely been standing for quite awhile so there is a good chance it has a few leaks. Depending on the damage, these little annoyance can take a day or up to eight weeks to fix. Inspect the ceilings for discolorations and swells. A common misconception in old houses is that the thick, black water sometimes cascading down the walls is a leak. It's not. That is your house reminding you that misery comes at last to the healthy man and the end of life is sadness. Collect this water as well as you can with buckets and mop up the rest to avoid wood-rot. If you encounter an actual leak, you will need to open that section of roof by prying away the shingles and determine if the wood is warped or damaged underneath. If it is, you will need to replace entirely new beams to maintain the structural stability of your nightmare.
As you inspect the roof for wood rot, keep an eye out for animal infestations. You may encounter seething clouds of insects and vermin, so many that they appear to move in unison, creating a filthy portal in the center of their swarm to another dimension. You may, in fact, start to feel them crawling across your mind as well, scraping and clawing at the inside of your skull. Enjoy it. You understand now that at the heart of all horror lives pleasure. The blood of fear has stained your fingernails and the dirt of your basement. In its absence comes power. Limitless power. The insects, the spiders, the rats -- they fear and love you now, they wait for your commands, eager to be your instruments of suffering. Except termites. Termites are bad for any home and you will have to call fumigation experts. That's one renovation task you won't be able to do alone!
Termites ruin everything.
Unfortunately there still isn't a good way to protect your house against an infestation of termites. They can be a costly pest but your best bet is to recognize the warning signs early and take care of them before they spread. Tiny holes in the walls, bits of sawdust on surfaces are all indications that termites have set up residence. This can be frustrating, particularly if your house sees repeated infestations. Infuriating even. No one knows how these bugs keep finding their way inside the house.
Unless, of course, someone brought them in. Intentionally.
Your significant other, your children. They hate this place, they are always saying so. They keep telling you they don't like the sounds of children's screaming in the attic or the way their faces melt in mirrors. They don't understand. They don't appreciate how much work you've poured into this house already. They don't acknowledge what you've been through. They are willful and content in their ignorance. You know what else? They are laughing at you behind your back. They think you are weak. Show them. Show them you are strong. Make them understand.
#1. General Maintenance
This is your house now, and you have to protect it as you would your own life. It is a part of you now and you are a part of it, such is the nature of your relationship. Big storms, freezing temperatures, radon gas are all threats that you should take seriously. Solving those problems early will help your home last hundreds of years, long after your family is gone. But not you. You are the caretaker after all. You are the caretaker. You have always been the caretaker here. You have always been the caretaker. You have always been the caretaker. You have always been the caretaker.
Soren Bowie will always be remembered as a pioneer of supernatural carpentry. You can follow him on twitter even though he died ten yeeeaaaars agoooo.
For "helpful" tips from Soren, check out The Right Way To Teach Teens About Sex and 6 Tips for Photography (At Your Ex-Girlfriend's Wedding).
And be sure to check out Cracked's Page of Horror for hilariously horrifying articles like The Creepy Scientific Explanation Behind Ghost Sightings and The 6 Most Strangely Convincing Real-Life Curses.