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The soul band Earth, Wind & Fire had many top-10 singles in the ‘70s, but the elements earth, fire and water – with their age-old lineup, dirt, sun and rain – will have you singing the blues if you don’t pay heed to the maintenance work your home needs.

Besides the physical wear-and-tear your home endures as a result of its residents, it is the simple elements of earth, fire and water that will trash your home like band mates in a cheap hotel room after the show. In the rhythm section, we have the beating sun. Adding some much needed color, a guitarist: dirt. And last but not least, a splash of vocals from the rain. Let’s take a look at just how much damage these and other simple elements can do to your home.

(You can click on the links to some great ’70s Earth Wind & Fire tracks while you enjoy this home maintenance article)

The simple elements of earth, fire and water will trash your home like band mates in a cheap hotel room after the show.


(Listen to “Dirty” by Earth, Wind & Fire)

Dirt may not be the hardest thing to control in your home, but it does need to be dealt with regularly. The longer you wait to remove dirt from your home, the more damage it causes and the harder it is to get rid of. Dirt is mostly what wears hard floors down and ruins carpets. But dirt also gets into moving parts like exhaust fan motors, patio door rollers and hinges, wearing them out sooner than they otherwise would.

In fact, I often come across homes that are so dirty that many things – such stoves, fixtures and carpets – have to be replaced prematurely because it will take so much time and effort to clean them. And a dirty house will sell for a lot less than a clean one because of those replacement costs. In fact, buyers view dirt and grime as  wear-and-tear even if it’s fixable with some work. Keeping your home clean will reduce the damage dirt can cause and ensure that all parts of your home last as long as they should.

A dirty house will sell for a lot less than a clean one.


(Listen to “Shining Star” by Earth, Wind & Fire)

The sun can cause peeling paint, warped siding and cracked caulking on a home’s exterior. Inside a home, the sun can fade curtains, blinds, flooring, – even the paint on your walls. In many cases, this fading is cosmetic, but sun damage can actually cause window coverings to fall apart. Similarly, some plastics will actually crumble if they are exposed to sunlight for long enough. These signs of damage will need to be repaired when you are looking to sell your home, taking up time and money. All of this can be dealt with fairly easily. New paint and caulking products, for example, can help stave off the sun’s UV rays, which cause most of the trouble.

Rain and Snow

(Listen to “Take It To The Sky” by Earth, Wind & Fire)

Rain and snow cause a dizzying array of home maintenance problems. If water can sneak into holes and cracks in your home’s exterior, it can freeze and split open just about anything. In a place with such variable temperatures as Edmonton, these cracks just keep getting bigger with each thaw and subsequent freeze. Besides ice, precipitation can eventually infiltrate your cozy shelter through seepage from the groundwater and leakage from rain or melting snow. And where there’s water, there’s sure to be mold and mildew. Water problems can also originate inside with leaky pipes, unsealed grouting and condensation. No matter how water gets into your home, its damaging effects are expensive to repair. The goal for homeowners, therefore, is to keep that water out as much as possible. Regular repair and maintenance to keep your home water-tight is crucial if you want to avoid major problems down the road.

No matter how water gets into your home, its damaging effects are expensive to repair.

Win Or Lose?

(Listen to “Win Or Lose” by Earth, Wind & Fire)

When a house is brand new, it isn’t really state-of-the-art materials that define its value, but rather that the house hasn’t suffered any wear-and-tear yet. This process can’t be stopped, but careful maintenance can slow it down – and help you avoid major replacement costs in the future.


by +Alan F Macdonald REALTOR® | Copyright © –


+Alan F Macdonald

Alan F Macdonald

Author Alan F Macdonald

Alan F Macdonald is a real estate agent with Maxwell Challenge Realty in Edmonton, Alberta.

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