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Is your Home Hiding Problems You Don’t Know About?

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  • Digital Team 

Whether you think you might have seen signs of problems that could impact your home and health, you’ve moved in recently and want to make sure that everything is okay with it, or you’re considering selling and want to make sure nothing will impact its value, it’s always a good idea to get the skinny on your home. Houses can hide a lot of issues, from those that are relatively benign if caught and dealt with, to those that might have been causing serious damage without your knowledge. Here, we’re going to look at what you should be keeping an eye and ear out for.

Faults in your wiring

A common problem for new homeowners is they find that their electrical wiring may have certain “quirks” that previous homeowners might have gotten used to. It’s a good idea to test all of the electrics before you move in but, sometimes, these faults can develop over time, especially in homes where aluminum wires were used instead of copper. Though largely disused now, aluminum was used as a cheaper alternative that was soon discovered to expand and contract when exposed to electricity, it led to a lot of wires and connections getting knocked loose. If you have any electrical components in the home that don’t work, it’s a good idea to get an electrician out as soon as possible. It may be that you have to replace aluminum wiring throughout the house.

Lead paint

Typically not an issue in newer homes, at all, lead paint is a lot more common in older homes as, at some point in its construction or subsequent decoration, someone might have used lead paint. Of course, we now know all about lead poisoning, and the impact it can have on the health of people living around, being especially impactful to children and pregnant people. You can test your home for the presence of lead, as it’s not always easy to see and, from there, discover how to get rid of lead paint in the home. Typically, this is best done with the help of a professional who is able to make sure that every trace of the stuff is gone from the home.

Asbestos

Just like lead paint, asbestos is a material that was once fairly commonplace in the construction industry before it was banned. Distressingly, there have been some efforts by local groups to reintroduce asbestos as a construction material, but we now know the risks associated with it, especially its link to dangerous cancers such as mesothelioma, which are fatal in nearly all cases. Asbestos is commonly found in older homes, where previous owners might not have realized that it has been used as insulation. Nowadays, there are plenty of effective insulation replacements for asbestos, so working with an asbestos removal team and getting access to healthier forms of insulation is definitely worth making the effort and investment.

Radon gas

Much like lead and asbestos, radon gas is an undesired element that people often find in their homes after they have moved in. However, the thing about radon is that not only is it odorless and invisible, but it’s also naturally occurring. This radioactive gas leaks up from the ground and uranium and radium decay. Radon is significantly dangerous, being the leading cause of lung cancer only behind smoking. Radon test kits can help you discover whether your home is affected by radon, which has been found all over the country, and radon mitigation systems can help you protect your home and health from this dangerous gas.

Termites

Any kind of pest in the home is something that you likely want to rid yourself of as quickly as possible. They can affect air quality, spread diseases, and otherwise affect your health if allowed to stay. Termites, however, can take this a step further and can cause real damage to your home if they are allowed to, so it’s important to identify how to get rid of termites if you have any inkling you might have them. Drywood termites, for instance, tend to make their homes inside wood, which can include the wooden furniture and fixtures in your home, causing both furniture and things like door frames, attic beams, and window frames to crumble. Subterranean termites live underground and can do even more costly damage by eroding foundations, support beams, insulation, and much more.

Foundational damage

Termites are one potential cause of damage to the foundation of the home, but they are hardly the only one. Movements in the soil, the growth of nearby tree roots, and problems with moisture in the basement can all lead to the erosion of the structure. You may need to call structural repair services if you see exposed gaps and cracks in your walls and floors, warp ceilings, or uneven floors. If there’s any kind of foundational issue, you need to see what you can do about the cause while repairing the damage itself.

Poor drainage

As mentioned, this is very much one of the leading potential causes of structural issues with your home. However, poor drainage can result in a lot of issues. As water pools around your home, it can lead to the spread of dry rot throughout the materials, as well as the spread of mold, which can impact your respiratory health. Gardens can be affected by poor drainage as well. Your lawn health can be negatively impacted by soil that retains too much water. There are plenty of ways to improve drainage around your home so that it’s able to redirect water away from the home and into the local sewer system as effectively as it should.

Roofing woes

From the bottom to the top, let’s move our focus from the basement to the roof. With the roof, the most common issues tend to be that shingles or their surroundings, such as flashings, become loose, damaged, or broken. When this happens, it can not only impact the heating efficiency of the home, allowing hot air to escape more easily, but it can also let the rain into the house, which can begin to result in spreading dampness and mold, affecting both the health of the home and the people inside it. Most roof repairs can be as simple as replacing the affected part, but you should be sure to have a thorough roof inspection to tell you whether or not the roof itself might have aged out of effectiveness, and that it may be in need of a replacement.

Septic system failure

This is not a very common problem for homeowners to deal with in most places, as they likely have connections to external sewage systems. However, a lot of homes in rural areas might not have a sewer, but instead a septic system. Septic tanks and systems are generally reliable for dealing with household waste with no issue, but septic system failure can not only be very dangerous to your health and the health of the soil around your home, but they can be particularly expensive to fix, as well. If there’s a sewage odor around the home and you know that you have a septic system, then you should look into whether or not it might need to be replaced.

The steps you have to take to deal with each of the issues named above will depend on the nature of the threat. However, what’s certain is that you most likely want to deal with it before that damage becomes more costly than it is already.

Categories: Home & GardenLife