top 5 home ownership issues
THESE PROBLEMS SHOULD NOT BE IGNORED
What are some common signs around the home that can lead to more serious problems for you in the future? How do these affect your quality of life at home and resale value down the road?
When you own a home, you may get excited about making aesthetic changes and repairs to make it feel homey. As fun as this can be, it's important that you don't overlook the troubling issues that may be going on in your house. Ignoring problems around your home can lead to worse outcomes, so it’s important to address them before they potentially become more serious—and more costly.
Here are the top 5 issues to watch out for in your home
1. Water Stains and Warped Walls, Ceilings, or Floors
What starts out as a small water stain or a warped wall or ceiling is often a sign of a leaky roof, dripping pipes, or faulty plumbing. Whether big or small, every leak should be looked into as soon as possible.
- Check your fixtures (faucets, sinks, toilets) then check your bathroom showers or tubs by running water through them. If you’re unsure of the source of the problem, call a plumber right away.
- Water spots, warped or missing shingles, or water-damaged exterior walls are all signs of roof leaks. If you suspect a leak on your roof, you can check in your attic for water damage or mould around the rafters and roof sheathing.
Without being inspected and repaired, leaks can lead to water damage to your drywall, insulation, and flooring. As a result, mould, and mildew springs up. Ensure you quickly identify where the leak is coming from and call in a plumber or roofing professional (depending on where the leak originated) to get it repaired.
2. Mould and Mildew
Any time water or excess moisture enters your home, toxic mould can grow. Signs to look out for include musty, stale-smelling air, and small black specks, especially in your basement, attic, or around damp areas in your house, such as your laundry room. Don’t forget to check for mould and mildew if you’ve recently had to repair a water stain as mentioned above.
If you notice mould behind drywall, inside cabinets, or another place where a leak has been happening, call an abatement company after having dealt with the leak with a plumber.
According to Health Canada, household dampness and mould can lead to eye, nose, and throat irritation, worsening of asthma symptoms, bronchitis, and eczema—all depending on the species, severity, and length of exposure.
3. Cracks in your Home’s Foundation
In Canada, our homes become subjected to extreme changes in weather, such as heavy wind storms and relentless freeze-thaw cycles. Because of this, small hairline fractures may occur in the concrete around the outside of your house. These small cracks are common, but it’s important to look out for bulging or buckling in the concrete, or cracks wider than the width of a pencil. These can be signs of more significant problems which require repairs to your foundation - Call in a structural engineer or foundation contractor to have a look.
Here is a tip - Take a marker and make two lines across from each other, on opposite sides of the crack. Measure between the two lines, record the measurements. Come back in three weeks and measure again. If the gap has increased, call a structural engineer for an assessment. Settlement in new construction can happen, but drastic changes can mean something is wrong with the foundation such as footings or drainage.
Without being addressed, these larger cracks can grow, allowing water and salt to enter the concrete and further erode the steel rebar within the foundation of your home. When this rebar erodes, it threatens the durability of your home and can lead to potential rotting and damage to the internal structure of your home.
Other signs to look out for that signify your home’s foundation is shifting include cracks in the paint inside your home, difficulty opening and closing your doors and windows, or uneven flooring. Though these issues may be harmless—door frames can shift due to humidity —they may also be signs that one of the joists that support your flooring has rotted or is broken, requiring a replacement. If you’re unsure, it’s always best to get professional advice.
4. Pests and Rodents
Pests and rodents can cause significant damage to your home, termites being one of the most destructive. Aside from the very unpleasant idea of having critters running around your home, rodents can cause damage you may not see right away.
Rodents can destroy insulation, wiring, and other components behind walls or in your attic. Inspect your home yearly for gaps around soffit and fascia, shingles or missing roofing materials. When it comes to insects, they can cause structural damage to your drywall and baseboards.
Signs to look out for include “termite tunnels,” which are small black or brown stick-looking tunnels made from wood, soil, and termite saliva. Small piles of shed wings, a significant amount of dead insects, mouse waste, chewed wires, or ripped-up paper, cardboard, or fabric are also indicators that you have a pest problem.
It’s important to get an exterminator in your home and identify how these pests are getting in to prevent future issues. The longer you push off the situation, the more time the rodents and pests will have to breed and cause even more damage.
5. Electrical Overload
There are some tell-tale signs your home is experiencing electrical overload. Flickering lights or a breaker always tripping when running multiple appliances can be signs of shoddy electrical work or overloaded circuits. Ignoring these signs can lead to appliance damage, or potentially, an electrical fire. Call a licensed electrical contractor to assess and repair any damage or improper wiring. Make sure an ESA [Electrical Safety Authority] permit is pulled and work is inspected. This way you can ensure that the work is done to code.
If you ignore little problems, they become big. Don’t write off these signs of potential problems that can cost you more in the future.
Sourced from REALTOR.ca - articles by Alicia Hearns.
I have been working as a Realtor in Kingston for over 6 years now and work under the Sutton Group Masters Realty Inc., Brokerage. I especially like working with first-time buyers, first-time sellers and clients interested in buying or selling condominiums in the area. I was born and raised in Kingston and know the city and local real estate market very well. If you are considering a move , please reach out to me by phone or email and I will answer any real estate questions you may have. I look forward to hearing from you!
Kim Purcell - Kingston Real Estate Agent
1650 Bath Road
Kingston, ON K7M 4X6