10 Problems Your House May Be Trying to Show You
Your home is attempting to tell you all sorts of things. How it seems; how it smells. And there are lots of visual cues to tip you off that something is not perfect. “Everything is shifting all of the time, expanding and contracting at different rates, responding to heat, wind and rain. A house is moving and breathing,” says Tapley Dawson, a partner at The House Doctors in Novato, California. In other words, a house is something that you’ve got to take care of.
Dawson recommends that you do a good walk around the house every autumn before the rainy season starts, checking for cracks, clogged gutters or anything that just does not look right. This way you’ll be able to catch problems early.
If you own an older home, you should do a thorough check in the springtime too, because those houses are prone to more damage. “You can’t just live there blindly and assume it’s going to be all right,” Dawson says. “You’ve got to engage and be active. The entire house needs love”
Water Damage Paterson
The biggest enemy in a house is moisture. You want to keep it out, and temperament is continually attempting to force it in. It’s the cause of things such as rotting wood, termites, cupping floorboards and, needless to say, mold and mildew, none of which you need in your house.
“If you think about the materials in a home — timber, carpeting, tile — they’re intended to be inside the building envelope. So most issues have to do with something or moisture getting within that envelope,” Dawson says.
You see: dark stains on the walls, ceiling or edge of carpeting.
Cause: Darkness on the carpeting around the edge of a room that won’t vacuum up, or any dark spots that you see on shingles imply an excessive amount of moisture is getting in and mold or mould is forming. You might have a leak somewhere, from the roof or from a window. Or you might just have a lot of moisture lingering around.
“We are living in a damp universe,” says Dawson. If you’ve got a north-facing wall with no insulation, when warm, moist air from the inside hits that cool wall, moisture will form. “That’s why you always need to run your fan when you cook and when you shower,” he advises.
Who to phone: A home repair specialist can help determine if there’s a flow and where’s it coming out. He or she can usually then make recommendations to phone a roofer if needed, or even a general contractor to replace badly damaged timber and other materials.
You see: Bubbling, flaking or cracking paint.
Cause: This means moisture is someplace in the wall and should be addressed as soon as possible. Some latex-based paint will really balloon out, ” says Dawson, which is a large red flag. (During a rainy day in Houston years ago, I needed a 5-foot-wide bubble in my ceiling, slowly dripping. When I poked it with a screwdriver, it streamed water into a bucket for 30 minutes)
Trapped moisture may occur on ceilings, on walls, around windows and on molding and trim. “If you see it ai not going off,” states Ralph Stow, a contractor at the Dallas Renovation Group. “It’s there for a reason” Moisture is somehow penetrating from external or even from a leaky pipe or even A/C unit. The paint could be “alligator-ing or checkering below windows in the corners,” Dawson says, so there’s a flow and water is getting into your stud bay. This may cause mold and wood rot.
Who to phone: A home repair expert can help determine the source of the flow and how to fix it. A plumber, general contractor, roofer, mold elimination expert or water damage specialist might be needed also, depending upon the problem.
You see: Dripping from a little pipe out a main living window.
Cause: In places like Texas, where air conditioners crank virtually all year long, a lot of condensation occurs. Most A/C units possess a galvanized metal pan to catch condensation should the main drain line get clogged. Many builders, including Stow, will run a secondary drain line that comes down from the roof over a main living area window, so homeowners may observe the dripping.
Dripping means there’s already a clog and the machine is using its emergency backup. “If that emergency line becomes clogged, the pan will float, and you’re going to have a major problem,” says Stow. In fact, if you find a good deal of moisture anywhere around a furnace or A/C unit, then there’s possibility of water damage.
Who to phone An HVAC specialist.
Ryan Duebber Architect
You see: A light or popped-out button onto your socket, along with a appliance has stopped functioning.
Cause: Oftentimes this is a result of a ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI), which can help prevent electrical shock from compromised wiring in electric appliances. Fundamentally, when electricity is going where it’s not supposed to go, the fault circuit pops, shutting off electricity throughout the socket. All you need to do is push the reset button. If it does not reset, then there’s something wrong with the outlet. Keep in mind that lots of GFCIs can control numerous sockets. So if a socket stops working, start looking for one with a GFCI nearby and hit the reset button.
Who to phone : If resetting does not bring power back to the socket, call an electrician.
You see: Flickering lights.
Cause: This is not the same as when a light dims while you’re vacuuming or using a hair drier, which is ordinary. If you find a pronounced dimming and brightening, ensure that the bulb is screwed in all of the way. If this does not work, it may also be a poor outlet, which can be a potential fire hazard.
Who to phone An electrician.
You see: A black line opening up on the base of an exterior door.
Cause: This frequently occurs on an exterior French-style door where two portions of timber meet close to the bottom. Wind and rain may induce moisture to the door when it’s not properly installed and sealed. The paint should be even on the door, without a spacing anywhere between the bits. If you find a space opening up, the door is on the path to failure, Dawson says. “Moisture goes in there, and it’s a domino effect,” he states. “Once moisture begins expanding and contracting, it breaks down the joint, along with the procedure begins. Wood doors and timber windows are hell. They require a good deal of maintenance”
Who to phone: you might have the ability to fix this yourself with some caulk. When in doubt, call a home repair specialist.
G&G Painting, Restoration & Fine Cabinetry
You see: Wrinkled timber.
Cause: this might be a sign of dry rot. Wood should appear smooth. If you see wavy or weathered timber, or if your trim or siding looks different than other parts, it’s cause for concern. This mainly affects the exterior.
Who to phone: A home repair specialist.
You see: Insect wings on windowsills or in spider webs.
Cause: Do not panic, but this might be a indication of nearby termite swarms. It does not mean that you’ve got termites, but if you’ve already got moisture issues, such as a black look on the walls or bubbling paint, then you might want to phone a termite specialist. Moisture attracts termites. It’s difficult to tell inside the walls, but if you find any sand tubes coming out of the walls or onto any bits of wood, you have termites.
Who to phone A termite professional.
You see: Black streaks or black circles around nails on hardwood flooring.
Cause: This often occurs near doorways. If you’ve got an older home with exposed nail floor and also you see blackness around those claws, odds are that you’ve got moisture getting under the door sill, and it’s corroding the claws. If the timber is cupping up, the problem is really bad.
Who to phone: A home repair specialist to perform the preliminary fix, then you are going to require a flooring specialist to refinish the region.
Buckminster Green LLC
You see : A foggy window.
Cause: This occurs on older dual-pane windows that have argon gas in the middle. If the seal gets broken, moisture builds up and fogs. You will probably need new windows.
Who to phone A window repair specialist or general contractor.
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