When it comes to protecting your home, you’ll need to stay on top of your house’s condition. This means conducting inspections with the help of professionals and on your own as Ohio’s weather varies.
Looking for a place to start? This 2020 home health checklist can guide you through the process and help you take the necessary steps to ensure your home’s long-term value and your own quality of life.
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Assess Your Home’s Structural Health
The structural supports beneath your home, including your foundation, are especially sensitive to a force known as hydrostatic pressure. This pressure builds up when water comes into contact with materials like concrete. That water makes it more difficult for your supports to remain at a consistent temperature. As a result, your supports will rapidly expand and contract until, under the stress, they’ll fracture.
If you don’t move to prevent that kind of damage, it can grow until it’s no longer repairable, at which point you’ll begin to lose value on your home. Similarly, this kind of damage can put your family’s health at risk.
What should you look for when inspecting your home for damage? Some of the most obvious signs of hydrostatic pressure’s impact on your structural supports include:
- Popped nails
- Wall and floor gaps
- Uneven floors
- Vertical, horizontal, or stair-step cracks in your drywall or concrete
- Sticking doors
- Bowed basement walls
Note that these symptoms may not solely appear inside your home. It’s also possible that the outside of your home may reveal signs of internal damage. Keep an eye on your chimney and reach out to a professional if it looks like it’s suffering from cracks. You’ll also want to keep an eye on your foundation and watch for signs of settlement from the outside of your home.
Look Over Your Crawl Space
Homes in Ohio can either have a basement or a crawl space, though there are the rare few that have both. After you’ve inspected your structural supports, you’ll want to head deeper into your home and inspect whichever one of these structures you have.
Crawl spaces are especially prone to water damage, and damage therein can cause problems throughout the rest of your home. Mold loves to take root in the insulation and drywall in your crawl space. As such, you’ll need to make a consistent effort to keep this space as dry as possible. If you don’t, that mold and dampness may cause members of your family to develop respiratory problems, including asthma or allergies.
The most obvious signs of crawl space damage include:
- Standing water or moisture
- Wood rot
- Sagging floors
- Open vents
- Damaged insulation
- Unpleasant smells
- Pest infestations
A damaged crawl space can also cause your utility bills to start rising. HVAC systems have a much more difficult time controlling the temperature in a space with constantly fluctuating humidity. Similarly, excessive amounts of moisture in the air can cause your pipes to leak, resulting in worsening moisture in addition to higher water bills.
Check Your Basement
If you’re not looking over a crawl space, you’ll need to make a thorough examination of your basement. Basements may be slightly less sensitive than crawl spaces, but they’re just as important to the health of your home. If you let one go unprotected from water damage, you can put your structural supports at risk while also providing mold particles with a pristine environment in which they can live.
While you’re looking over your basement, you’ll want to keep an eye out for the following types of damage:
- Standing water that doesn’t drain
- Water-damaged belongings
- Unpleasant smells
- Damaged appliances, including your sump pump
- Obvious leaks
Unfortunately, these types of damage can also suggest a problem with your foundation. You’ll need to speak with one of the professional contractors working in your area if you want to better determine where water damage in your home originates from and what your waterproofing options may be.
The foundation, basement, and crawl space repair professionals working throughout Ohio can help you conduct annual inspections throughout your home, They can also provide you with a free quote on any repair services or installations you may need. With that kind of help at your disposal, why not take advantage of the waterproofing measure that can protect your home’s stability.