If you live in Ohio, you know how much the weather varies. Believe it or not, weather can have a big impact on your home’s overall health. Because of this, you’ll want to stay on top of home health maintenance and call in the professionals for an inspection when necessary.
It may be overwhelming to start, but there are some warning signs you should keep an eye out for. This 2021 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
Your home’s foundation or structural supports should be carefully watched and maintained for signs of hydrostatic pressure. This forceful pressure builds up when water comes into contact with materials like concrete. From that point, the supports will have a hard time remaining at a consistent temperature. As a result, your supports will rapidly expand and contract until they eventually fracture under stress.
If not prevented properly, these significant damages can become irreversible, and soon enough you will lose value on your home. Similarly, this kind of damage can put you and your family’s health at risk.
Not sure what to look for when inspecting your home for damage? Keep an eye out for these obvious signs of hydrostatic pressure destruction on your structural supports:
- Drywall nail pops
- Wall and floor gaps
- Uneven floors
- Vertical, horizontal, diagonal, or stair-step wall cracks
- Sticking doors
- Bowed basement walls
Not only can these symptoms happen in your home, but they can also be seen outside the home as well. Sometimes, signs of damage to the outside of your home can indicate signs of significant internal damage as well. Keep an eye on your chimney and reach out to a professional if it looks like it’s leaning or suffering from cracks. Also, be sure to watch for signs of foundation damage and keep an eye on settlement from the outside of your home.
Look Over Your Crawl Space
Ohio homes can either have a basement or a crawl space, but it’s also not uncommon for these properties to have both. Once you have inspected your home’s structural supports, you should prepare to inspect your crawl space or basement area. Keep in mind that crawl spaces tend to be more sensitive to damage than basements.
When it comes to crawl spaces, one of the most common signs of damage is mold growth. Mold loves to take root in the insulation in your crawl space. To maintain good home health, you’ll need to make a consistent effort to keep this space as dry as possible. Allergies or respiratory problems may arise in your family if mold and dampness are not taken care of.
Be sure to watch for these obvious signs of crawl space damage:
- Standing water or moisture
- Wood rot
- Sagging floors
- Open vents
- Damaged insulation
- Unpleasant smells
- Pest infestations
If you notice that your utility bills are rapidly rising, this could also be an indicator of a damaged crawl space. HVAC systems have a much more difficult time controlling the temperature in a space with constantly fluctuating humidity. Along with this, 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 don’t have a crawl space in your home, that means you probably have a basement. Although basements are somewhat less sensitive than crawl spaces, you’ll still want to carefully look over this area. If you let your basement go unprotected from water damage, you can put your structural supports at risk while also giving mold the perfect place to thrive.
While inspecting 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, damage to your home’s foundation may also show the same warning signs as basement damage. It’s best 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 here, you can find out what your best waterproofing options may be and implement them immediately.
Don’t Forget Concrete Areas
Not only should you be checking over the internal spaces of your home, but you won’t want to forget any exterior spaces as well. If you have concrete slabs anywhere on your property that are sinking, cracking, or uneven, you should call a professional before the damage results in irreparable foundation issues.
If you have concrete in any of these areas on your property, you’ll want to pay close attention to the overall condition:
- Pool deck
- Basement floor
If left untreated, your cracked or uneven concrete slabs can become an insurance liability or a tripping hazard for you and your family. Getting these damages fixed as soon as possible can help you avoid foundation problems that may arise if they go unnoticed. If you notice signs of home health damage, don’t wait to contact your local professionals. The foundation, basement, and crawl space repair professionals at Ohio Basement Authority 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 to help you get your home back to good health.