When it comes to protecting your home from water damage, professionals do it best. However, a little bit of home maintenance can go a long way.
If you’re not sure where to start when checking your home for signs of a leak, don’t worry. Break the process down into steps, and you’ll find that it’s simpler than you may think. With this, you’ll want to keep a sharp eye out for any signs of damage. Decay that’s given time to fester can cause your home to lose value and your standard of living to drop significantly.
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Assessing Your Home’s Structural Health
You’ll want to inspect your home’s structural health regularly. One of the first things you can do is look over the supports within your home to ensure they haven’t been affected by water damage or hydrostatic pressure. Consistently monitoring the health of your home can save you the risk of losing significant value. Irreversible damage due to hydrostatic pressure can cause your home to lose up to 30 percent of its market value.
You should have an inspector on call, but you can first make your way through your home to see if any problem areas stick out. Some of the most obvious symptoms of poor structural home health include:
- Nail pops
- Wall and floor gaps
- Uneven floors
- Vertical, horizontal, diagonal, or stair-step wall cracks
- Sticking doors
- Bowed basement walls
You may also notice signs of damage outside of your home, including chimney cracks and foundation settlement or sinkage.
Assessing Your Crawl Space’s Health
If you have a crawl space, you’ll want to inspect that after assessing your home’s structural and overall health. Crawl spaces are more sensitive than you might think, leaving them more susceptible to damage. If you leave your crawl space unprotected, the moisture therein can cause problems with your pipes and structural supports. You may also fall victim to infestations and illnesses more frequently.
When inspecting your crawl space, be sure to look for the following signs of damage:
- Standing water or moisture
- Wood rot
- Sagging floors
- Open vents
- Damaged insulation
- Unpleasant smells
If you have an unhealthy crawl space, you can expect your gas or electricity bill to rise. Given the weather fluctuations in Moberly and Springfield, It’s even more difficult to temperature control these kinds of moist spaces. This means your HVAC system will have to work harder, and you may rapidly find yourself paying for temperature control you can’t take advantage of.
Assessing Your Basement’s Health
Crawl spaces and basements aren’t mutually exclusive. You could have one or both of these areas in your home, and they each need to be monitored if you want to preserve the overall health of your home. Moisture can just as easily gather in a basement, and damage to your structural supports can lead to problems with your foundation. Over time, water buildup and mold can also cause health problems in the home.
What should you keep an eye out for while inspecting your basement? Damage symptoms include:
- Standing water that doesn’t drain
- Water-damaged belongings
- Unpleasant smells
- Damaged appliances, including your sump pump
- Obvious leaks
Some of these symptoms overlap with those of foundation or structural damage, making it hard to diagnose the real source of damage. Because of this, you should take notes and share all the signs of damage you find with a professional. This way, contractors will know where to start when they conduct their inspection.
Assessing the Health of Your Concrete
Finally, you should take a close look at the concrete slabs you have around your home. Although it’s more difficult to damage concrete, persistent hydrostatic pressure or soil settlement can cause your concrete slabs to start sinking.
Sinkage is one of the biggest problems you may face when dealing with concrete slabs around your property. You’ll want to keep an eye out for cracks, unevenness, settlement, or slippage by assessing the health of your:
- Basement floor
- Pool deck
Actively keeping an eye on any concrete slabs you have on your property can help you prevent accidents and foundation problems that may worsen over time.
If you notice any of these warning signs around your home, don’t wait to act. Reach out to a professional foundation and basement repair contractor. The teams working in St. Louis and Kansas City can conduct their inspection while also providing you with a free quote on any repair services or installations your home may need.