No one can help you protect your home from water damage like a professional. That said, a 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. If you break the process down into accessible parts, you’ll find the process is simpler than you may have thought. Even so, you’ll want to keep a sharp eye out for any signs of damage. Decay that’s allowed to fester can cause your home to lose value and your standard of living to drop.
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Assessing Your Home’s Structural Health
To get started, you’ll need to inspect your home’s structural health. This means looking over the supports within your home to ensure they haven’t been affected by water damage or hydrostatic pressure. If you don’t consistently assess your home’s health, you may lose value on your home. Homes that have endured irreversible damage thanks to hydrostatic pressure can lose up to 30 percent of their market value.
Inspecting your home is easiest to do with an inspector on call. You can make your own way through your home to see if any signs stick out. Some of the most obvious symptoms of poor structural health throughout a home include:
- Nail pops
- Wall and floor gaps
- Uneven floors
- Vertical, horizontal, or stair-step cracks in your drywall or concrete block foundation walls
- Sticking doors
- Bowed basement walls
You may also notice signs of damage outside of your home, including chimney cracks and foundation sinkage.
Assessing Your Crawl Space’s Health
If you have a crawl space, you’ll want to make a point of inspecting it after assessing your home’s structural and overall health. Crawl spaces are more sensitive than you might imagine. 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, you’ll want to keep an eye out for the following signs of damage:
- Standing water or moisture
- Wood rot
- Sagging floors
- Open vents
- Damaged insulation
- Unpleasant smells
You may also notice your electric or gas bill rising if you have an unhealthy crawl space. It’s more difficult to temperature control these kinds of moist spaces, especially given the frequent fluctuations in Moberly and Springfield’s weather. 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’ll want to keep an eye on both 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. The build-up of water damage and mold can also cause health problems throughout your home.
What do you want to keep an eye out for while inspecting your basement? Symptoms of damage include:
- Standing water that doesn’t drain
- Water-damaged belongings
- Unpleasant smells
- Damaged appliances, including your sump pump
- Obvious leaks
Note that many of these symptoms overlap with those that indicate foundation or structural damage. While you may not be able to diagnose the source of your damage when you first spot one of these symptoms, you can still share what you saw with a professional. This way, contractors will know where to start when they conduct their own inspection of your home.
Assessing The Health Of Your Concrete
Finally, take a close look at the concrete slabs you have around your home. It is a little more difficult to damage concrete, but that doesn’t mean persistent hydrostatic pressure or soil settlement can’t cause your slabs to start sinking.
Sinkage is one of the biggest problems you may face when installing 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
When you actively keep an eye on the concrete slabs around your property, you prevent accidents and problems with your foundation that may worsen down the line.
If you notice any of the aforementioned symptoms 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 an inspection of their own while also providing you with a free quote on any repair services or installations your home may need.