As a homeowner, you must know the basics to keep your home safe and avoid any potential problems that could happen down the line. This article will list six things you should always be checking for when maintaining your property: exterior water leaks, interior water leaks, electrical shorts, structural cracks in the foundation, gas leaks, and mold growth. Knowing how to fix these basic problems can help you avoid paying a hefty service fee for professionals!
1. Exterior Water Leaks
One of the most common problems in an old home is exterior water leaks. These can be caused by faulty gutters, cracked windows, or even a hole in the roof. If you notice any water leaks, it is important to repair them as soon as possible to avoid further damage to your property. If the leaks are due to a problem with the roof, you can find out more here to see what you will need to do to repair it.
Additionally, exterior water leaks also lead to increased moisture in the air, which can eventually lead to mold growth inside your home (more on that later). So, a measure of prevention to consider is to invest in a dehumidifier for your home, which will help reduce the moisture in the air and prevent mold growth.
2. Interior Water Leaks
Another common problem in older homes is interior water leaks. These can be caused by several things, such as leaks in the plumbing, cracks in walls or ceilings, or even condensation from an old furnace. If you notice any water stains on your walls or ceiling, it is important to investigate the source of the leak and repair it as soon as possible.
Once again, if the leak is due to a problem with the plumbing, you can seek help from a plumbing professional. Additionally, mold can also grow in constantly wet areas, so it is important to dry the area as soon as possible and consider using mold-resistant paint if the problem persists.
So, mold growth can be caused by several things, such as leaks, condensation, or even high humidity levels. If you notice any mold growth in your home, it is important to address the problem as soon as possible.
If you live in an area with high humidity levels, it is also important to invest in a dehumidifier to help reduce the moisture in the air. Additionally, mold can also be removed with a variety of cleaners that can be found at your local hardware store.
3. Electrical Shorts
Another common issue in older homes is electrical shorts. These can be caused by several things, such as faulty wiring, overloaded circuits, or even water damage. If you notice any sparks or smoke coming from your outlets, it is important to shut off the power to the affected area and call an electrician as soon as possible. Additionally, if you see any water-damaged outlets or switches, it is also important to have them replaced as soon as possible to prevent any potential fires.
What You Can and Can’t Do By Yourself
When it comes to electrical shorts, it is important to remember that this is not a problem that you can fix by yourself. Only a certified electrician should attempt to repair or replace any electrical components in your home. Make sure to find a reputable electrician in your area to avoid any potential problems. If you notice electrical shorts, you need to isolate the area until a professional arrives.
4. Structural Cracks in the Foundation
One of the most serious problems that can occur in an old home is a structural crack in the foundation. These cracks can be caused by several things, such as the settling of the house, tree roots, or even earthquakes.
If you notice any cracks in your foundation, it is important to have them repaired as soon as possible by a professional. Additionally, if you live in an area that is prone to earthquakes, it is also important to have your home retrofitted with earthquake straps to prevent the foundation from cracking during an earthquake.
5. Gas Leaks
Another serious problem that can occur in an old home is a gas leak. These leaks can be caused by several things, such as faulty appliances, broken pipes, or even a gas leak. If you notice any strange smells, such as sulfur or rotten eggs, it is important to evacuate the area immediately and call the gas company. Additionally, if you see any appliances that are leaking gas, it is also important to have them repaired or replaced as soon as possible.
How To Find A Gas Leak
If you live in an old home, it is important to know how to find and resolve a gas leak. The first step is to locate the main gas shut-off valve. This valve is usually located near the water heater or furnace. Once you have located the main gas shut-off valve, you need to call the gas company and ask for their emergency number. They will then be able to come out and repair or replace any appliances that are leaking gas. Some gas leaks can be detected, such as by the sound of hissing, while others might not be as obvious. If you think you have a gas leak but are unsure, it is always best to err on the side of caution and call the gas company.
6. Pest Infestation
One of the most common problems that can occur in an old home is a pest infestation. These pests can be anything from rats and mice to cockroaches and ants. If you notice any pests in your home, it is important to address the problem as soon as possible. There are a variety of pest control products that can be found at your local hardware store.
Additionally, if you have a serious problem, you may need to call a professional pest control company. Don’t overlook signs of pest infestation. These signs include droppings, holes in walls, and strange smells.
As you can see, several common problems can occur in an old home. It is important to be aware of these problems and to address them as soon as possible. By doing so, you can prevent any further damage to your home and keep your family safe.