Common Household Problems That Need to Be Taken Seriously

[this post originally appeared as an article in the Lethbridge Journal in September 2010]

Many people in Lethbridge own homes, and have peace of mind in the fact that their homes provide comfort after a long day of work. However, many homeowners only focus on their homes cosmetic problems, and unless you have an eye for such things, you may not notice things that could develop into real problems.

“People tend to worry about the little things, like a loose shingle, or hairline cracks in their stucco, which are all minor things,” said Jean Greer, from Greer Home Builders in Lethbridge. “We tend to forget that houses are made of wood and things that shrink and move. Our houses are built on soil, and our houses need to move and crack a little bit.”

A lot of systems built into our household walls and underneath the floors allow for many of the luxuries we take for granted, and it’s important to have them looked at once in a while.

“We have to do the basics, like vacuum out your furnace filter, make sure your eaves troughs are clean,” said Greer. “Really think about the mechanical system that runs your house. “Think about the plumbing, and the stuff that’s hidden in those walls is what really makes our homes comfortable.”

Pillar to Post, a home inspection company in Lethbridge, was kind enough to share a list of common concerns to watch out for, which includes improper electrical wiring, and old plumbing.

There are many other structural concerns that need to be looked after, such as foundation cracks and split floor joists. Floor joists are the pieces of wood that support the floor and hold up its weight.

An outdoor concern is unkept yards, such as trees that are up against the house, which can cause grading, but is more common with 40 or older year old homes, not with newer homes due to less trees on properties.

According to Pillar and Post, grading and drainage on the outside of homes are the most frequent root problem of household aggravations.

“Grading is basically the dirt up against the house, or landscaping up against the house,” said Mike Hemmerling, a Home Inspector with Pillar to Post. “You want to make sure you have a good slope away from the home so water can’t pool. If water can pool at the home, water will eventually get into the home.”

Other outdoor concerns include doors or windows that are not properly sealed or caulked from the elements, allowing water or air in.

Roof damage caused by old or worn out shingles can cause leaks, and improper flashing. Flashing is metal or rubber pieces that create a seal between the shingles and things on the roof such as vents or chimneys.

We often think to repair or fix household problems that we are aware of, but it’s important to research other possible problems, and even have a home inspector analyze our homes, so smaller issues don’t turn into big problems.

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