Protecting your home from water and structural damage isn’t always easy. Hydrostatic pressure works in ways you can’t always predict, and the weather is rarely consistent. If you do want to get a jump on Mother Nature, you’re going to want to frequently check in on the most sensitive parts of your home.
By breaking a home assessment down into accessible parts, you can more readily prepare to deal with water or structural damage in your home while also taking preventative measures to avoid significant repair costs.
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Assess Your Home’s Structural Health
Your structural supports keep your home where it’s meant to be. If a home’s structural health starts to falter, then you may rapidly start to see signs of significant and irreversible damage.
Long-term exposure to hydrostatic pressure is one of the primary causes behind the failure of structural supports in a home. This pressure can wear away at the materials you’ve used to support your home while also causing them to rapidly expand and contract. Your supports may crack under the pressure and allow additional water into your home. They can also invite pest infestations and mold.
Luckily, your home will readily communicate a structural support failure with you. Some of the clearest signs that your home may need structural repairs include:
- Popped nails
- Wall and floor gaps
- Uneven floors
- Vertical, horizontal, or stair-step cracks in your drywall or concrete
- Sticking doors
- Bowed basement walls
It’s also possible for signs of structural failure to appear outside of your home. You’ll want to keep an eye out for chimney cracks or foundation settlement, as both indicate there may be something structurally amiss with your foundation or other supports.
Look Over Your Crawl Space
Your crawl space is a surprisingly sensitive part of your home. You’ll need to work to maintain it if you want to keep your house smelling pleasant and relatively free of moisture. The longer you leave your crawl space unattended, the more likely it is to start to suffer from exposure to hydrostatic pressure. Similarly, your crawl space is a prime incubator for illness-causing molds when it hasn’t been waterproofed.
You’ll know it’s time to invest in crawl space repairs when you notice:
- Standing water or moisture
- Wood rot
- Sagging floors
- Open vents
- Damaged insulation
- Unpleasant smells
- Pest infestations
Note that a damp or damaged crawl space can also raise your utility bills. It’s much more difficult for your HVAC system to control the temperature in your home if it’s constantly contending with the moisture in your crawl space. That moisture can also damage your pipes and cause you to lose water pressure.
Keep an eye out for signs of illness in your family. Crawl space mold can cause asthma and other respiratory illnesses.
Check Your Basement
Homes in North Carolina and South Carolina can have either a crawl space or a basement. Both parts of your home can house significant water damage if you don’t act to invest in waterproofing measures.
A water-damaged basement is just as detrimental to your home and family’s health, and it’s not something you want to contend with for long. Dampness in the walls can just as readily cause respiratory problems for your family as mold in your crawl space. A damaged basement is also often considered a precursor of more significant structural damage.
When inspecting your basement, make sure to keep an eye out for:
- Standing water that doesn’t drain
- Water-damaged belongings
- Unpleasant smells
- Damaged appliances, including your sump pump
- Obvious leaks
It’s not always easy to know the difference between signs of damage in your basement and signs of foundation damage. That’s why it’s especially important to reach out to the professional contractors working in your area. If you live in Charlotte, Greenville, Columbia, or Charleston, you can benefit from a home inspection and a free quote on any services you may need to bring your home back up to code.
Inspect Your Concrete Slabs
Last but not least during a home inspection, you’ll want to look over any concrete slabs you have serving as accessories to your home. These can include:
- Basement floor
- Pool deck
Hydrostatic pressure, along with settling soil, doesn’t just impact the structural integrity of your foundation. These concrete elements can just as easily begin to sink if they’re not taken care of.
The good news is that you don’t have to undertake your waterproofing research on your own. The professional contractors in North Carolina and South Carolina are more than willing to help you determine which waterproofing, foundation, crawl space, and concrete repair measures will best protect your home and family.