Whether you have a stylish apartment in the city, a historic brownstone, or a sprawling ranch in the country, the picture that we have of our homes in our head is of a safe and comfortable haven. However, in reality, they can be some of the most problematic places around. In fact, there may be a nasty home disaster just waiting to happen that could damage your home and reduce its market value, not to mention making a less than desirable environment for you to spend your time in. Read on for a guide on the most common issues, as well as some advice on how to prevent and resolve them if they do occur.
Old cracked tiles
It’s not only the aesthetic issues that old cracked tiling can create those problems. Of course, no one will fancy preparing food or want to take a bath in an area where there are dirty cracks in the tiles that can’t be cleaned no matter how hard you try. Such breaks certainly aren’t going to impress guests or prospective buyers if you decide to put your home on the market without dealing with this first either.
However, the real problem with cracked and damaged tiles is that they can allow water through to the wall behind them. This can be a massive issue if this water is leaking into an area in which it cannot drain or dry out, as it can cause nasty black mold. Stachybotrys, as it’s also known, is linked to all sorts of issues including respiratory problems, and is hugely unhygienic. In fact, such mold and damp left untreated for an extended period can damage the structure underneath the tiles meaning that the whole thing needs to be replaced for it to be safe.
Luckily, it is possible to avoid or repair such an issue in the home if you come across it. To avoid this issue in the first place be sure to top up the grout and sealant that surround your tiles on a regular basis. This is the stuff that holds them in place and stops water from getting behind them which can cause cracks and mold.
Sometimes you may notice that the sealant itself becomes moldy. If this is the case, then it best to strip it off and apply a fresh lot with a caulking gun, just like they do in the video below.
However, if your tiles at the point of no return, it may be better to strip the wall entirely and then lay new tiles to ensure a more effective watertight seal. Many households choose to employ a professional to do this for them as tiling is known to be one of the trickier tasks to DIY, although it is possible to do smaller areas yourself if you research the process thoroughly beforehand.
For example, you will need to know that it is essential to check the condition of the wall that you are tiling before starting. This is because any problems with the structure can mean that either the tiles won’t stick, or the wall underneath is at risk.
It is also essential to know that no tile should ever be laid without using a spirit level to mark out where they will go beforehand. Yes, it may look as if the surface you are working on is straight, but this is rarely ever the case, so never try and tile an area just by eye!
Lastly, before attempting such a job yourself, it’s pretty vital to know the stages that you need to go through to affix tiles securely. The first is where you apply the mortar to stick the tile to the wall. The second is the grouting stage where you fill in the gaps left in between the tiles, and the third is the cleaning stage where you remove excess grout to give a good finish. After that, you will need to apply a sealant to the tiles to prevent water from seeping behind them and causing problems for you in the long run.
One of the most devastating issues that homeowners can come across in their property is a pest infestation. Such an infestation can be by rodents like mice and rats, and even insects like termites and spiders. Of course, no one wants to live with an active infestation in their home, but the real damage that such an issue can do goes way beyond that.
Rodent infestations are a common home problem.
Firstly, infestations are hugely risky regarding keeping a place clean and hygienic. You can’t see where the little critters are walking over and that means their feces and any other nastiness they are carrying could be spreading around your home willy-nilly.
Secondly, some pests can damage the structure of your home. Terminates for instance chew through old dry wood, and this can make the supporting beams and struts in your home as well as floorboards table and unsafe for hibernation.
Luckily, there are a few things you can do to prevent the little devils from getting in, in the first place. The first is to ensure that all food waste and rubbish is dealt will correctly. What this means is that rubbish bins need to have lids and need to be emptied regularly. Also, outdoor garbage bins need to be pretty far from the house, as the smell of decomposing matter can easily attract rats and mice, and well as other vermin such as raccoons.
Outdoor garbage bins need to be far from the house and kept clean to prevent infestations.
In terms of creepy crawlers, it can be a little more difficult to prevent an infestation, but it is still possible. For one thing, bugs tend not to live in too close proximity to humans so if you have any unused areas in your home keep them clear of clutter and inspect them regularly for signs of infestation.
Also don’t forget that while buying preloved vintage furniture online or at the local flea market is an excellent idea, it’s vital that you check for signs of termites and woodworm before you bring it back to your property. Otherwise, you could be unwittingly infesting your home and end up being the author of your own disaster!
Lastly, if the prevention ship has sailed, then you will want to know how to get rid of an infestation once it has taken hold. There are many sources of advice on the internet, and some suggest that using things like diatomaceous earth and fresh basil can stop insects, while spearmint and peppermint oil is meant to repel rodents.
However, while it would be nice to use a natural method for ridding your home of these pets, the only way you know that they will be gone for good is if you employ a company like ABC Home & Commercial Pest Control to come and deal with them for you. After all, if it is a company’s business to rid your home of rodents and pests, then they are going to be able to do it quickly, efficiently, and with minimal disruption to your everyday life. Something that is always beneficial when you have been dealing with a home disaster and the stress that it brings.
Last of all, having a leaking pipe can seem like a real emergency when the water is spurting out all over your home, but even the leaks that you don’t see could be causing damage to your property. This is because over time water can rot materials like wood, and fabric and encourage bacterial growth as well as the dreaded mold mentioned above.
Obviously, this is something that you don’t want in your home, and therefore it is worth trying to prevent such as issue as much as possible. To do this, it can be useful to check the pipes you have access to regularly for signs of wear and tear and reinforce them before it becomes an issue.
Lastly, don’t forget that even if this disaster has befallen you and a pipe has burst, it is possible to fix this and limit the long-term damage. To do this, you can apply a C clamp as they do in the video below. Alternatively, you can use rubber and a sleeve clamp for a more lasting repair that should ensure that your water pressure does not suffer and that you can avoid any other pipe bursting, water-based disasters in the future.
Such good info and so many different things I wouldn’t have thought of. I will definitely be bookmarking this info!
I think I have faced all of those in the home at one time or another. Although the infestation wasn’t rats but termites. But it was awful. Definitely good things to think about to protect your home.
This is a great post. We moved into our house just last year. It is a 1979 split level home and the only renovation really was the kitchen. We have to look into replacing one of the leaking pipes 😢 from our master bathroom. Luckily there’s just two of us so we just shower in the other bathroom for the meantime. Don’t want to cause much damage as we try saving up money for the repair. Oh and got to add electrical wiring too for potential disaster.
Our house is very old but we renovated it 3 years ago. I love it but I am constantly on the look out and fixing small things before they become problems. This is a very well written post
Great tips. I hope I will never have an infestation, I think it’s the nastiest one. I do have a cat, so let’s hope she will keep the rodents away.
All these are such major headaches. We recently had some plumbing issues and it was a nightmare. Thankfully its resolved but def not an experience I want to deal with anytime soon.
Great article. I remembered, we had a leaking pipe that ruined our ceiling and I woke up because it’s dripping on my face. Worst day ever. Thanks for these helpful info.
I think very important you have covered in your post, many a times we never know how to do deal with these problems….thanks for sharing such an and informative post.
Since the hurricane we have found a ton of issues we had no idea about. Termite damage is the worse!!
That’s a great article to bookmark for later consulting.
I’ve lived in a few homes that were in less than ideal conditions when I moved in, so I had to make some those small repairs.
Good reminders and some new tips.
The only thing I’m worried about it a few cracked areas in our grout in the shower tile. I am really ready to just rip it all out and start new!
thanks for the tips, we have a rat infestations on the island I live, soo annoying
this all very useful info and things to keep in mind. I will pass this to my friends who are in the middle buying houses and know they could use this.
We recently purchased our first home. I will be saving this blog to read for later you posted so many helpful tips! We will definitely be taking advantage of them.
Good things to know. i have anew build but things could still go wrong. will keep an eye out thanks
We had a radiator on the second floor that leaked through the ceiling. What a mess and pain to fix. Since it wasn’t a regular water pipe it was hard to detect until it was too late.
Very good things to know as a home owner especially the mold thank you
Eek, I’ll keep these in mind. I always worry about an infestation! So far our house seems okay, but you never know down the line.
Really informative article. Thanks for sharing the details.