Common Property Damages You Must be Aware of

Published by Mark Wilkins on

Before you purchase a property, make sure to do a thorough inspection. After all, you don’t want to move in a building just to find signs of damages. By new constructions there is little reason for doubt but even they could have flaws. Those who seek vintage buildings are aware that dealing with damages is inevitable. Such people are willing to pay a high price but they will not rush things over. Just like them, you should ask yourself whether you can afford to make the repairs and how much time and effort everything would take you. That means taking into concern the type of damages, their size and quantity. If you want to be prepared, read the following text about the issues you may find when inspecting the integrity of a property.

Toxic Components

For every construction there are regulations which determine what kind of material can be used. Since these requirements change over time, they may not apply for older households. Asbestos and lead for example were once considered to be suitable for the construction of properties. However, nowadays we know these materials are hazardous for the health, because people who are exposed to them develop cancer.

Hire experts to remove the asbestos from the ceiling.

Lead can be found in the paint or the pipes, while asbestos was applied for insulation or making the house fireproof. These hazardous materials can be found in households built before the 1980s. To make the place safe, you have to remove the paint and replace the pipes along with any asbestos containing materials.

Termite Problems

Having vermins at home is unpleasant but when these critters are not just leaving filthy marks but are destroying the household items as well, it is much worse. This is the issue everybody who deals with termites knows about. Once these critters find their way inside the wood, they won’t stop until they turn it to dust. If you spot hollow-sounding household items, hanging ornaments, sagging flooring and holes in the drywalls, there are termites around the residence for sure. Using detergents to kill off the vermins won’t be enough to prevent further damages. It would be better to remove the loose components or the entire wooden furniture and replace them with treated woods – a material that is toxic for termites.

Water Supply

Pay attention to the plumbing systems. Old pipes can break and once water starts pouring out of them, things might get worse. As the liquid penetrates into the cracks, it weakens the structure of the house from the inside. The process takes time but in the end the walls, the ceiling or the flooring are going to crumble. In addition you will have to worry about leaks and flooding, which can damage the household items.

Inspect the pipes to make sure they are not broken.

To see whether a renewal would be in order, check the age of the plumbing system. Keep in mind that brass, copper and PEX pipes last about 50 years – twice as long as the steel ones, while those made of polybutylene are more vulnerable to corrosion.

Fungus Building Up

Darkness and moisture are the perfect conditions for the formation of fungus. Since these microorganisms form in tight spaces, they usually occupy the walls and the corners of the house. Mould and mildew are the most popular types of fungus, because they grow at a very fast rate on drywalls, grout and wood. The fact these microorganisms multiply by spreading their spores in the air, makes them particularly dangerous for people with respiratory health problems. Inhaling these particles could even lead to an infection. In order to cancel the further growth of fungus, all you need is a dehumidifier. This useful tool will cause the mould and mildew to dry off on their own.

Stability & Support

No property can last without good foundations. These have to carry the entire load of the household and the furnishing, which is why they are built before everything else. Furthermore, they must be durable enough to withstand minor damages such as cracks, rot and corrosion over time. Still, it doesn’t matter how strong and well built are the supports, if the surface beneath them lacks stability.

The supports and the foundations must be in good condition.

There’s no doubt the foundations are going to give away by obstacles like seismic activity, unstable rocks or soil moisture. Filling a few cracks won’t cost a lot but the same doesn’t go for building additional supports. In the worst case scenario, the entire foundation will have to undergo replacement.

Electrical Work

Every property needs electricity because life without this energy source seems hard or even impossible. After all, the electrical work powers the household, along with the many gadgets and appliances we use on a daily basis. From such a perspective, there should be enough outlets throughout the residence. If you can’t find any in certain areas, the reach of the electrical systems will have to be extended. However,  inspecting the wires should be the first thing you do. Their lifespan determines for how long the electrical system will work properly.

Renew the wiring to avoid electrical malfunctions.

Old wires are either incapable of transmitting electricity or lack isolation. The latter situation always hides the risk of malfunctions which can shock the inhabitants, cuse power failure or even fire outbreaks. Every electrical work done before 1960 requires renewal.

Home Appliances

It’s normal that older properties come with outdated household items. This concerns mostly the electrical appliances, as each of them has a different expiration date. Water heaters and air conditioners are good for 10 and 20 years respectively, while refrigerators and furnaces last about 15. Overall, the main concern by older appliances is their lack of energy efficiency and the fact they are prone to failure. The former issue only increases the bills, while the latter one reminds you that these items could break down and cause various damages to the residence at the worst possible moment. If you can’t afford new appliances or are willing to take your chance, at least check whether they are outdated or not.

The Tiles on Top

The purpose of the roof is to protect the household. That part of the property is exposed to various weather factors, including rain, wind, heat and cold. A durable roof consists of stone or copper tiles, but the majority of these structures are made of clay. The former materials can last up to a century while the latter ones are good for 40 years.

The tiles of the roof determine its durability.

When the tiles are too old, they will begin to disconnect, so make sure to undertake a full reconstruction in time. The older the roof, the bigger the chance for its components to fall off and hurt somebody upon falling down. In addition, a crack in the roof can always lead to water leaking in on a rainy day to damage the ceiling.

Final Words

For the sake of finding a durable property, never underestimate the importance of doing an inspection on your own. Keep in mind that nothing is more unpleasant for the inhabitants of a residence than watching how the place they have just purchased is falling apart. Even if you have all the time and money to undertake repairs, some households are not worth the purchase.

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