The Most Frequent House Maintenance Problems

The Most Frequent House Maintenance Problems

Picture for category The Most Frequent House Maintenance Problems

Everybody is aware that the list of potential problems which may occur at one’s home is endless. But, learning the most frequent problems that homeowners report can be very helpful for the prevention of their occurrence at your home.

Structural problems - Many houses and buildings can sustain damage to structural components such as foundation walls, floor joists, rafters, and window and door headers, but in normal circumstances those buildings are built to withstand way more than a hundred years of exploitation. Terra cotta, concrete and slate tiles have life expectancies of about 20 to 100+ years. These materials are very brittle. Expansion and contraction caused by the changing seasons will cause these tiles to crack or become loose. Walking on these tiles can be deadly to the material. Cracking and the signs of aging can be difficult to see. Any signs of previous substandard repairs should be a warning sign that water may have been leaking into the property.

Water related problems - If left unchecked, water can destroy wood, drywall, flooring, and virtually every other surface of your property. Even in small amounts, moisture can cause mold to grow, which can be expensive to remediate if it gets out of control. If you have a water problem, make this your number one concern! Hire a qualified contractor to check out the problem and fix it immediately.

Improper Surface Grading and Drainage – This is the most frequently found household problem in old buildings which can cause water penetration inside the basement premises. This could lead to damp or wet basements, foundation movement, cracking or settlement. Water wicking up the foundation could lead to rot and mold in the walls, or in the wooden framing members. Some indications of foundation movement are floors visibly out of level. If you see this, know that the cost to correct this problem could add up quickly. In buildings with wooden construction (barracks), a major flaw with stucco exterior surfaces could add up to water in the living space.

Roof Damage – Roof leakage, caused by old or damaged shingles or improper flashing, is considered to be a frequent problem. Asphalt shingles have a life expectancy of between 15 and 40 years and are less durable than terracotta tiles. With age, asphalt roof shingles will begin to cup either up or down. They will blister and have granular loss. Next, the matrix (material holding the product together) will be exposed. At this point, water becomes the main enemy, waiting patiently for the opportunity to make its move. Wood shingles and shakes will show similar symptoms as asphalt when aging. Cupping, curling, lifting, splitting, insect damage, rotting and missing sections are all possible. To be safe, use terracotta tiles or metal sheeted roof, both of which are more durable than wood or asphalt shingles.

Plumbing – Though never ranked as a number one problem, plumbing defects rank high among the house problems encountered, and include the existence of old or incompatible piping materials, as well as faulty fixtures and waste lines. Large percentage of the water leaks under a sink is caused by the drain pipes not fitting together correctly. This is a fairly easy task for you to learn how to fix, or you can hire a plumber. Wet inner walls and the smell of dampness in the premises is an evident sign that you are having a plumbing problem.

Water Drip From Faucets and toilet tanks - A slow drip from a sink or bathroom can end up costing you a lot of money over a year. Therefore, if you have a slow drip, get it fixed right away. In most cases, the problem can be solved in about an hour of work from a plumber (or yourself). However, occasionally the entire faucet will need to be replaced. If this is the case, don’t install the cheapest one, because there is a good chance you will be replacing it again soon.Toilet tank parts are generally cheap pieces of plastic that may easily break. If water can be heard going through the tank pipe all the time or the tank re-fills with water on its own every so often, fix it right away or risk being surprised by your water bill.

Improper Electrical Wiring – A significant number of home owners chose this item as the most common home defect, which includes such situations as insufficient electrical service to the house, inadequate overload protection, and amateur, often dangerous, wiring connections. House fires caused by faulty electrical wiring are common. Modern homes have an ample supply of power and electrical outlets. Older homes do not. It's typical to see extension cords running from room to room in older homes. This places a burden on the electrical system, outlets and cords and thus could lead to a fire. Another common electrical problem found in all ages of homes is exposed electrical wires. Any wire that is exposed is susceptible to physical damage. If this occurs, call a licensed electrician.

Heating Systems – Problems in this category include broken or malfunctioning operation controls, parts and inner installations in electric heaters, blocked chimneys, gas leakage or hot water leakage from central heating radiators and unsafe exhaust disposal. Carbon monoxide poisoning, the danger of explosion due to gas leakage, and the dangers of fire due to debris ignition inside the chimney walls have to be prevented at any cost. If you have any doubts about a broken appliance, faulty installation, leakage of hot water or gas or a malfunctioning clogged chimney, you have to inspect the situation and call a professional.

Poor Maintenance – this situation is demonstrated by cracked, peeling, or dirty painted surfaces, crumbling masonry, makeshift wiring or plumbing, and broken fixtures or appliances. The repairs aren’t usually performed in order to save money. But, the money you’ll save on poor maintenance is a bad investment and a risk which waits to be unleashed. Do not attempt to fix things that you don’t know how to fix, household appliances which are under a warranty, or whose fix imposes a safety risk.

Exteriors – Flaws in a home’s exterior, including windows, doors, and wall surfaces, are responsible for the discomfort of water and air penetration, but rarely have structural significance. Inadequate caulking and/or weather-stripping are the most common culprits.

Poor Ventilation – Perhaps due to overly ambitious efforts to save energy, many homeowners have “over-sealed” their homes, resulting in excessive interior moisture. This can cause rotting and premature failure of both structural and non-structural elements.

Bugs/Rodents Dealing with pests can be one of the most annoying jobs for a home owner. You have to make sure that any infestation is taken care of because of the dangers of transmitting illnesses that can be very dangerous to you. Also be sure to seal up any holes, no matter how small, that bugs or rodents could be using to get into the property.

Take good care of your homemake a smart choice and don’t forget to insure it at the company which for 130 years has been caring for the values that you create! Send us an e-mail to: and we will send your insurance policy wherever you are!