The most common household problems that can cause long-term damage to your home

Just like everything else in life, as a home ages it can deteriorate through normal wear and tear and the effects of the elements. However, some problems are more pressing than others when it comes to household repairs. If you see the signs of any of the following issues listed below, you should look to make repairs as soon as possible to avoid potential long-term damage resulting from inaction.

Poor drainage caused by blocked drains or gutters

By far the most common household problem reported by home inspectors and repair companies is drainage. If your gutters or downspouts are damaged or blocked, it can have serious implications for your home and could cause water to seep into walls or foundations, in turn leading to potential problems with damp or structural damage to your foundations.

Damaged roofing and cracked or missing tiles

A roof is rather like an umbrella for a house, repelling water and protecting it from the worst of the elements. Ignoring problems in your roof will only lead to significantly more serious issues further down the line – and could even result in you having to replace the entire roof. Instead, you should make regular inspections of the interior of your roof space to check for the signs of damage or water ingress and also hire a roof repair specialist to make a thorough check of the exterior.

Faulty or aging wiring

Faulty or old electrical wiring in a home can cause significant problems – including, in the worst cases, potential electrocution or electrical fires. If the wiring in your home is older than 20 years, you should have it checked by a qualified electrician to make sure it is up to standard and meets modern safety requirements.

Poor ventilation

A poorly ventilated home can result in problems with damp which can cause significant issues for walls and structural features. More worryingly, it can also cause allergic reactions and sometimes breathing problems. Improve the ventilation in your home by regularly opening windows and installing fans in bathrooms and kitchens.

Inadequate or unsafe heating systems

Another very common problem (particularly in older homes) is with heating systems. Much like the wiring problems noted above, outdated or inadequate heating can pose a serious health and safety threat and should be replaced as soon as possible. Also, if your heating system is not electric, you should install carbon monoxide detectors around your home to alert of any potential developing problems.

Structural damage

Cracks in walls, drooping roofs, uneven floors and gaps in doorframes are just a few signs that can all point to a considerably more serious underlying problem in the foundations of your home and even subsidence. While these structural issues will not mean your house is likely to fall down, if left untreated they will amount to extensive and expensive work further down the line. If you notice any of the above issues (or just suspect you might have a problem), you should hire the services of a structural engineer to perform a full survey. In most cases, this type of damage is caused by water seeping into the foundations, floors or cellar and can be relatively easy to isolate and fix. However, the longer you let the situation persist, the greater the damage that will result, so deal with problems quickly.

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