Friday, April 14, 2017

How To Spot Silent Building Killers

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Thanks to TDHCA

Your home is probably the single biggest investment that you will ever make and it’s only natural to want to keep that investment safe. With regular maintenance and good insurance policies you probably think you have everything covered.  But things can and do go horribly wrong and often you won’t know a thing about it until it’s too late.  Good news is, if you know enough about the tell-tale warning signs you can protect your home from unexpected disasters.  Here are three silent home invaders that if left untreated could shatter your investment dreams.

Dry Rot
Dry rot (Serpula lacrymans) eats away at wood compromising its strength and stiffness. What makes it a deadly and silent building killer is that it can spread through your home’s timbers without any obvious signs unless you know what you’re looking for.  
Typical signs that you might have a dry rot problem include:
  • Wood begins to darken in color, shrinks and cracks
  • If your home is relatively dry you might see a silky grey, lilac and even yellow ‘skin’ developing. This ‘skin’ can be peeled like a mushroom.
  • If you live in a humid climate you might see white, fluffy mycelium developing that can have strands that are brittle
  • You might also notice a musty, damp or mildew-like odour

If you suspect dry rot it’s best to get it looked at by a professional.  You can find your local specialist here.

Termites

Did you know that termite infestation affects approximately 6000,000 homes a year in the U.S., costing homeowners more than $1 billion!

Termites are known to destroy wall and roofing timbers of a home within three months so these bugs literally eat your house down around you.

  • Muddy termite tubes about the size of a pencil on the outside of your home
  • An increase in winged insects in your home, these could be flying termites returning to their colony
  • Damp-like patches springing up on the inside of your home that have a mouldy appearance and odour
  • Wood that is bulging or buckling
  • Unexplained sawdust like material on the floor (this is faeces!)

If you notice any of these tell-tale signs of termite infestation in your house, professional pest control treatments such as those offered by Terminix should be started immediately.

Subsidence
Subsidence is the movement of part of your house caused by the sinking or collapsing of the ground underneath its foundations. This puts strain on the structural integrity of your home leading to cracks in the walls and ceiling.
Natural cracks can appear in your home, particularly newly plastered homes without it being subsidence. The difference with subsidence is that cracks will be thicker, can be seen internally and externally and are usually found by doors and windows.  
Other signs of subsidence to look out for are:
  • Changes to the wallpaper, particularly where the wall and ceiling join
  • Door and window frames sticking as the frames are stretched or bowed
  • Diagonal cracks, particularly by windows and where an extension might join
If you have subsidence it is very costly to fix and will involve contacting your insurance company.  You can prevent it by keeping the soil around your house well drained and ensuring that any leaks from gutters and pipes are kept to a minimum.  

Thanks for stopping by today.  Meet you again soon, At the Fence!

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