Ohio’s weather is notoriously difficult to predict. Even so, you’ll want to take the necessary steps to inspect and protect your home from water and structural damage and hydrostatic pressure. You can use this home health checklist to conduct home inspections on your own time and identify any damage that may require professional assistance.
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Assess Your Home’s Structural Health
Your home’s structural health helps you determine the overall security of your foundation as well as the rest of your home. You’ll want to check in on your foundation before any other part of your house, as it’s the most significant player in terms of your home’s stability.
Hydrostatic pressure affects every foundation differently. If you have a concrete slab or other vulnerable material supporting your home, that pressure can cause said materials to rapidly expand and contract until they eventually crack. If you let that kind of pressure continue to work against your home, you’ll rapidly find yourself dealing with not only a leak but potential settlement. If you don’t act quickly, it may become impossible to repair the damage done unto your home.
That said, there are some signs that give away hydrostatic pressure’s impact on your structural supports. These include:
- Popped nails
- Wall and floor gaps
- Uneven floors
- Vertical, horizontal, or stair-step cracks in your drywall or concrete
- Sticking doors
- Bowed basement walls
Don’t restrict your inspection to the indoors, though. You can also check on the health of your structural supports while outside of your home. Your chimney may start to crack if you’ve let hydrostatic pressure build up around your foundation for an extended period of time. Similarly, if this pressure’s begun to work against your foundation, you may have a better chance of notice slab slippage and settlement from outside of your home.
Look Over Your Crawl Space
Next, you’ll want to check in on your crawl space, if you have one. These spaces may be small, but any damage therein can have a significant impact on the overall health of your home. The more moisture your crawl space takes in, the more likely it’ll begin to harbor mold clusters. These clusters can negatively impact your family’s health, causing respiratory problems that previously didn’t exist.
Signs of crawl space damage you’ll want to be on the lookout for include:
- Standing water or moisture
- Wood rot
- Sagging floors
- Open vents
- Damaged insulation
- Unpleasant smells
- Pest infestations
You should also consider a crawl space inspection if you’ve noticed your bills rising for seemingly no reason. A damp crawl space is almost impossible for your HVAC system to properly control the temperature, meaning that your electric bill can skyrocket. Similarly, a leak in your crawl space can damage the pipes throughout your home, causing your water bill to rise.
Check Your Basement
Most homes in the Cleveland, OH, area have either a basement or a crawl space. Basements are a little less sensitive to water damage than crawl spaces are, but that doesn’t mean you can let their care and keeping fall by the wayside. If you let hydrostatic pressure make a playground of your basement, you can see the same kinds of mold that wreak havoc on a person’s respiratory system appear in its darker corners. Similarly, the structural damage hydrostatic pressure can bring about in your basement may become irreparable, if you let it go on for too long.
When inspecting your basement, make sure to keep an eye out for:
- Standing water that doesn’t drain
- Water-damaged belongings
- Unpleasant smells
- Damaged appliances, including your sump pump
- Obvious leaks
Note that many of these signs can also indicate foundation or structural damage throughout your home. If you’re not sure what kind of damage you’re looking at, but you’re certain you want to act, get in touch with one of the contractors in your area to start exploring your options including reliable basement waterproofing solutions.
Inspect Your Concrete Slabs
Finally, head outdoors and make sure to give any accessory concrete slabs the same attention you’d give your foundation. These slabs can include but are not limited to:
- Basement floor
- Pool deck
Hydrostatic pressure is just as likely to cause these elements to fracture and pull away from your home as they are to impact your foundation. You’ll want to consider waterproofing and reinforcing these elements upon their installation if you want to avoid the worst of the damage they may endure. They also can be repaired and protected with the state-of-the-art PolyRenewal™ concrete lifting and leveling system.
Luckily, you don’t have to browse the catalog of repair options available to you alone. You can reach out to a professional basement waterproofing, foundation repair, and crawl space repair contractor working in northern Ohio for a home inspection to learn more about the measures that may best suit your needs. You’ll also benefit from a free quote on any repairs or installation services you need around your home.