Have you ever wondered why beautiful architectural buildings and famous sights to see stand tall even after centuries? Of course, they need maintenance but there is one thing common about most of these places – their foundation was extremely strong and well planned.
We all have beautiful houses, but they can survive through the decades only when their foundation was strong. Nowadays, our buildings are not built to last for centuries. With time, you might find your home foundation become weak and need repair.
What are the signs that show your house needs repair?
There are several issues which can occur – from the minor ones like cracks and wall bowing, to severe problems like detrimental effects on the house settlement. This happens when the foundation, below the footing, becomes insufficient to support the entire architecture.
Let us go through the common signs which tell you that the foundation of your house needs repair:
1. Cracks on inside walls
When you witness cracks at the corners of doors or windows, especially the ones which doesn’t open or close smoothly, it will reflect foundation problems.
2. Fireplace cracks
People who have a fireplace at their houses will know that the bricks in this part of the foundation are structurally sound than drywall. Once this starts cracking, you would need immediate professional help.
3. Nails popping out
When you start seeing that the nails in the house are popping out, your house is probably leaning or the foundation is sinking. This too needs to be addressed immediately.
4. Diagonal cracks outside a room
Differentiating from indoor cracks, this will show you how caulk joints get pulled away during the cracking process.
5. Cracking in exposed concrete foundation
If you see signs of this, you must hire a structural engineer so that he lets you know the real problem or the superficial damage in your home structure.
6. Standing water around the foundation
Although this is not directly connected to settling, drainage issues can cause foundation problems in the long run.
7. Roots of trees weakening the structure
People who have trees close to their houses have a common problem of having their roots sunk inside walls. This can weaken the structure and needs to be dealt with carefully.
8. Leaking roof
The age of the roof can trigger leakage as they tend to erode with time.
9. Standing water in the crawlspace
This is yet another sign of big trouble. Homes that rest on posts should make sure that the wood is free from insect damage or rotting.
If your house starts becoming damp and the signs are visible after a downpour, it also shows that you need to repair it.
DIY vs. Professional Home Improvement
When you consider repairing your home, you might think about DIY processes that you can do alone. This might seem easy because you see one or two signs of repair and not all mentioned above. However, you need to know the difference between professional help and DIY:
1. Skill and expertise
Unless you’ve studied or practically worked on home improvement projects, your level of skill will be little compared to professionals. Initially, you might feel that DIY is easy for home, but it might turn out to make things worse.
Mistakes can increase the cost of renovation and you might have to call a professional to undo the damage you did. It is better to depend on people who know this job rather than fixing a mistake.
It can take you days or even months to work on DIY projects. Consider if you want to spend so much time working on weekends or you’d rather call in professionals. They will finish your project quickly and efficiently, and also not disrupt your normal lifestyle.
3. Local building code
Most municipalities enforce codes for every building to make them pertain to repair projects. For example, adding anything to the home, doing crucial electrical work, or adding a patio, can all come under this. You might need permits for your project and these will not allow you to DIY.
4. Dangers and risks
There are repair jobs that can be difficult or risky for you. For example, electrical, plumbing, HVAC systems can be dangerous for people who don’t have the skill to work on these.
What home improvement projects can you DIY?
Check out the home improvement tasks you can do on your own:
1. Clogged pipes
Having a clogged toilet is a common problem. You can fix this by submerging a plunger and exerting 8-10 downward thrusts. Products like Liquid Plumber or Drano can help you clear clogged showers, sinks, and bathtubs.
2. HVAC system maintenance
It is not recommended that you get into an integral part of the HVAC system but you can always maintain it or prevent damage. The simple act of changing the filter can improve the performance and prevent repair jobs in the future.
3. Blown electrical fuse
Having a blown fuse is a problem that happens when you use electricity heavily. You can ease this issue by throwing the switch in the circuit breaker box.
4. Replace light switch
Light switches are easy to replace if you know exactly how to do it. You need to turn off the circuit breaker before doing any home electrical work and do the task. It will prevent any possibility of shock.
Home improvement projects you shouldn’t DIY
Check out the home repair projects that need professionals for sure:
1. Major electrical work
People who don’t know much of electrical work shouldn’t get into it as they can get a lot of shocks. This kind of work needs wiring and can be dangerous.
2. Extensive plumbing work
Plumbing jobs where you need to replace a bathroom, sewage system, water heater, or whirlpool can cause flooding if not done right. You shouldn’t take up such challenging tasks.
3. HVAC system installation and repair jobs
You cannot get into the complex aspects of HVAC systems. It can not only be a costly mistake but also a risky one. You might also void the warranty by doing so.
4. Major home renovations
Most of the renovation that your home foundation will need is extensive and need professional help. You cannot work on these by yourself and expect long lasting results.
You can now judge the aspects you can afford to DIY and not afford to. Just go ahead with what you think you can do and leave the rest to experts.