Your house is your long-term shelter and a place you will be sharing with your significant other and your family. Thus, when it comes to building or buying a house, you need to closely inspect every possible element to ensure that it is safe. Safety comes first and should not be compromised for appearance and decorations. Aside from being your place of dwelling, your house is a protective structure against the harsh outdoor elements.
Whether you are a homeowner or prospective homeowner, it is important to pay attention to the important safety elements of your house or soon-to-be house.
Check the Foundation Stability
The adage that a house is only as strong as its foundation holds no matter how far we have advanced in the field of construction. Any small inconsistency or disruption in the composition of materials used in your house can cause problems to arise in the future. A relevant example is the problem of defective concrete in the states of Connecticut and Massachusetts caused by pyrrhotite.
Pyrrhotite is a mineral that reacts with water and oxygen by expanding. When this mineral is mixed in concrete the expansion causes cracks, which reduce the stability of a building. Thus, a pyrrhotite test has been included as a real estate inspection requirement in several areas within these states. If you are buying a house in these areas of neighboring states, be sure to include pyrrhotite testing in your foundation stability checks. Other foundation stability factors that you need to watch out for are the type of foundation used, the type of soil in the area, and drainage adjacent to the foundation.
Check for Signs of Water Damage
Whether you are buying a new house or occupying your home, you have to watch out for signs of water damage around the house. If you are a homeowner, address the water damage by fixing leaks and replacing the affected areas as soon as possible. Leaving water damage unattended for a long time can cause structural damage to your house, and the accumulating moisture can be a breeding spot for molds and mildew, which can cause health problems for you and the other occupants of your home.
If you are a buyer, look for these signs and inform the real estate agent of this problem. You can either have the water damage repaired if you want to purchase the house or you can skip the house and look for another.
Inspect the Electrical System
Again this safety check applies to both homeowners and buyers. For buyers, if you are inspecting a house that has been built more than ten years ago, make sure to check the electrical panel. Older houses that are several decades old may have electrical panels with the labels “Federal Pacific Electric” or “Stab-Lok“, and these need to be replaced with newer panel models. Also, watch out for crude wirings and poorly assembled or repaired wire connections.
As a homeowner, you also have to regularly check for damaged or worn wires, observe inconsistencies in your energy bill and check if your current electrical panel and system need an upgrade. As your electrical consumption needs grow over the years, you need to make the necessary checks and adjustments to avoid safety problems. Safety checks are an integral part of any stage of home ownership. If you own a house, you need safety checks to ensure that your home stays safe to live. If you are a buyer, ascertain that your prospective home is safe to move in before purchasing it. Even selling your home requires you to make your property safe for the next owner. Prevention can keep you safe and saves a lot of money in the long run rather than wait for problems and safety hazards to surface.