The scariest problems homeowners face are surprisingly not paranormal. Anyone who has faced one of these issues would give anything to trade it for a good haunting. The scariest problems homeowners face are:
- Foundation troubles
- Flooding/water damage
- Electrical problems
- Home-eating insects
- Eminent Domain
The nightmare scenario for any homeowner is troubles with the foundation. With all the weight of your house pressing on it, the foundation is literally holding your house up. A broken foundation can cause other structural, plumbing, and even electrical problems.
On top of that (get it?), foundation troubles are super expensive to fix.
If you have a foundation issue, you have to jack up your house, completely replace the broken foundation, and replace anything that was damaged due to the broken foundation. Additionally, you have to check any and all windows, doors, and plumbing that could have been affected by the break in the foundation just to be sure they weren’t damaged too.
Water is the slow killer of a home. It shouldn’t be anywhere except tubs, sinks, and pipes. If it sits too long anywhere, it can cause warping or decaying of boards or the degradation of your foundation. I’ve seen too many homes that have a serious problems caused by water. Water problems also compound.
For example, if you have a slow drip in your pipes, your drywall can get moldy. Additionally, that water gets down to your subfloor and causes warping which buckles and breaks your flooring. If left too long, your sill plates, subfloor, flooring, and studs can all rot and crumble.
To fix water damage, you have to cut away anything that is rotting, crumbling, or warped and replace. The wider the damage, the more expensive the problem.
Water issues can also be hidden from you for years. For example, a drip from an air handler down the inside of your wall can ruin your sill plate and floor joists before you ever notice the water damage.
Electrical problems are super scary because they are the ones to most likely result in death. On average, electrical problems are fortunately not as expensive as long term flooding or foundation issues. The scariest, most expensive, issues come up when someone did wiring wrong, usually a bad DIY job.
Obviously, older homes come with worse electrical problems, but don’t rely on the fact that your home is newer to protect you.
The worst things I’ve seen is someone who ran an interior wire under the ground outside to a shed. They did this without any shielding, burying it deep enough, or burying it properly. That’s a recipe for disaster. If the thin rubber coating gets a break in it, water will get in and can cause serious problems.
Another thing that causes electrical problems is rodents chewing on wires. That’s part of why it is so important to keep rodents out of your walls.
It’s the attack of the home-eating insects! We’re talking about termites, carpenter ants, and many types of beetles. Not only do they carry disease, but they ruin your house. Just like with water, anything that is damaged by these bugs will have to be replaced. On top of replacing the damage, you have to fully eliminate the bugs first. Otherwise, they’ll just go back to destroying your house.
These insects are scary because they typically create all that damage inside your walls and crawlspace without you knowing it’s even happening. All you can do is check your crawlspace for termite tubes and any damage regularly.
One of the scariest problems homeowners face is the government. In the United States, the government can take property from you or a portion of the property from you as long as they compensate you for it. In the end, you can’t do much to stop the government from taking your property. The most common use of eminent domain is to widen a road or add a road, sidewalk, or sewer.
For example, here in Durham, all the homes along Fayetteville Rd North of Southpoint lost a large chunk of their front yards to allow for the widening of the street there.
They may not be goblins or ghouls, but the following items get honorable mention in the scary problems category:
- Roof Problems
- HVAC Issues
- Water Heater Breaks (unless they leak inside your house)
- Broken Appliances
Scariest Problems Homeowners Face
In conclusion, there are a lot of scary things homeowners face. Fortunately, these can all be prevented by being diligent and staying on top of any small issues that come up. To protect yourself, do the following:
- Check your crawlspace and attic in the fall and spring for moisture, insect damage, and foundation damage.
- Any moisture rings on your ceilings or walls should be addressed immediately.
- Clean up any spilled water off your floor right away.
- Any buckling of your baseboards or floorboards should be inspected and dealt with.
- Check your washing machine, toilets, dishwasher, and sinks regularly to see if there’s any moisture or condensation pooling at their base.
- Get regular treatment for termites. We live in Durham. Termites thrive here.
- Any faulty outlets or switches should be looked into.
If you follow all these steps, you can avoid most of the scariest problems homeowners face.