From fuseboxes to floorboards and joists to rafters, your house is full of complex systems that need to be maintained to avoid failure and damage. Your house is your home, a place of safety, security and comfort for you and your family!
It goes without saying, that many homeowners in the dark about how to best safeguard their treasured space. Some homeowners may even be actively damaging their property, by ignoring or not recognising certain hazards!
The industry Pump specialists over at Anchor Pumps, have drawn up a list of eight potential risks that could destroy your home if they remain unchecked. Familiarise yourself with them and you could save yourself an awful lot of trouble further down the line!
The idea of being struck by lightning is usually seen as a highly unlikely event, but when it comes to your home, it’s far more common than you’d think. The actual strike itself might not cause a huge amount of damage, but the surge of electricity through all of the wiring and piping in the home can cause dangerous electrical fires.
Houses can quite easily be protected against lightning by attaching a lightning rod to the roof and running a conductor cable down the side of the house into the ground. Modern houses will most likely have these already, but older houses may not – check to be sure.
Water leaks are a particularly scary threat to your home. Damage doesn’t occur overnight, but slowly and silently builds up in the background, going unnoticed until a serious structural fault occurs due to mould and rot. Even before the rot starts to damage the structural integrity of the house, mould spores in the air can be extremely damaging to the health of anyone living in the house.
Water damage can be minimised by enlisting a plumber to carry out a routine inspection of your piping annually. There are also water leak detection systems available that work to monitor changes in temperature and humidity.
According to the TORRO UK extreme weather research centre, every year brings at least several incidents of extensive damage involving hailstones with a diameter larger than 25mm. In 2001, the South East experienced hail reaching 50mm in diameter, smashing roof tiling, windows and vehicles. These events are rare, so it’s worth investigating if your area is historically prone to hailstorms. If so, there are roof tiling products and coverings available which are specially designed for high-impact resistance.
Termites and woodworm are a serious threat to any home. The hungry insects gnaw away at flooring joists, wood, wallpaper and more, potentially causing disastrous damage to the structural supports of a house. Termites are uncommon in the UK, but woodworm is much more prevalent. Depending on where you live, it may be better to be safe than sorry. An inspection by a pest control company can find out for sure whether or not you have a termite or woodworm infestation.
Most of the sewage and water systems in the UK were built back in Victorian times. The aging national system is plagued by leaks with 3.3 billion litres of drinking water leaking into the ground every day. If a pipe in your home were to break, or a sewer line back up into your home, the resulting damage could affect electrical wiring and appliances, floors, carpets – almost everything. Keep an eye out for early warning signs of pipe damage, such as slow draining toilets and dripping taps.
From ants to bees, wasps to bats, the home can play host to a huge number of pests that, left to their own devices, can wreak havoc. Loft spaces and wall cavities are particularly at risk, and pests can damage wiring, plumbing and framing with their nests. To avoid this, secure your vents and roof spaces with chicken wire, and consult a pest removal specialist if in doubt.
Caused by the ground underneath the home sinking or shifting in certain areas, subsidence is one of the most serious issues affecting houses. This ground movement causes the foundations themselves to move, weakening the structure to the point of collapse, but if spotted early, can be prevented from worsening. Watch out for long, wide, diagonal cracks appearing on the interior or exterior walls – a tell-tale sign of subsidence.
There are several different types of damp, which can make it difficult to pinpoint the precise cause. New houses are built with moisture-preventive features to keep damp out, but older houses are built in such a way that they must be allowed to ‘breathe’, with moisture entering and exiting the property freely. Failing to properly air out the house is a primary cause of damp. Correctly identifying the cause is important, as some remedial measures risk worsening the problem by trapping more moisture inside.