Whether buying a home or maintaining an existing property, there are common contracting problems tied to each major geographical region in the United States. It is possible that any of these issues could affect any number of homes in a variety of locations. However, certain geographical areas are more prone for these concerns. It is important for both buyers and owners to be aware of the warning signs so that they can check for them appropriately, make an informed purchase and quick, cost efficient repairs. Consumers and homeowners should protect their investment by familiarizing themselves with their regional contracting concerns.
Contracting Problems – Southeastern US
Homes in the southeast portion of the US are very likely to have problems with the crawl spaces built beneath them. A crawl space, which allows access to necessary maintenance elements while being cheaper to build than a basement, is a key element of basic home upkeep. They also havens for moisture, mold, rot, and pests. Maintaining a clean and dry crawl space is crucial to protecting the value and environment of a home.
Homeowners should regularly check their crawlspaces for indicators such as standing water, leaking pipes, condensation on plumbing, mold, animal or insect presence, and structural sagging. Standing water is a breeding ground for mold, which can be distributed through a home’s ventilation system, causing unpleasant odors and health problems for the residents above. Moisture can seep through to the floors and framing, damaging the structural integrity of the home. Animal and insect infestations can also damage a home’s structure as well as contribute to an unhealthy living environment.
Contracting Problems – Midwestern US
The Midwest is particularly prone to soils that expand and contract like sponges, which is a direct result of the intense heat and drought that typically follow a substantial wet season. Foundation problems occur as the soil shrinks back and house settles. While some degree of settling is normal, particularly in clay soils, buyers and owners should watch for the warning signs of the main foundation issues.
Numerous warning signs indicate serious foundation problems. Carefully inspect the foundation itself for crumbling or flaking concrete, as well as cracks in the visible foundation, exterior masonry, interior walls or floor tiles. Pay close attention to doors, windows, and wall joints for cracks, and test these items to ensure they open and close properly. Uneven floors or roof lines are also signs of foundation problems. Typical causes of foundation problems include incorrectly mixed concrete, an abundance of moisture, temperature extremes, soil shrinkage and compaction, and tree root growth.
Contracting Problems – Northeastern US
Basement problems are a common issue for homes in the Northeast and should be checked carefully for any problems, particularly if they are finished and used as living areas or bedrooms. Basements often carry critical components such as electrical conduits and ducting, where moisture and mold are major concerns for the home’s integrity. Check the interior carefully for water staining or condensation and inspect the walls closely for buckling, bowing, or cracking. Consider the humidity level within the space, because dark, moist conditions translate into mold, rust, and rot. Ensure that electrical components are in good working order and meet local code standards. Any plumbing leaks or sump pump issues should be addressed right away, to keep the area as dry as possible.
Ready To Sell?
The team at Whitestone Acquisitions is experienced in dealing with most of the frequent contracting problems plaguing homeowners. If you are interested in selling and do not want pay for costly repairs, our team is standing by to discuss options with you today.