You need to be able to spot signs of damage to your home as soon as possible, before it becomes a big problem. Five things you might want to look out for:
A. Damage to your bathroom seals
If the sealant around your shower or bath is missing, or starting to crack, then water may be able to get in and cause damage, both in the bathroom floor and potentially in the rooms below. Replace sealant if you notice it looks damaged.
B. Condensation inside your home
Too much moisture inside your home may lead to black or green mould growing. Signs are water running down your windows, or damp walls. Check inside cupboards on a damp wall as mould may start inside them. More likely to be a problem in old houses than newer builds, you may need to improve the ventilation in your home.
C. Your windows starting to leak
If you have wooden windows and they have started to leak it may be that the wood is rotting. If your windows have PVC frames then the sealant may need to be replaced.
D. Wet and dry rot
Too much moisture can also lead to wet or dry rot in the wood inside your home. Rot is caused by the spread of fungus through the wood. If wood is wet or soft, and there is a musty smell, wet rot may have set in. If there is cotton wool type fungus growing and red dust or black thread, then it may be dry rot. Both wet and dry rot require significant repairs, replacing the wood and finding and fixing the cause of the moisture.
E. Your doors starting to stick
If doors start to stick if could indicate that the structure of your home is shifting. Look out also for cracks appearing in walls. If your home is a new build, this may be the structure settling, but if it is older then there may be cause for concern about subsidence. If you are concerned about subsidence call your insurer, who will arrange for a survey. The problem may be monitored to try to find out the cause and how fast it is happening. Usually the cause of the problem will be found and removed; some situations will require foundations to be strengthened.
For more information about subsidence, read our blog on signs of subsidence and what you should do.
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