7 Bad Things Your House May Be Hiding

12 Oct

7 Bad Things Your House May Be Hiding

The unknown — it is what causes many homeowners to pause before embarking on a remodel. It’s not possible to know what you are getting yourself into, and the lurking, unseen issues on your walls, floors or foundation might easily bring about a change order, a schedule delay and possibly a shift in funding.

Instead of worrying about all the things you can not control, instruct yourself. The very best way to control your fears is to know them. Here you will learn all about the awful and nasty things you might discover during a remodel.

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1. Asbestos. You can find asbestos in several places: wrapped around your furnace duct joints, from the mastic that connected flooring tiles during the ’50s, in window glazing installed to maintain old single-pane windows out of neglecting, in certain ceiling tiles and other mixed places — all depending on the age and location of your home.

The good thing is that testing is relatively cheap and simple. The good thing is that if material containing asbestos is going to be affected, it must be abated: removed with containment, followed by a check of the atmosphere, since asbestos is the most dangerous while airborne (also called friable).

The sole contractors who can lawfully remove asbestos-containing materials are accredited abatement contractors.

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2. Old pipes. Galvanized pipes have a tendency to slowly corrode the inside, eventually filling up after 50 years or so. This makes for fittings with a trickle of water and also the capacity for the supply water pipe’s neglecting entirely. Galvanized pipe is frequently so brittle a cut to link it to fresh piping can cause a break unattended.

The only long-term alternative is to replace all of it not only in your home, but also the run of pipe out of the home to the container, where it connects to the primary supply.

Dismal drainage. Many houses have downspouts that lead to tight-line systems — buried pipe that drains to the sewage system or elsewhere. Those traces can become clogged over time and cause drainage issues, as can squander lines in the home that may not be large enough to deal with an extra toilet or 2. Waste lines buried in walls and concrete frequently yield surprises, including jagged or leaking cracks, absence of vents or cubes, and the occasional dropped clay pipe leading from the home to the main sewer line.

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3. Lead paint. Used primarily in houses built before 1978, paint that contains lead can result in a host of physical problems, particularly for young kids. But not all houses built before1978 have lead paint, so testing is indispensable.

If lead paint is located and will be disturbed, the EPA requires particular containment measures to be taken and certificate by the company doing the work. Complying with all the lead paint law will lead to increased demolition and debris removal costs.

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4. Creative electric. Homes with differently good wiring may still have their surprises: jerry-rigged extension strings buried in walls, overtaxed circuit breakers and junctions out junction boxes.

Elderly homes add insult to injury: decaying knob and tube wiring, fixtures secured simply to wiring with no box, absence of grounding, ground fault interrupters and other “improvements.” When remodeling an older house, rely on some wiring adjustments out the immediate remodeled area to account for these unknowns.

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5. Things that make you go “ewwwww.” Open walls and flooring, and you are bound to find some grand, from desiccated rats into hornets’ nests, termites and other icky things. Your home looks awfully homey to insects and pests, and they may make an awful mess.

In Seattle there’s a running joke that there are two sorts of homeowners here: those who know they’ve rats, and people who don’t know they’ve rats.

Count some kind of yucky discovery during demolition and be relieved when it is minor.

See what a few homeowners found in their walls

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6. Dry rot. Whether deteriorating exterior trim and siding, or a subfloor that is seen a bit too much water out of an adjacent toilet or shower, your home is certain to have dry rot in at least one place that will be exposed by your remodel.

The best-case scenario is a fast fix with a carpenter. More involved work may be required if the framing or other structural members have rotted, or when there’s rot that extends across chambers and beneath floor.

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7. Structural surprises. Architectural plans have a tendency to possess “verify in field” notes, meaning that the contractor must affirm that structural framing and bases are expected. Occasionally rather than a footing, you’ll find a nice stone. It does not matter that the stone in the corner has held up a three-story construction for 70 years — your contractor must replace it with an engineered concrete floor, and that means a change sequence.

Inform us : What unfortunate surprises have you encountered on your own remodels? Share in the Comments below!

More: 11 Things to Expect With Your Remodel

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