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What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think about home renovations or remodeling? You might think about upgrading an outdated room, changing your style, or adding more functional space to your house.
But, people don’t often think about renovations to increase the safety of your home. In fact, it’s easy to ignore any safety issues your home might have – until they become a problem.
Unfortunately, you might be living in a home with potential safety issues that could be putting you and your family at risk. Understanding some of the factors contributing to these issues will make them easier to spot.
Why is that important? The sooner you’re made aware of any potential home hazards, the sooner you can work on repairing and renovating to make sure everything is safe and secure. Some potential safety issues warrant an immediate fix.
So, how can you ensure the safety of your home and focus your repair and renovation efforts on keeping your family secure?
Paying Attention to Warning Signs
Did you know your house could be telling you something?
Some noises in your home are relatively normal. The house might be “settling” or certain appliances might be louder than others. But, there are a few notable noises that can be telltale signs of bigger problems – even a potentially dangerous one. Some of the most important warning signs (or sounds) you should pay attention to include:
- Bubbling pipes that could be the result of excessive sediment buildup
- Electrical humming or buzzing that could indicate a problem with the wiring
- Hissing noises that could be a warning of a gas leak
- Knocking or banging in the pipes due to a faulty radiator
- Running water due to leaking pipes
- Strange noises coming from your furnace
If you hear any of these sounds, you should either take care of the problem yourself or contact a professional right away. The longer you wait to repair the problems causing them, the more at-risk you’ll be of something harmful happening.
Firming Up Your Foundation
In addition to listening for problems, it’s also obviously important to look for them. You don’t need to have experience as a contractor or even a lot of knowledge about home repairs to know when there’s a foundational issue. If you see a lot of exterior cracks, your doors are out of square, or there is rotten wood anywhere around the foundation of your home, it could be crumbling.
Structural damage can be caused by wear and tear over the years, weather, or soil movement. It’s a good idea to keep an eye out for any signs that your home’s integrity might be compromised. Some of those signs include tiny holes in the drywall or wood, flickering lights, or sudden cracks appearing in your windows. Unless you have handyman or construction experience, these repairs are often best left to professionals.
Staying Safe and Adding Value
One of the most common reasons for people to remodel their homes is to add value. If you ever plan on selling your house, you’ll want to make a profit, right?
But, a remodeling project meant to boost the value of your home shouldn’t come at the expense of your health or safety. If you’re renovating to sell, simple projects like painting, installing new flooring, and upgrading your appliances are good places to start. But, if you want to make major upgrades or changes to your home, consider issues that may arise in the future for the next homeowner. That may include things like updating your HVAC system, repairing foundational issues, fixing the roof, or updating your home’s wiring.
No one wants to move into a home that will pose safety risks in a short period of time. So, whether you plan on selling soon or not, taking care of any major upgrades is never a bad idea, especially while you and your family are living under that roof.
Simple DIY projects can make a difference in your listing price. But, if your home wouldn’t pass an inspection with flying colors, it’s time to consider tackling some major upgrades. When it comes to those upgrades, or anything involving wiring, plumbing, or HVAC systems, it’s almost always better to utilize a professional than trying to do it on your own.
Making Improvements for the Future
You don’t have to wait until you see signs of danger in the home to take preventative action. If you live in an older home, for example, there might be hidden household hazards lurking where you least expect them. You don’t have to wait for these hazards to cause health issues to take care of them.
There are plenty of things you can do to prevent hidden hazards like:
- Carbon monoxide
When it comes to mold, the best preventative measure you can take is to keep moisture out of your home. Repair any leaks, keep your home dry, and use a dehumidifier in areas that tend to get damp.
If you live in a home that was constructed before the 1970s, you may have asbestos in the walls that you’re unaware of. It can also be found in pipe, duct, and furnace insulation. While leaving it alone is the best option, you might expose it if you ever do major home renovations. So, make sure you hire a professional removal company beforehand to take care of it safely.
Dangers like carbon monoxide and radon can be easily prevented by using detectors within the home. If the levels of either substance become high enough to be harmful, the alarm(s) will go off, alerting you to the issue so you can take action. The best thing you can do in those situations is to leave the home as soon as possible. You can prevent build up carbon monoxide by always allowing proper ventilation in your home.
It’s never a bad idea to think ahead when it comes to potential risks within your home. By paying attention to any warning signs of potential problems and doing what you can to prevent future hazards, you can take comfort in knowing you’re keeping your family safe, healthy, and comfortable.