How many times did you walk on your roof to install holiday lights? Did you know you might have just voided your roof replacement warranty by doing so?
This and many other seemingly minor mistakes that homeowners have been making when organizing and improving their homes are included in the recently released “The Home Book,” written by three home construction professionals: Walnut Creek, California Hall of Fame homebuilder David MacLellan, along with Architect/Developer George Wolfson AIA, and building code and inspection expert Douglas Hansen.
We’ve categorized the most common such operations and the effects that they may have on homes in 3 major groups and gave them a funny twist. However, these are serious issues so please read them carefully. Fingers crossed you knew them already!
1. You store extra weight in areas that were not designed to carry it
It’s no secret that we sometimes take things for granted. And many of those things are stored away in our attics. But have we been taking our attics for granted this entire time?
The first thing on this list: homeowners store things in their attics. According to the book’s author, storing memories and heirlooms on trusses designed to support the weight of the roof and ceiling and only those is a harmful habit, one that could lead to the collapse of the structure guarding the inside of your home. What would be a good thing to google during this article? The number of a structural engineer.
Another common mistake made by homeowners is treating upper cabinets in the same way they treat lower cabinets. Upper cabinets don’t use gravity to their advantage, they fight it with screws and bolts, therefore don’t pack too much into them unless you want to risk a spontaneous Greek wedding in your kitchen.
2. You’re forgetting to double check anything that comes into contact with water and moisture around your home
Your home may collapse! Sensationalism isn’t really our thing, but if you have a patio, landscaping, driveway and/or pool, you should make sure that excess water has been flowing the right way.
Rainwater that is improperly diverted by adding any of the above mentioned improvements may cause huge issues for your home’s foundation. This issue is especially of note if soils in your area have a higher clay content which could lead to improperly drained water swelling by up to 30 percent, and pushing up the foundation, which in turn leads to serious interior and exterior damage.
Sprinkler Systems and Other Installations
When installing a sprinkler system, always make sure that the heads are directed towards the home, due to the rot that could set in from repeated action against the building’s siding, masonry or stucco. Other effects of improper sprinkler installation include leaching of color and, in more extreme cases, movement of the foundation.
Other works that can easily lead to water damage to the home are the faulty installation of deck trellis, sunscreens or lanai structures. These structures don’t have to be an afterthought. Installing them, depending mostly on their size, could require a building permit and careful work. Tread lightly homeowners, these operations don’t have to be done in a flash, instead make sure deck ledgers are flashed with metal flashing when attaching them to your home. We can’t believe we went for the flash joke either…
The list of things you’ve been doing that are harming your home continues with bathroom and laundry vent fans. Since these fans are used to air out areas in your home that feature high humidity, disconnecting them is a considerable mistake. As a result, vapor could get into the drywall, framing members, and for an extra dose of creepy, electrical outlets. Condensation can then lead to moisture weakening the building’s structure through dry rot, while the unpleasant fungi, mold and mildew are also side effects of these practices. Also keep track of rooms that have humidifiers, as ventilation is crucial in these areas as well.
3. You’re not treating maintenance works and improvements to your home with extra care
We’re pretty sure this one is obvious, but we’ll say it anyway: “Don’t walk on the roof!” When cleaning the gutters, or retrieving items from the roof (we’re thinking about the pizza on the roof of Walter White’s house), always use a ladder. Any activities that aren’t carried out by trained professionals could lead to tears that may in turn lead to larger issues with the roof.
Note that most warranties also want nothing to do with damage that is provoked by unauthorized persons.
Did you know that tinting double-glazed windows can result in things other than making your home look like whatever Bono sees through his sunglasses? (Yes, we know he has glaucoma, we hope he’s getting the proper treatment.) The tinting film used on the inside of the window may act like a lens and heat the “dead air” found between the glass panes. Due to high temperatures in this space, the elastic seal may end up rupturing and leading to the complete loss of the window’s insulating value. You can tell when your window’s seal has been damaged by spotting moisture between the panes. Never tint double-glazed windows unless they are approved by the manufacturer.
When it comes to windows and doors, also keep an eye out for the way security systems are installed. Drilling into the bottom track of a window or door is not recommended, as it may lead to dry rot when improperly sealed.