This Old House needs more than a Little Love

Peter B. GiblettStarred Page By Peter B. Giblett, 30th Oct 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/3x9tf2js/
Posted in Wikinut>Family>Urban Living

Having travelled across many parts of this globe and have seen some interesting homes and each home normally has a person that belongs with it, and that may explain why during the course of our lives we move several times. Generally we move out of our parent's home and into our own place, then we probably move several more times during our life.

Journey of life

Each new place we live in signifies another step on the journey of life, and for the majority of us it means moving five or six times during our life.

The recession of 2007 was not very kind to people and of course sometimes was not kind to the homes they lived in, since that time repossessions have been running at record levels and that process has at times been bad to the structure and as we all know an empty house soon starts to fall apart and once it falls apart then it is impossible to live in once again.

There have been some examples of houses that have firstly become lonely, then sad, soon to become ugly and then forgotten (especially when hidden behind bushes, shrubbery, or trees, all of the time the wind, rain, and snow beats at its shell. The paint peels, the nails work their way loose and the mortar between the bricks starts to crumble and loosen, the passer-by hears the eerie creaky sounds and this is when the rumours start about the house being haunted, but is it? Surely it is simply the wind rattling the rafters, or is it?

Trouble is most people tend to believe the spooky explanation over the logical one. But of course the spooky gives an air of mystery about it. Lets look at some of the things that can go wrong around the home.

The Flood

Floods are one of the greatest challenges a house can face. Your basement is not built to become a swimming pool and a flood can be a disaster for most houses. In many parts of the world there is no basement to take the brunt of a flood so the ground floor takes the brunt of the damage. You may have seen television pictures of flooded homes, because rivers have burst their banks, well think about it happening to your house

When water settles in a house it will soon start to smell and the smell can be unbearable forcing the inhabitants to leave the home they love.

Water damage can be fixed, provided its tackled quickly. Part of the solution is the use of dehumidifiers to remove water from the local atmosphere, the challenge though is normally the noise associated with the machines but they do need to be left running 24 hours of the day in order to reduce the damp that perpetrates everything in the house. If it is not done completely then replacement flooring and wood can be ruined because the atmosphere is still damp which then spoils replacement items.

Of course the worst time for flooding is during the winter months because there is a danger that it will re-occur and the house can never quite become dry.

Water Damage

One of the frequent types of damage that is found in houses is water damage which is not necessarily as a result of flooding but caused by leaks or leaking pipes. The results can be very similar to that of a flood, but the damage is normally compounded over years causing things like warped floors, uneven door frames, and wet patches on ceilings and even those curious smells that can be known to linger.

Also this is where that rotten woodwork comes from, although this can frequently be hidden behind walls or door frames, as a result this type of damage can often go undiscovered for a long time, so that the current owner does not uncover damage caused by prior owners until they need to change something and find a nightmare hiding behind the wall.

One thing is very clear people need to pay more attention to leaks in the water pipes and drainage systems than they generally do.

The Fire

Whether you are a home-owner or a commercial entity, any fire can be a devastating event, they can seriously ravage a property, often beyond what is immediately visible. For example you think the fire is limited to a small area in a single room, but it often damages more than the obvious visual impact, it gets in behind the dry wall and impacts insulation material, electrical wires, pipework etc. Of course if your house is too badly damaged, you may not be allowed back inside and the only course is for it to be demolished.

Assuming that is not the case and the house has been damaged rather than destroyed, interior clean up will certainly be required and you'll probably be in need professional cleaners who are able to tackle the damage, there will be many types of damage encountered including soot, ash, charring, smoke, odour and extinguisher residue. Of course the other danger here is water damage as a result of tackling the fire and part of the clean-up will be similar to that of water damage.

Home owners will think they can clear it all up, but professionals will understand the type of damage that fires can cause and know that much of this is hidden from view, things like burnt electrical wires can bring inherent danger and the potential spark for a new fire.

The buckled floorboards or bent walls in a part of your home may have been caused by earlier fire damage, do you know what is in behind there?

Still Love your Home?

With all this going on it is a wonder you decide to stay, but the truth is we do love our homes, even when they are damaged, and the average home owner will tend to want to tackle the problems themselves, but should they?

When damage happens often Insurance kicks in and the insurance company will frequently call in a specialist contractor - they have experience remedying the type of problem you are facing and you should talk to them to ensure issues are properly resolves - this is a case where the home-owner should take take the back seat and let the professionals get on with the job.

Image Credits

The images for this article were obtained from the following sources:

  • Work to do - House available on Realtor.com
  • Flooded out from Flicr.com
  • Ceiling damage by Peter Giblett.
  • Fire damage from Flicr.com
  • Two broken homes from pixgood.com

Other contributions...

The following are some of the more recent articles that Peter Giblett has published:

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Tags

Basement, Clean Up, Damage, Fire, Flood, Leaking Pipes, Old House, Smell, Spooky, Warped Floors, Water Damage, Wind Rattling The Rafters

Meet the author

author avatar Peter B. Giblett
Author of "Is your Business Ready? For the Social Media Revolution"

Social media consultant, with C-Level background.

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Comments

author avatar Retired
30th Oct 2014 (#)

That's a depressing piece! How many such disasters have befallen you personally, Peter?

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author avatar Peter B. Giblett
30th Oct 2014 (#)

John, the ceiling damage picture was found in a house we viewed a few weeks ago. Sadly we have experienced two floods (not of our own making).

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author avatar Mark Gordon Brown
30th Oct 2014 (#)

Those two houses in the last image must have been beautiful at some time. I know in Michigan many homes look like that, not because of flood or fire, but just because the economy died and people abandoned their homes.
Where I live now the opposite is occurring with new homes springing up everywhere you look

It is sad when homes are left to die, all the resources used on them gone to waste.

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author avatar Peter B. Giblett
30th Oct 2014 (#)

Mark, agreed. We are currently looking at properties, from an investment viewpoint, but even those two would not be worth investing in.

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author avatar Retired
30th Oct 2014 (#)

I sold my private home in 2007 and moved to a townhome that I purchased. It was a scary time to sell, as all that summer the prices of homes kept going down. Thankfully, all went well for me - I only had to drop my price $3,000, had a cash offer, and had my selling and buying closings only two hours apart. I was well rewarded for keeping my house in excellent repair. :)

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author avatar Peter B. Giblett
30th Oct 2014 (#)

&R.C. Most people keep their homes in good repair, but incidents happen even to those that do.

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author avatar viewgreen
31st Oct 2014 (#)

Very informative article... Thank you for sharing this useful information.

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author avatar snerfu
1st Nov 2014 (#)

Guess it is time to build a boat, one that is fireproof. Just kidding Mr Gilbert, kind of a twist on housebroken I guess!

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author avatar Ptrikha
1st Nov 2014 (#)

Also, houses over 20 years ago have problems like water leakage in pipes, dampness in walls etc. In India, it is often the result of an initial shoddy work by the Building contractor who earn in Millions at the expense of innocent people who get their house built.

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author avatar Peter B. Giblett
1st Nov 2014 (#)

Mr PTrikha, there is no reason why older houses should have problems unless there was initial poor workmanship or unless it has not been well maintained over time. I say a house yesterday that was falling apart on the outside because of poor maintenance - the existing owners had not taken care to ensure that water drained away correctly.

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author avatar Ptrikha
4th Nov 2014 (#)

In India, often contractors use substandard material to "save" more money for themselves unless they are working for a company or client who needs record for everything.

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author avatar Peter B. Giblett
4th Nov 2014 (#)

I have seen some of the building happening in India and agree that everything needs to be recorded and micro-managed.

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
3rd Nov 2014 (#)

Picking up the pieces after a devastating fire or flood is not for the faint heart even if insurance covers the damage. Thought provoking and informative, thanks Peter - siva

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author avatar Peter B. Giblett
3rd Nov 2014 (#)

That is one of the reasons I say that the professionals need to do the work because they can clear and rebuild far more effectively. I have had two floods, in two separate houses, and a friend of mine has had two fires in one house both caused by electrical faults.

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