How to Protect Your Home from The Hazards

How to Protect Your Home from The Hazards

There are quite a few reasons why protecting your home from hazards should be a top priority for homeowners. Ensuring that your home is hazard-proof will do a great deal in saving you money in the future.

Taking the time and effort to protect your home from the unfathomable is a great way to ensure the longevity of your prized possessions and loved ones, too.

Protecting your home from hazards is a serious undertaking and should be treated as such. There are many types of hazards that can devalue or even destroy your home.

Safety Hazards to Watch Out for Around the House

1. Fire Hazards:

One of the most common types of hazards, and most troublesome is fire hazards. Fire hazards can ruin everything you’ve worked for. The best way to prevent fire hazards is to check for fire prone areas in your house.

You should also make sure your home is fully equipped with an up-to-date fire alarm system and a fire extinguisher in the home. If you live near a grassy or wooded area, forest fires can be a concern. The best advice for protecting your home from a forest fire is to make sure to clear a 50-foot perimeter around your home.

2. Electric Hazards

Electrical hazards around the home​Something I see all the time while doing 4 point inspections is faulty wiring. Checking the electrical chords is typically a great start to preventing anything from happening. Exposed wiring in the sockets and overloaded wiring in the sockets are both worth looking out for.

Checking with your hands to feel if electrical outlets are warmer than usual is another good way to check to see if you’re facing an electrical hazard. All of your outlets should be covered. If they aren’t, you could be exposing your family & home to a potential fire hazard.

3. Heating Hazards

One common hazard homeowners face is with using space heaters or other alternative heating sources. Older space heaters pose a bigger threat to homes than more modern versions.

If you do have a space heater in your home, it’s advisable to keep it as far away from furniture as possible. Placing a space heater near curtains or furniture can quickly lead to a devastating fire.

Properly placing your space heater can have a great impact in preventing a house fire. Space heaters and alternative heating methods are an unsuspecting hazard to your home.

If you have any hazards in your home that you think may be posing an unnecessary risk to you or your family, those risks should be eliminated as soon as possible. An unnecessary amount of hazards to your home could have a great amount of serious repercussions on your home and family.

For instance, if you need to sell your home in the near future, too many hazards can make the task that much more difficult since the home buyer will not want to have to fix all of it. By rectifying any safety hazards around your home you will not only be taking the necessary steps to protect your home, and to ensure of its healthy upkeep when the time to sell approaches.

Protect your home from flooding and water intrusion

Protect your home from flooding and water intrusion

We live in Florida and I always like to let my clients know at every Windermere home inspection that they need to protect the home from flooding and water intrusion!

Believe it or not the biggest reason for water intrusion in Florida is roof damage which causes major leaks and issues on the inside of the home. The weather here in Florida is very hot and very wet and your house is like a boat, you want to keep all the water on the outside. 🙂

4 Major Culprits Causing Water Damage in Your Home

There are several ways that your home could actually have water damage. The 4 major ones that I see all the time in the homes I inspect are…

  1. Poor window caulking,
  2. Stucco cracks and
  3. Improper stucco applications which have openings that allow for water intrusion
  4. Poor drainage collecting at the foundation from roof drainage – many times a French drain is needed to divert the water away from the foundation.

This means that you want to make sure your windows and doors are properly caulked and that weather stripping is in good condition.

The number one place of water intrusion that I find in homes is through where the caulking has separated at the doors and windows.

The second thing I look to see is if there is proper drainage around the foundation of the home, making sure that roof run off of rain water is not landing right next to the foundation or that the gutter downspouts do not empty right at the edge of the foundation. If they do this will cause erosion and possible settlement problems along with the possibility of water intrusion.

This will cause the home to settle, maybe not enough to cause structural damage although it is possible, but water at the edge of the foundation is the main culprit for stucco cracking. Stucco is just a thin layer of cement. Any movement at all will cause the stucco to crack.

Water can go through a stucco crack and through a concrete block wall to the home’s interior. If you have stucco cracks, they should be sealed with caulk and then the caulk painted over.

Gutters are a Florida home owner’s best friend because they help keep the ground dry at the foundation, (which in Florida is usually just sand) but the downspouts should be extended away from the buildings foundation.

Excessive water around the foundation can not only cause settlement and erosion issues but when the ground is saturated, the hydro-static pressure of the water in the ground can push the water up between the stucco/siding and the foundation and cause water intrusion into the home.

The last thing to check for possible water intrusion is the roof.

Many people think that because they put a 40 year shingle on their roof that they will not have to worry about the roof for at least 35 years. Well, that may be true in other parts of the United States, but not here in Florida.

We have one of the harshest climates for roofing. With the excessive heat, high winds, and heavy rains, (and these are besides the hurricaines) most roofs will not last 20 years. Many roofs start to shows signs of needing maintenance around 13-15 years of age. That’s why if you are looking to purchase a home or even a business in Florida you want to get your roof inspected by a certified roof inspector.

It is around this time that exposed nail heads will have rusted and have the ability to allow rain to enter into the nail hole and cause leaking.

By 18 years, low quality shingles will be dried out and start lifting causing them to blow off in high winds and thus needing replacement. Florida changed its building code in 2017 that now requires the edge of the roof to be sealed with tar. Roofs that were installed before 2018 are susceptible to wind blowing rain under the shingles at the roofs edge causing water damage to the decking.

If you have this issue and the shingles are not ready to be replaced, you can take a tube of roofing tar and a caulk gun and seal the edge of the roof so that it is sealed from high winds and water intrusion.

How is your home standing against water intrusion?