Hidden house issues

The adage, “out of sight, out of mind,” has a basis in truth. Not to scare you if you’re a homeowner, but your house may have some defects that you can’t always see. When that’s the case, it can be easier to keep your head in the sand about them. This is not a good plan, however. Some house defects, when left unchecked and unrepaired, could lead to calamitous results.

If you have problems with your home’s foundation, roof, water drainage, or a termite infestation, it’s better to know now so you can fix the issue before it causes very expensive damage. The longer you let these things go, the more destruction and expense you’re likely to incur. But fear not, we’ve provided some tips on how to determine whether you have any of these issues and for getting them fixed if you do.

Whether you plan to fix hidden house defects for a house you intend to stay in or a house you plan to sell, a cash-out refinance from loanDepot might be just the financial solution you need. A Licensed Lending Officer can help. Call (888) 983-3240 for more information today.

Foundation problems

The foundation is the base of your house, so make sure you’re on solid ground. Signs that you might have foundation damage include doors and windows that are misaligned, doors that won’t stay shut or that stick, sloping floors, cracks in the wall, gaps between the wall and ceiling, large cracks in outdoor concrete, and water in the basement.

Hire a home inspector or a structural engineer to further diagnose whether you have a foundation problem if your house shows any signs. Some of what you detect could be just normal house settling, but you need to know for sure. The cost to repair a foundation issue depends on the problem. Plan to spend between $1,500 to hire a contractor to plug cracks with epoxy or as much as $40,000 if you need a whole new foundation.

Roof problems

You might not want to climb up to your roof, but you should stay on top of any roof problems. Catch them before a bucket is necessary every time it rains or leaks seep between walls and go down the length of the house. The most obvious signs are water stains on the ceiling, particularly if the stain worsens after it rains. This may not always give the exact location of the leak though, as water doesn’t always travel straight down. Paint bubbling up on interior walls for no apparent reason is another clue. If you see water damage, call a contractor to track the source and fix it.

Even if you don’t have an interior leak, your roof may still have damage. Note whether you see granules pouring from your downspouts after it rains. This means your shingles are starting to wear out and probably need to be replaced. Cracked, bowed, or missing shingles also signal a problem. Check first to see whether your roof is still under warranty. If not, get some quotes from roofers to replace the shingles or to put on a new roof.

Water drainage problems

If your socks get wet when you go down to the basement or if puddles are now part of your front or backyard landscaping, you likely have water-drainage issues. The problem usually stems from not enough slope in your yard. The water therefore runs toward your house, pools in certain areas, and gets in your basement. A French drain around the house usually solves the problem.

Termite Infestation

If the thought of any type of bug or insect makes your skin crawl, you probably don’t want termites in your home – not only are they unpleasant, these insidious creatures will eat and destroy your house if not dealt with. A swarm of them flying around your home, typically in the spring, is a sure sign you have them. Also look for a pile of wings on the floor or droppings that look like coarse sawdust. Other signs include exterior wood that, when tapped on, sounds hollow (termites eat the inside of wood first) and pencil-sized mud tunnels along your exterior or interior walls. A pest-management company can confirm whether you have termites and can get rid of them.

Regularly maintaining your home helps prevent disastrous surprises. A loanDepot Licensed Lending Officer can help get you funding through a cash-out refi to keep your home in top shape.

Published Dec. 20, 2017

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