There are so many aspects of home maintenance to keep track of when you are a homeowner. Exterior home maintenance can seem obvious: cleaning out gutters, power washing siding, or replacing roofing. Interior maintenance, we often think of just needing a fresh coat of paint or maybe fixing a leaky pipe now and then. However, there are other common home interior issues worth keeping an eye out for as a homeowner! Here are a few of the most common interior issues we are asked to fix and how to spot them in your own home.
One of the most common issues we see in Rhode Island homes is wood rot. Wood rot is decay caused by fungal growth in damp wood. When timber becomes damp enough to have 20% or more moisture content and isn't able to dry out quickly or is repeatedly dampened, it creates the ideal conditions for wood-eating fungi.
Wood rot is most commonly found in bathrooms, kitchens, and attics or basements. Anywhere moisture levels are higher in your home is at higher risk for wood rot.
To see if you have wood rot, take a good look at the visible wood in your home. Look for:
If you’re still unsure, the easiest way to test for wood rot is to take a screwdriver and press it against an area you are testing. If it sinks in easily, you likely have wood rot.
How do you solve a problem of wood rot? Contact a professional carpenter or contractor and consult them! Our common course for repair is either removing the rotted wood entirely and replacing it with new lumber or replacing sections that have rotted and filling gaps with epoxy or a similar material.
Old wood can be an eye-sore, as well as dangerous if left alone. Some wood can be noticeably outdated and make your home feel old. On the other hand, old wood may not be as visually noticeable, but can be as structurally insecure.
Old wood can be a structural risk depending on the wood piece’s location and purpose. While wood can last a very long time, sometimes up to 150 years, older homes (like the ones we have in the Northeast) can have wood items that have come close to the end of their sturdiness.
Places to look for older wood are stairs, overhead beams, and other wood surfaces that are not as visible, like cabinet interiors. If wood is splitting or cracked, that can be a tell-tale sign of age. Creaky stairs can be sign of structural issues underneath and might be something to investigate further if you begin to hear that noise.
Another issue we see in homes are plaster cracks. Plaster cracks are an incredibly normal occurrence in homes. Plaster walls respond to inevitable foundation shifts and climate changes, and they can begin to crack. Everyday life, with its bumps and bangs, also takes its toll on plaster walls.
Certain areas, such as above and beside doorways and windows, are classic areas where cracking occurs. Nearly all homes with plaster walls will eventually develop window and door cracks. Repairing these cracks is essential, as leaving these areas unfixed can result in severe structural issues. An early sign can be that a door becomes unable to close because of the shift in the doorframe. Though the repair is a relatively simple and common process, you’ll want a professional to handle it since any mistake can give way to further damage.
If you have awkward spaces in your home, such as gaps underneath stairs, carpentry projects can fill those spaces! We have done projects that utilize that free space with carpentry work, including under-the-stairs cabinets, breakfast nooks, mudroom built-ins, and kitchen islands. If spaces in your home feel like they are lacking or empty, an addition of any of the above can make the area feel complete.
If you notice that some areas in your home feel off or empty, but you don’t have any idea how to fix it, consult with a professional contractor! They can help you come up with some creative ideas to utilize those spaces that need a little something more.
Your home is so important since it acts as the barrier between you and the outdoors. Our goal is to help you maintain it and keep it in top shape. Tackling any of these issues as they appear in your house will increase the longevity of the home, as well as make sure everything is structurally sound. If you think that your home might have one (or more) of these issues, contact us! As professional painters and carpenters in Rhode Island, we are here to help with any common (or uncommon) interior home issues you may have.