Given Seattle’s climate and unique geography – wet seasons, steep hills, and an abundance of greenery — homes in our area tend to present specific issues. These issues are usually identified during home inspections, and there are repairs you may need to consider if you’re moving into a Seattle-area home. Here are some common home inspection repair issues and tips on how to resolve them.
Homes in the Tacoma area specifically are subject to side sewer inspections as part of the entire home inspection process. But, homes outside of Tacoma can also benefit from these inspections due to common issues related to plumbing that occur in our area, like rootbound pipes, offset joints, sagging, broken pipes, and clogs. Professional sewer cleaning services can repair rootbound pipes by using a high pressure water hose with an attached blade to cut through the roots. In extreme cases, sections of pipe may need to be replaced.
The roof is the first point of contact that a home has with the Pacific Northwest’s infamous rain. Over time, rain breaks down debris, like leaves, and that process causes mold, which in turn wears away shingles. This leads to leaks that can cause moisture damage or mold in your attic. One approach to address this is using peroxide- or bleach-based solution to spray down the roof and destroy mold.
Similarly, clogged gutters can lead to water pooling near the edge of the roof or overflowing and flooding near the home’s foundation. An easy repair and preventative maintenance includes cleaning out gutters regularly to ensure they’re clear before the next rain.
Chimneys are another roof feature that presents problems like deteriorating brickwork and masonry, loose chimney flashings, or cement that wears away between bricks. Fill in visible cracks and call in a professional roof contractor to replace broken chimney flashings.
Foundation and Soil Issues
Seatte’s hilly surroundings are picturesque, but they can complicate your life if your home sits on sloping ground. A home’s foundation is usually subject to shifting over time, and a home on a slope can experience foundation cracks. A significant issue is also erosion – when rain impacts the soil and causes debris to move downhill towards your home.
Cracks that are wider than ⅛ inch can be filled in with concrete crack filler, but contact a foundation professional for more complex repairs. Older properties may need to invest in soil regrading, installing a French or surface drain, or adjusting landscaping.
The damp Seattle climate can wreak havoc on basements and lead to mold issues. If you have a small area of mold in your home, you can clean it yourself.
First, protect yourself with gloves and a face mask, and then seal the area to be cleaned by closing vents and opening up a window. Remove furniture and throw away damaged items. Scrub surfaces with a mild detergent solution and then wipe down floors and walls with a diluted bleach solution and let it dry. You can also apply a borate-based detergent mix, without rinsing it off, to affected areas, which can prevent mold from growing.
If wood rot is found during an inspection, and it’s a small area, you can fix it by removing the rot and filling in the resulting hole with epoxy or a wood patch. If a larger area is affected, like an entire deck or porch, it may be necessary to replace rotted beams or joists with new wood. Once the new wood fixtures are installed, prevent future rot by sealing your deck and removing mildew buildup by regularly scrubbing the surface with a brush and soapy water.
If you’d like to learn more about what kinds of repairs to prepare for in your new Seattle-area home, contact South Sound Inspections for a professional evaluation.