Renovate a home with water damage


When buying an old home with a need for renovations, you sometimes have to deal with water damages. There are many reasons why old homes are sold, and in some cases all information about the building is not available. Because of this it is offered as-is, which require for you to inspect the building properly to know what you are buying and what you need to expect when it is time for renovations. Water damages often scares away buyers, but it is often manageable, and you may be able to fix minor damages without it costing too much. If you experience water damages in your current home, then you may be eligible for an insurance claim to cover the costs of fixing water damages, but when you buy a home as-is, you need to check the house thoroughly before buying, and if you cannot evaluate the house yourself, you need to contact someone who can help you with the evaluation. When you are about to renovate water damages, it is important to attack the situation in the correct manner to make sure you do not experience problems at a later time.

We bought an old house by the sea that was built in the late 1800s and we were informed of some water damage. We chose to risk it to get our dream house, but we didn’t know for sure exactly how serious the damages were. An advantage when you are renovating a house built by earlier building standards is that there is often much air flow throughout the building, and you may be lucky that the moist has not been trapped inside the walls, ceilings or floors, and that there isn’t too much damage. We had water damage that stretched from the living room floor up to the second floor, and we couldn’t know exactly what the damages were until starting to opening up the wall. How comprehensive the damage was would reveal itself only when removing the wall panels. The house was sold due to the passing of the previous owners, and their children, who handled the sale, could not specify what we would discover.

Preparations before starting the renovation

To make sure you get rid of all water damage, you need to remove or mend the wood or other building materials that have been damaged. You may need to remove everything down to the framework. After this you will need to dry all the moist before rebuilding the room over a longer period of time. But this may not be enough. If you have water damage, there is probably a reason for it even if you sometimes will experience that you may not find water leaking when you open the wall. In the house we bought, we for example discovered a water leak that were only present in certain types of weather. When wind came in from the North-East and it was raining heavily, water seeped in through our east facing walls. Most times when it is windy in our area, the wind comes in from the west, and therefore we do not see this water leakage very often. But if we would have fixed the damage on the inside, we would have got the same damage again within a year. Therefore, we needed to first fix the outer wall to make sure water would not get through it. Even if it occurs quite rarely, it is possible to simulate this type of weather if you know what causes the leakage with simple means like a garden hose.

You will not always see obvious signs of water damages on the inner most building materials. So, any signs you see of unexplained moist should be taken seriously to locate problems. If you have a leakage somewhere in the house, make sure you follow the water path to fix all parts of the walls, ceilings or floors that may have been damaged by the water. When you have removed all damaged building materials, dried up any remaining moist with a heater and have fixed leaks on the outer walls, then you can start rebuilding the room. You can use a simple humidity measuring device to determine when the surface have dried properly. If the moisture in the framework or on the concrete wall is down to 10-12%, then you may start rebuilding.

Find the reason for the water damage

If you have not determined what caused the water damage, then you are not ready to start rebuilding. There may be many reasons why you have water seeping into your house. It may be because of roof damage, it may be that your outer walls aren’t water tight, or you may have water seeping slowly through your foundation. What type of water leakage you have will determine what type of work you need to do on the outside.

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