Buying your first home is a major rite of passage. For many though, there can be a sudden moment of realisation once the removals van has driven away. It’s all your responsibility!
Even though you’ll have had a full survey done on your new home without uncovering any issues, household problems can emerge anytime for any reason. With wear and tear and the changing seasons, first-time homeowners can find themselves confronted with brand new household problems they could usually leave to their landlord.
Experts at London property and building maintenance firm Aspect analysed Google search data from the past year to find out which household problems are causing the most concern (and confusion) for UK residents. The results revealed home maintenance problems ranging from the unusual to the frankly bizarre.
Here are 6 of those burning household questions and how first-time buyers can solve them.
1. Are my electrics safe?
As long as they haven’t been tampered with, there shouldn’t be any reason to worry about the safety of your electrics.
If your switch starts tripping regularly, it might be time to call a professional to check the power supply is okay. Your switch trips when the fuse box has noticed a sudden surge of power, automatically turning it off to protect you and your appliances. It keeps you safe, but indicates there could be a problem.
2. Why are my walls damp?
Damp is a homeowner’s biggest fear. It’s sometimes difficult to find the source and it can spread faster than you can catch it.
Before you jump to the worst conclusion, take a look at the different factors. Always check for leaks first, it could be a problem with your roof, gutters, or drain pipes. If the walls of your bathroom or kitchen are often wet, it’s possible you’re not ventilating the room properly and condensation is building up. However, if the damp spots are patchy, that’s a more worrying sign of penetrating damp from the brickwork and structure. You’ll need to call a professional in to take a look.
3. Why is my roof green?
Not only does a green-tinged roof look quite unpleasant, but it’s also a sign of damp conditions. If moss or algae is building up, it could mean your loft isn’t well ventilated or the environment is particularly humid.
Algae can be less damaging than moss, which holds water droplets on the surface of your roof and has a firmer grip on the shingles. Lichen (which is a lighter, minty colour) can be acidic too.
Needless to say, walking around on your roof is not a good idea. Always ask a professional to remove green stains and growths for you. According to the data, roofing maintenance appeared to be a hot topic, with the majority of questions asked being about roofs. See all of the expert roof maintenance advice and answers from the study.
4. Why are my taps vibrating?
Your plumbing isn’t haunted! Vibrating taps can have a few different causes, including water pressure build-up, a faulty washer, and a sticky boiler valve. If it’s the washer, that’s a cheap and easy fix. If it’s something else, it could be more complicated.
5. Is my floor going to collapse?
Structural issues are a huge concern for homeowners. An unstable floor in your master bedroom means an unstable ceiling in your living room – not good!
To find out if your floor has become a cause for concern, look out for sudden changes. If the surface has become uneven, started wobbling or bouncing, or cracks have appeared, that suggests something has changed and needs fixing.
Just like the roof and walls, a professional’s opinion on your floor and ceiling is always vital.
6. Why do my electrics smell like fish?
This was one of the most bizarre questions Googled, showing strange odours can come from the most surprising places! It’s fairly unusual, but a weird fish smell can sometimes be an indication of a damaged or frayed connection in your electrics.
Never fiddle with your electrics! A professional will be able to diagnose the smell and find the cause.
First-time buyers might Google these problems nervously and keep their fingers crossed over cost, but it’s empowering to get to know your home and its inner workings. The more you explore, the more confident a homeowner you’ll become.