5 Problems with Walls and Floors You Can Face When Remodeling
There are many issues that could be hiding in your walls and under your floorboards right now. Thousands of homeowners face at least one of these problems every year when trying to remodel their walls and floors, something that they could have potentially avoided by knowing the risks beforehand.
That’s why we chose to list the five most common home renovation problems that many people encounter whenever they’re dealing with walls and floors— from what lies underneath to adding the finishing touches to them after everything went seemingly well. We’ve seen them happen a million times, so you know they’re out there.
1. It’s a load bearing wall
There are two basic types of wall in a house: Regular and load-bearing walls, and as the name implies, the latter type is the type of wall that carries an important part of the house’s overall weight on it. Getting rid or damaging load bearing walls can cause all sorts of structural damage to a house, and one of the most common problems that homeowners face when trying to remodel to make space for a more open floor plan is running into them. Even when they try to make a wider space for a door or window, they can contribute to the structural damage we mentioned before. This doesn’t mean that they are completely immovable, however, as headers can be put in their place to carry the weight that is concentrating in that area, but be wary that a qualified engineer should be the one to calculate the size and material of a header.
The ever-present threat of asbestos in houses built between 1940 and 1980 is something you should look out for. Asbestos poses a threat when it’s broken down by being scraped or sanded, and it can cause severe lung damage if inhaled. Whether you’re remodeling what’s behind or underneath ancient walls and floors, such as plumbing, insulation, HVAC insulation, adhesives and more, you should contact a professional to examine the area, and hire a team of experts with the adequate protective equipment if you want to remove it. Remember that asbestos that is still in good condition will not cause you harm, but don’t risk it.
3. Lead paint
Another dangerous relic of the past still present in many homes today is lead paint, which was extensively used before 1978. Like asbestos, undisturbed lead paint that is still in good condition will not pose a threat. But the problems begin when it is chipping, peeling or otherwise breaking down, so it’s better that you first test for it and contact a professional team to remove it safely so you can work on your project without having to worry about damaging your health. Never attempt to remove it yourself, and don’t let the family use rooms next to the affected area until it has been thoroughly disposed.
4. Bad Floor Refinishing
There are many things that can go wrong with a floor installation or refinishing project, but none are as immediately noticeable as bad refinishing jobs, where a dozen little things can happen all at once and leave your floor looking in pretty bad shape despite being freshly installed. One of the most common is leaving drum streak marks with the sander all over the floor due to malfunctions, rushing the job, or outright lack of experience. This can also lead to a finish that’s all gritty and full of dust or dirt. In an industry where everyone’s rushing to be the cheapest and quickest, sometimes what you save in those two aspects will cost you double in overall quality.
4. Running into plumbing or wiring
Houses are built by all sorts of people, and sometimes those people aren’t the most experienced or dedicated workers. That can mean that new, unrelated owners can run into all sorts of trouble with the structure of their house years down the line with no way of knowing how the wiring and plumbing are holding together behind walls and under the floor and this is one of the biggest bathroom renewal pitfalls you can face. You can try bringing down a wall that you never knew had a rush-job of an electrical fix behind it, and now not even your power tools will work. This can be pretty dangerous, so if you have a very old house, get experts to help you identify potential risks and how you can work around them.