Under The Surface

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The demolition (demo) phase of a renovation can feel like a game show.  There's risk and suspense.  "Bob, show us what's inside wall number 1!"     

This is when everything concealed - behind walls, in the ceiling, and under the floor – is revealed. Here are 7 surprises you might encounter during the demo phase of your renovation.

1) Rot - This might be the most common discovery during demo. Two things need to happen once rot is identified. The water source must be identified, and it must be stopped, which is much easier said than done. Water can find numerous ways to destroy your home. They range from poor waterproofing in the bathroom to improper flashing around windows so water “wicks” inside to no vapor barrier behind siding to leaking plumbing to condensation. Poor landscape grading and Design also create paths for water to penetrate your home. Regardless of how it gets in, the source of water must be stopped, or the cost of rot will only escalate.

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2) Poor Structural Integrity – Like every occupation there are bad professionals in the building industry. Maybe it’s a carpenter’s attempt to cut corners or sheer incompetence, but a poorly framed home presents real renovation hurdles. If structural issues are not addressed, a renovation can literally come apart at the seams. Unfortunately, a pricey Change Order is often necessary to correct these problems, but ignoring a framing problem is way more costly.

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3) Missing Insulation – Somewhere between having an “airtight” home and being under-insulated, there exists the perfect amount of insulation for your home. Opening up walls and finding missing batts of insulation may explain why your energy bills are inexplicably high. Good news is a lack of insulation can be easily corrected once demo is complete.

4) Hidden Electrical Junctions – This is why demo requires forethought, especially if you’re about to sink a Sawzall into the wall. The last thing anyone wants is to get tangled up in bad wiring, especially when it’s live. How your home is wired may be a mystery, but don't let it be a life threatening mystery. Turn the breaker off.

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5) Mold – Demo can reveal some funky looking mold under the surfaces of your home. Getting a professional involved with testing and remediation is your best bet. No need to mess around with something that can cause serious illness. Find out the type of mold you’re dealing with before proceeding.

6) Vermin – They can be living or in a carcass form. Neither are welcome in your home. If this discovery is made inside the walls of your home, then get Pest Control professional involved. Wild animals belong outside. And those who find their way inside usually create a path for more to follow.

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7) Treasure – A historic home seems to be the obvious place you’d find hidden treasure. That's not always the case though. There have been some very valuable things found during demo of homes and apartments built since the 1950s. Still, it's not advisable to bet your renovation on finding something valuable.

Expect a surprise or two during demo. We’ve seen many of them before. Are you ready to see under the surface of your home and start a major renovation? If so, we’d love to hear your renovation ideas. Call us at 864.506.5546

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