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What's hiding in your house?

Dirty little secrets

A home disaster is a scary and expensive experience. Here are six potential home disasters lurking in your home and how these DIYers fixed them.

1

Roof leak

A roof can leak for many reasons: rain, damage to the roof or poor structuring of the home. Unfortunately, this usually is not found out until there is a leak and a significant amount of damage has already been done to the roof. When experiencing a roof leak, figure out the source of the problem after you've done a bit of damage control.

Roof leak

Reuben, a home inspector and blogger from Minneapolis, Minnesota, found a leaking roof when inspecting a home that was only two years old. Upon further inspection of the home, he found that the roof was leaking due to the roofline directing the water against the home. Typically, there should be a 2-inch gap to avoid any water intrusion in the home.

2

Septic/well system

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), approximately 25 percent of homes in the U.S. rely on a personal home septic system to clean out their home's sewage. Since it is in the home, it is the homeowner's individual responsibility to maintain their own septic system to avoid any home, health or environmental problems. Even when properly maintaining your septic system, you may still find a problem, as did DIY blogger Kit.

Septic/Well System

Kit from DIY diva found out her septic system's well tank had gotten a crack in it when visiting her basement for another DIY project in her home. Upon going down the stairs, she heard an unusual hissing sound followed by 4 inches of water on her basement floor (and a salamander swimming in the water!). Kit was quick on her feet — she turned off the system, allowed the tank to drain and removed the water using a submersible pump. Twelve hours later, the problem was fixed.

Check out Kit's video of her home disaster.

3

Carbon monoxide leak

Carbon monoxide poisoning is one of the largest and most deathly dangers in the home. The largest carbon monoxide producers in your home come from the furnace, oven, dryer and water heater. Avoid and watch for cracks in your appliances, and always ensure that you completely turn them off to stop slow leaks from hurting your family.

Carbon Monoxide Leak

Tony Schmidt had a home energy inspection when he found that his heater exchange was cracked and slowly leaking carbon monoxide into his home. To fix the problem, he replaced the heater with a new, energy-efficient model.

4

Mold

Mold is a hidden danger in the home that causes huge problems for both your home and your family. According to the Minnesota Department of Health, mold grows in moist environments and is especially dangerous to people with weakened immune systems, although any person exposed could experience an increase in allergies, wheezing and cough symptoms.

Mold

Cass from The Fix It Lass found mold growing in a client's home when replacing inexpensive vinyl flooring in the bathroom. Upon pulling up the flooring, she discovered that it had been completely filled with mold and was rotting away. She ended up having to replace the entire floor down to the joists. Cass says this simple job turned into something huge because the leaking toilet had been ignored for far too long.

5

Bedbugs

Bedbugs are flat, reddish insects that hide in mattress seams, sheets, furniture and picture frames and live solely off of your blood. Bedbugs are often found in hotels and are known to travel in luggage and other personal belongings. Once living in a space, they can live up to 300 days, laying 300 to 500 eggs in a lifetime.

Bed bugs

Mike from The Bedbug War moved into his dream house in Canada in 2006. Having a sinking feeling about the previous owners, Mike noticed small, pimple-like bites popping up on various places of his body. After doing a small amount of research, he realized that his home was infested with bedbugs. After using a few tactical strategies, Mike's home is still bedbug free more than five years later.

6

Termites

Termites are tiny little creatures that can do a large amount of damage. In fact, many homeowners who have termites may not know for two to four years that they even have termites chomping at the bits of their home. Brittany from Pretty Handy Girl found termites had invaded her home when doing a kitchen renovation.

Termites

Thankfully, there wasn't a live infestation in her home, but there was a good amount of structural damage. With a good home improvement team, termite research and deep breaths, Brittany was able to continue her kitchen renovation while ridding her home of the damage. See Brittany's termite research and damage.

More home tips

Signs you need a new roof
10 Reasons to remodel your home
Kitchen update: 7 Renovation tips

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