1. Faulty wiring—open junction boxes, amperage mismatches, no wire nuts on wires.
The cure: Fix junction boxes; upgrade to at least 100 amps.
2. Poor grading and drainage—spongy soil around the foundation, signs of leaking in basement.
The cure: Regrade so that the ground slopes away from house for 10 feet; remove porous material around foundation.
3. Faulty gutters—clogged or bent gutters, water not channeled away from house.
The cure: Preventive maintenance; gutters of adequate size, splash pans to divert run-off.
4. Basement dampness—water stains, powdery residue on walls, mold or mildew.
The cure: Repair gutters to channel water away from house; apply waterproof coatings to basement.
5. Roof problems—brittle or curled shingles; broken or missing flashings.
The cure: Apply new shingle, or tear off if needed (usually after three re-roofs ); replacing flashings, especially around chimneys and other protrusions.
6. Foundation flaws—cracks in foundation, sloping floors, sticking doors or windows.
The cure: Fill cracks with silicon caulking or epoxy; apply waterproof coating to exterior.
7. Poor upkeep—needs repainting, worn carpeting, cracked driveway.
The cure: Give the house a minor facelift.
8. Faulty plumbing—inadequate water pressure, slow drains, signs of leaks on ceilings.
The cure: Clean and rout drains; reseal toilet with new wax ring, repair leaks.
9. Poor ventilation—extreme heat in attic, vapor condensation.
The cure: Ensure that roof soffits are not blocked; install additional roof vents; vent bathroom and kitchen fans outside.
10. Defective heating—cracks in the heat exchanger or water tank; carbon monoxide leaks.
The cure: Reseal chimney flues; replace sacrificial anode in water heater.
Excerpted from “Top 10 House Problems,” Practical Homeowner, Practical Homeowner LP, March 1990