Common Problems in Townhouses

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Townhouses come in all shapes and sizes now but there are some similar deficiencies in townhouses to look out for. I’ve been in more townhouses then I can count and I’ve seen it all. Here are just a few common problems I see quite often:

  1. Moisture and Mold in the attic. This is a pretty common one because heat rises and when it gets to the attic there is no where for it to go. Strata should have something to help air circulation in the attic. Also natural air flow in a well-vented attic moves super-heated air out of the attic, protecting roof shingles and removing moisture. The insulation will resist heat transfer into the house. The most common mistake homeowners make when installing insulation is to block the flow of air at the eaves.
  2. Grouting and Caulking. This is very important in the maintenance of your home to do every year or so. Grout keeps water out and gives your walls and floors a cleaner look. Grout requires a crevice to “hold onto” and can prevent tile edges from chipping. You can use caulk to prevent water damage near drains, pipes, bathtubs or bathroom fixtures or for weatherproofing around doors and windows.
  3. Dryer vent. This one is commonly over looked but making sure your dryer vent is properly sealed is very important. I’ve seen them not sealed at all, sealed with duck tape (fire hazard) and much more. Its easily fixable if done incorrectly. The dryer vent duct is a direct open path from indoors to outdoors. If the vent cover does not seal well, it is just like leaving a window partially open.Other less obvious problems are insects, mice, etc., that enter your comfy, warm home through the vent. If you ever wondered how mosquitoes get into your house during the summer, a leaky dryer vent cover may be the source.
  4. The ground shifting or moving too much. In some areas of Maple Ridge close to the Fraser River I’ve noticed some buildings have a history of sloping which can cost a lot in repairs! This is a strata issue but there are key things when looking at a townhouse that gives you a good indication such as: sloping floors, large cracks on walls and ceilings and lastly I walls check the stairs. If you see any of this happening at your home or a property you are looking at always ask because sometimes it can just be settle meant other times it needs to be further investigated by a professional.
  5. Windows, how old are they? Windows can save you money on your heating bill. By looking at the windows you can see if they are older or newer. Some are double pane windows, some are only single and a few times I’ve seen triple pain windows. these help keep air in and noise out. Typically strata replaces windows when they are at the end of their life. But sometimes strata will allow you to replace your own windows which if they are on the older side I would recommend doing because it may save you money each month!

These are just a few things to lookout for when you are looking at purchasing a townhouse in Maple Ridge. Always get an inspection whether that be before you place an offer (pre-inspection), as a subject in the offer or after you have purchasedbecasue its always great knowing more about your home and any upcoming maintenance you can do to help save you money in the long term. If you are interested in learning more about what to look for when purchasing a home or just have questions contact me at 604-341-9937 or [email protected]