Saturday, July 30, 2005

Life in the Crack(ed) House, Update

This Has Your House Got Cracks? book, sadly, is proving to be pretty much useless. It's full of incredibly detailed, highly relevant information... for British people. Alas, I'm afraid the UK a) undoubtedly has different insurance and housing regulations, b) definitely has a very different climate, and c) builds almost exclusively with brick, meaning there's not much information that's terribly relevant to me and my wood-frame-on-concrete house.

Between the book and what I've been able to infer from the scraps of information I've gleaned on the internet, though, I've at least been able to reassure myself that, no, there probably really isn't any serious danger of my house collapsing[*], and that it is entirely normal for existing cracks to widen and for new cracks to appear in the summer, especially when it's been dry. That does help my peace of mind, because it's the fact that the changes are large and ongoing and came on rather quickly that was really freaking me out.

I definitely need to consult a professional, though. It seems quite possible to me that the foundation will need work, and even if it doesn't, informed advice on how to prevent further damage and at what point I do need to be concerned about safety issues is a good thing to have. Sigh. Why do I have the feeling that I'm going to be saying goodbye to what remains of my savings all too soon?

[*] The biggest danger, apparently, is cracking pipes. Which is definitely something to be concerned about, but which somehow doesn't lead to quite the same kind of panicky feelings as "Oh, my god, is the wall going to fall down?!"

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