We know what goes bump in the night. It’s not a monster, worse, it’s house problems. The water pipe break actually flooding the house or the sinkhole quickly pulling your home underground makes any homeowner’s skin crawl. We encourage you to be the hero of your horror story by implementing these tips when facing house scares.

Leaky pipes, aka potential flooding, can creep into your home and destroy it drop by drop. Common, and sometimes unnoticed, leaks begin around plumbing fixtures like sinks and tubs and continue becoming bigger problems in your water pipes. This can result in sudden pipe bursts causing major house flooding.  

Water heater leaks and washing machine hose leaks are the real nightmares. They start slow but quickly gain water pressure and boom goes the water valve releasing continuous water into your home. Although scary stuff, it can all be monitored and avoided. Check your water meter and look at all pipes regularly to stay ahead of water leakage. Nobody wants a house underwater. Here are more horror story leaks and ways to fix them. If all else fails, call a plumber.

Let’s admit it, septic tank backup is a real terror. It can be as simple as a toilet not flushing to as extreme as liquid seeping up through your yard. Avoid planting trees and flowers near your septic tank that can clog the pipes. Only plant grass or shallow-rooted perennials or annuals around septic systems if your green thumb is calling your name. Smell that? It’s sewage rising through your toilets coming for your clean home.

Stop it by performing regular maintenance such as getting your tank pumped and inspecting your system annually. Try replacing garbage disposals with compost piles. The most common septic backup crime everyone commits is flushing foreign objects down toilets. Avoid this mistake and more, and avoid a smelly cess-tastrophy.

Can’t you hear them? The pitter-patter of tiny insects eating away at your home? It’s termites infesting your home without notice. These tiny terrors are eroding at your house’s foundation. Common termite signs are wood damage, structural cracks and sagging floors. Once you’ve identified they’re in the home, it’s time to get rid of your unwelcome guests.

Who you gonna call? The exterminator (or the Ghostbusters, if you think they can help). Once the exterminator asses the damage, they will treat the problem areas. Or, you can avoid the creepy crawlies altogether by scheduling regular termite checks, fill foundation cracks, clean gutters and fix roof tiles. Make sure your home’s foundation is always moisture-free. Read more solutions for termite damage here.

Though rare, Sinkholes can be the most frightening of all. Your home can crumble into the ground in a matter of minutes or hours. Did you just cringe? We thought so. Sinkholes form when extreme moisture dissolves bedrock swallowing anything above it, i.e. your home. They occur without warning, and the ground surface simply caves into the earth.

Although sinkholes are unavoidable, you can be aware. Assess the land your house sits on. If you live in a sinkhole-prone area, make sure your insurance covers it and leave your home immediately if you fear you’re in danger.

Though these are chilling homeownership threats, knowledge gives you the upper-hand. Don’t forget to utilize preventive measures such as home insurance and seek professional help during a house scare. Follow these tips to be prepared, aware and make your home safe from scares.

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About the Author:

Jessica Odom

Jessica Odom is a copywriter at Movement Mortgage and contributing author to the Movement Blog. Jessica is renown for her witty repertoire and ability to churn out pithy content. When she’s not regaling colleagues with details of what she plans to cook for dinner each night, she enjoys eating copious amounts of popcorn, working out and serenading the office in all kinds of music, especially '90s hip-hop.