How to prevent the most expensive home repairs

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As the saying goes, there’s no place like home. When you purchase a home, you make one of the biggest investments in your life, not only in terms of finances, but also in terms of happiness. Expenses, such as furnishings, re-modeling, homeowners insurance and essential services, like water and trash, are a part of that investment. Also, too, are expenses for repairs and replacement of different systems and structures within your home – many of which are found to be unexpected.

Luckily, you can get an idea of what may come down the road with a list of common home repairs that are the most expensive and what you can do to safeguard your wallet and prevent some of those repairs from happening.

Foundation repair

The foundation of your home is the basis for which your home will remain sound, so it is important that it is in great condition. One of the things that can occur is changes in the moisture levels of your soil, which can add pressure to the foundation, leading it to crack. This is something you want to avoid.

Cost: $500 – $12,000

Signs of a problem

  • Doors or windows that stick or don’t fit their frame
  • Uneven or sloping floors
  • Water pooling in your basement or in edges around your home
  • Fractures or cracks within the foundation around the house, windows, or door frames

Prevention

  • Address any cracks in the foundation and seek professional help
  • Check for proper soil drainage during periods of rain
  • Keep the soil around the house at a slope to enable proper drainage
  • Consider using soaker hoses around the perimeter of your house during periods without rain to keep the soil adequately moist.

Roof repair

The roof of your house is critical in protecting against the harshness and danger of the elements. Depending on where you live, sun, wind and rain can cause a lot of wear and tear and the need for a new roof or repair.

Cost: $650 for partial repair. $5,000 – $12,000 for roof replacement.

Signs of a problem

  • Leaks
  • Missing or curling roof shingles
  • Missing flashing on chimneys or its intersections
  • Loosened nails
  • Stains, streaks, or water in the attic

Prevention

  • Clean out clogged gutters to prevent ice dams from forming
  • Trim back trees from hanging on the roof
  • Check the roof between inspections to identify any problems, moss, cracks, or other minor repairs
  • Have roof professionally inspected ten years after installation and every three to five years afterwards

Hot water heater replacement

If there are problems with your hot water heater, as with everything else, it’s important to get it fixed right away. Water heater problems can lead to flooding and possibly more problems in the home. It’s recommended that a water heater be replaced every ten years. Before that time, you should be alert to any problems.

Cost: $523 for repair. $1,000 – $1,500 for replacement.

Signs of a problem

  • Loud or unusual noises
  • Leaking, especially rust-colored water

Prevention

  • Check the pressure valve periodically.
  • Flush the tank annually.

Termite Damage

Though homeowners may have their share of pests to deal with, termites are a real problem.  As they love to eat wood, they can severely weaken the wood in your home, which is why early detection is important.

Cost: $541 – $3,000

Signs of a problem

  • Peeling paint
  • Mold or mildew smell
  • Hollowed out or crumbling wood
  • Swarms of small flying bugs
  • Wings, termite bodies and droppings
  • Mud tubes on the side of your home’s foundation

Prevention

  • Install termite monitors
  • Outside of your home, try to keep any wood away from mulch as well as your foundation
  • Inspect your home for termites once a year

Water damage

Water damage is a huge culprit in home repair, and it can come from anywhere – your plumbing, roof, or even basement. It can cause mold, metals to rust and wood to rot. It’s important to be alert for any signs of water damage throughout the house.

Cost: $1,500 – $6,000

Signs of a problem

  • Leaks
  • A musty smell
  • Mold, mildew, stains, or water marks
  • Bubbling or peeling paint
  • Damaged flooring
  • High water bills
  • Low water pressure
  • Odd plumbing sounds

Prevention

  • Clean your gutters
  • Take care of drains
  • Fix leaks in roof or pipes right away
  • Check for damaged siding
  • Install a sump pump and test it annually

New pipes

Plumbing can be another pricey home repair issue.  Though there are some plumbing issues that can be easily done by yourself, such as a clogged toilet or leaky faucet, there are some that are more complicated and extensive, and require professional expertise. If left unfixed, plumbing problems can cause water damage that can be expensive.

Cost: $559 – $2,443 for repairs. Up to $10,000 for new pipes.

Signs of a problem

  • Leaks
  • Rusty water
  • Knocking noises
  • Discoloration or flaking in exposed pipes

Prevention

  • Avoid using chemical products to unclog drains
  • Insulate your pipes during the cold months
  • Hire a professional plumber to clean out your sewer lines every couple of years.

Heating/AC (HVAC)

Your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) unit is essential to maintaining the proper temperature in your home, whether used for heat in the coldest months or cool air in the hottest months. If it becomes broken, your comfort and well-being is at risk. While a typical HVAC unit lasts about 15-20 years, you should see to it that you address any problems you may have and keep up with regular maintenance.

Cost: $1,800 – $3,000 per system. Up to $10,000 for a whole unit.

Signs of a problem

  • Failure to cool, heat, or keep house at a comfortable temperature
  • Leaking
  • Strange noises
  • Trouble with turning the unit on or off

Prevention

  • Replace air filter every couple of months
  • Annual maintenance by HVAC professionals

Mold Removal

Mold is a threat to your health and the structure of your home and can be costly to repair. It may not be easy to spot right away, but you should take steps to prevent it from appearing in your home, particularly as temperatures become more sporadic. Treating mold is something you can do yourself, though it is recommended that for growth with more than an area of 10 square feet, that you seek professional help.

Cost: $500 – $6,000 depending on the extent of damage

Signs of a problem

  • Musty odor
  • Discoloration, such as black spots, in the walls or ceilings
  • People experiencing unexplained allergy or coughing symptoms

Prevention

  • Fix leaks right away
  • Ventilate damp areas
  • Inspect your home periodically for signs of mold

Electrical issues

As it is with plumbing, issues pertaining to electrical wiring, because of its complexity and hard- to-reach areas, are best left for professionals to handle. And you should deal with it right away as electrical issues that are left unaddressed run the risk of fire to your home and injury.

Cost: $300 for repairs. Up to $15,000 for re-wiring.

Signs of a problem

  • Circuit breakers trip regularly
  • Visible damage to wires
  • If appliances or wall sockets shock you
  • Flickering lights
  • Burning scent in the home

Prevention

  • Annual checkup by an electrician or anytime you suspect a problem
  • Covering bare wires to reduce fire risk
  • Consider installing ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlets in the bathroom, kitchen, and anywhere outlets come in contact with liquid to reduce the chance of shock

Septic system repair

As you can guess, a broken septic system can get messy, and if it doesn’t need to be repaired, it will need to get pumped eventually, so preparing for this expense is a must and it will require an expert to address.

Cost: $500 for repair. $5,000-$12,000 for replacement.

Signs of a problem

  • Toilets that won’t flush
  • Slow drains
  • Standing, smelly water around your home
  • Bright, green grass above and around the septic tank

Prevention

  • Have a professional inspect it every three years
  • Pump out the tank every three to five years

As a homeowner, you can plan and set aside savings for home repairs to protect your investment. You can also make sure you have the best insurance coverage for your home.  Get a homeowners insurance quote today!



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