The Most Expensive Home Repairs And How To Avoid Them
If there’s one thing that keeps homeowners up at night, it’s the fear of their home—both their largest investment and their refuge—turning into a proverbial money-pit.
From first-time home buyers who just got the keys to homeowners who have been in their house for decades, this fear never truly goes away.
While not all home repairs or problems can be prevented, the good news is that some of the most common problems, including roof, HVAC, and sewer line issues, can often be avoided with preventative maintenance and fast action. Here’s what you need to know.
Fixing a leaking roof
A leaking roof is a serious, multifaceted problem for your home. Fixing this issue not only involves repairing or replacing your home’s roof, but may also include addressing structural issues or mold growth caused by water damage.
The cumulative cost of these repairs can run you in the tens of thousands of dollars, depending on the scope of the problem and the length of time that passes before repairs are made.
As with many aspects of your home, the key to avoiding all this headache and expense is preventative maintenance, early detection, and action. We recommend that homeowners have their roof inspected by a professional at least once every year—many roofers offer free residential “checkups,” so be sure to call around to see what your options are.
If there is a problem, deal with it right away: procrastination can only make things worse in the long run. The same thing goes for any leak you notice in your home.
Repairing a sewer line
Your home’s sewer line runs from your home to the street, typically traveling underneath your yard. As the years pass, these lines can encounter several issues. First, they may begin to crack and leak. This is often caused by either shifting earth or intruding tree roots wrapping around it.
A sewer line leak will release sewage into your front yard. Sewer lines are also prone to clogging, especially in homes where grease, oil, and non-organic garbage is not disposed of properly. These kinds of waste should never be put down the kitchen sink, as they can collect deep in the line and start forming a nasty clog.
To prevent clogs, be cautious and informed about what you put down the sink. Dispose of grease and oils in separate containers, and then throw them away in the trash once cooled.
Never put baby wipes—even “flushable” ones—down the toilet. Also, watch out for potential clog-causing foods, such as uncooked rice, pasta, or leftover eggshells.
In your yard, find where your line runs. Form a ten-foot perimeter around the line and remove any trees, bushes, or plants in that “no man’s land.” This will help protect the pipe from thirsty tree roots.
If you smell sewage in your front yard or see a patch of wet earth, that might be a sign that you have a leak. Call a plumber right away and have them out to inspect the line.
Replacing a cooling or heating system
On the hottest of summer days and the coldest of winter nights, it’s hard to imagine life without a working air conditioner or furnace. However, when your aging system needs to be replaced, that’s the exact scenario you may be facing.
Your HVAC systems represent a major investment in your home. Depending on the unit’s size or type, it could cost you thousands to replace a cooling or heating system.
Nothing lasts forever, but you can prolong the lifespan of your HVAC systems with annual professional maintenance. Just like your car, your air conditioner, heat pump, or furnace requires regular tune-ups to keep it operating effectively and efficiently.
Of course, this inspection also represents an opportunity for an experienced technician to identify any potential problems early. The result will be reduced wear-and-tear on your HVAC systems, which—over the long haul—typically translates to fewer repairs and an extended system lifespan.
Avoid the stress and costs of major home repairs
All homes require some degree of upkeep and maintenance, and even the handiest of homeowners will be caught off-guard by a few unexpected repairs now and then. However, by following the tips outlined above, you can significantly reduce your risk of encountering an incredibly expensive home repair that would otherwise stretch your finances to the breaking point.
It just goes to show that preventative maintenance in and around your home can go a long way.
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