The difference between maintenance and an expensive repair is usually time and severity. Taking a good look at your property and noticing issues early is imperative to avoiding costly repairs. To prevent simple projects from turning into serious damage, a regular walkaround is a good idea. Here are five expensive yet preventable issues you should look out for.
- Foundation and Basement Problems
Foundation problems may be visible as a leak or a door or window that no longer closes correctly. If you have a basement, keep an eye out for leaks. Seeping in along the sill, or the part of the house that sits on the concrete foundation wall can often be reduced by correcting drainage issues.
If there’s water seeping in through cracks in your basement walls, it’s a good idea to apply a basement waterproofing sealer to correct the problem. If water keeps seeping into your basement, you may have to hire someone to dig down and spray the walls with a rubber sealant. Another option is installing French drains to collect water away from the foundation.
- Termites and Pests
Wet wood makes it easy for rot to take off, and once there are gaps from rotting, you’ll have a perfect home for termites. If you notice cracks in any framing on your home, contact a professional immediately. Your home may already be at risk if cracks are visible because termites burrow and eat their way out of the framing members of your house.
Get the house treated as soon as you can. Be aware that repairs may include sistering up some of the framing. If any portion has been severely impacted, such as a breach of the subfloor because a joist has fallen away, you’ll likely need to have portions of the house reframed. Other pests such as mice and rats can also become a chronic issue if not treated early.
Your HVAC will eventually wear out; all mechanical things ultimately have an end date. However, you can reduce the risk of an early failure with regular maintenance. Find a repair professional you trust and invest in a yearly maintenance contract. Such a contract will flush the coils of your AC condenser, change your furnace filter, and clean the system. They can also tell you if you need to get your ducts cleaned out.
If you’re planning an addition or any renovation that will radically change the way air moves in your home, try to schedule it when your AC unit is approximately 10 years old. You’ll be close to the replacement date on the unit anyway, so you can enjoy your renovation and a new HVAC system at the same time. If you change the design of your home with an open concept renovation, make sure to talk to your HVAC professional about placement of your smoke and CO2 detectors.
- Trees and Landscaping
Trees are a feature of your landscape that are much easier to care for and save than they are to remove. Not only do trees provide many of us with a sense of permanence and home, but a great shade tree can keep you comfortable and save on your utility bills.
For existing trees, get them checked out and trimmed back by a professional. Remove branches that are diseased or too close to your home to be safe. When planting new trees, carefully study the growth habit of the trees to make sure that they will work with existing power lines or that the roots won’t damage the foundation. Don’t plant a tree you’ll eventually have to V-cut to avoid connecting with your electrical or cable lines.
One of the most expensive repairs is, luckily, the easiest to notice. Keep an eye on your roof. When it rains, look at your gutters. Do your best to make sure that your shingles are all in place after a big storm and that your gutters are running properly.
If you notice a dripping sound, rainwater running in, or sheetrock stains, your roof is in trouble. Leaks never get better, only worse, so get it checked out as soon as you can.
Repairing your home can actually be a simple process as long as you address the problem early. Small problems, such as a diseased tree too close to the house, can become huge, dangerous problems, such as a fallen tree on the house. Keep an eye on things and get them repaired as soon as you notice them.
About The Author: Becca is a java junkie from the West Coast. She enjoys dancing with her husband and has a knack for finding the next big indie board game. You can always find her sitting in her nook searching for vegan recipes.
Photo by Greyson Joralemon on Unsplash
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