Your home is likely your most expensive investment, so you should be doing everything in your power to protect it. Home repairs can range from a few hundred dollars to several thousand (or more).
The good news is that there are many steps you can take to prevent some of these home repairs. Today we begin a two-part series on expensive home repairs and how to avoid them; you may even be inspired to begin shielding your own home from these common problems with a few simple steps.
- Fire damage
The National Fire Protection Association reported over 350,000 home fires in 2016 at a cost of 5.7 billion dollars. Protect your family and your home by ensuring you have smoke alarms installed and tested monthly. You’ll want to change the batteries regularly, and a good reminder is to do this when you change your clocks for daylight savings time.
Additionally, you’ll want to avoid any electrical issues in the home which often lead to fires. If circuit breakers are tripping regularly, lights flicker, or you notice any other signs of a potential problem, hire a professional to inspect your system. When remodeling or upgrading, consider the latest technology and talk with your builder about which option is best for your home.
- Foundation damage
The primary culprit behind foundation damage is changes in the soil’s moisture level. Due to the complicated nature of these repairs, it can become very expensive very quickly.
If you notice cracks, warped ceilings, water pooling in your basement or around the edges of your home, or if you find doors and windows aren’t properly fitting in their frames, making opening or closing difficult, you may have a foundation problem. This can allow water and insects to infiltrate and lead to even more significant damages.
Perform any repairs to smaller cracks yourself if you can, and hire a professional home inspection engineer for larger or recurring cracks.
To help prevent and avoid foundation damage, make sure your roof and gutters are doing their job in driving water away from the home. The soil around the home should be sloped to help improve drainage away from the foundation.
We all know a leaky faucet, toilet, or other leak can damage our wallet when the water bill arrives. Unfortunately, these aren’t the only plumbing issues we can find in the home. With most plumbing hardware located inside walls or underground, a leaky or burst pipe may not even be noticed until it causes damage to your walls, flooring, or home foundation.
Obviously, leaks will provide a good indication that an issue is present, but other warning signs include flaking or discolored pipes, rusty water, noisy pipes, and low water pressure.
Some preventative steps you can take to protect your plumbing system are insulating pipes against cold winters, avoiding the use of chemicals to unclog drains, opting for thinner toilet papers and wipes, and even hiring a plumber every few years to professionally clean out your sewage pipes.
We hope you find these suggestions useful, and encourage you to check back here on our Norman Graham Builders blog next month for part two of our series.