In part 1 of this blog series, we covered three expensive home repairs and ways to prevent them: fire damage, foundation damage, and plumbing issues. Today we finish with three more home repairs that are a headache to experience: roof damage, termite damage, and water damage. These are all crippling home repairs for a budget, so here are some tips to keep your home (and finances) on track.
If you asked 100 people what they dread the most when it comes to home repairs, easily three-quarters of the responses would be roof replacement. When they say “a house is only as good as its roof”, it’s true. A new roof should last 20-25 years, but there are plenty of factors that could blow that number to pieces. Punctures, for example, are deadly to a roof. Whether they are caused by someone walking on the roof or by falling debris, the key to keeping costs down should you encounter a puncture is timely repair.
The number one cause of early roof replacement is neglect. Nothing can make a brand-new roof look worse faster than not taking care of it. Seasonal inspections and regular debris removal will keep your roof clean and leak-free for years to come.
One of the most expensive problems a home can have is also one of the easiest to miss – termite damage. Termites are silent destroyers; you don’t see the damage until it’s already been done. The simplest way to avoid problems is an annual termite inspection. Typical inspections only cost $65-$100, and if the beginning of a problem is uncovered, it is much cheaper to spot treat for termites than to fumigate your whole home.
Of course, the amount of damage will also be significantly smaller than if you wait until you’re ready to sell your home, only to find out that termites have destroyed your support beams. Extreme termite damage can rack up $3,000 in repairs for the homeowner; avoid that mess and contact your local exterminator for an inspection before it’s too late.
Water damage is another silent home destroyer. Most physical signs of a leak or broken pipe don’t materialize until the damage is done. There are many signs of plumbing failures to watch out for, including:
- Noisy pipes – while occasional pipe creaks are normal due to heating and cooling metal, long-lasting whining or banging sounds could be a sign of thinning pipes or even a leak. Any unusual, prolonged noises should be checked by a professional.
- Unexplained water bill fluctuations – everyone’s water bill changes slightly month-to-month. But if you notice a sudden, unexplained increase in your water bill, it could be due to a pipe leaking somewhere in the home.
- Mold or mildew spots – if you look up at your ceiling one day and notice strange discolorations on the ceiling, it could be mold or mildew spots from trapped water. When a pipe leaks, the water stays in the walls or ceiling, creating bacteria that leads to mold. If you see mold or mildew spots on your ceiling, contact a professional to schedule a system inspection as soon as possible.
Water damage can be a simple fix, as easy as stopping a small leak at a pipe junction. It can also morph into a much larger problem very quickly if left unattended. To avoid costly repairs, call a plumber for an inspection if you ever notice anything out of the ordinary. A $60 inspection surely beats a $2,500 pipe replacement and replacing damaged furniture.
Unexpected home issues can be costly and, more importantly, dangerous to you or your loved ones if the problems are left untreated. In order to avoid these expensive home repairs, stay up-to-date on annual inspections and if problems are uncovered, take care of the repairs as quickly as possible before they spiral out of control.