If you’re like most Americans, your home is your single largest investment in the future. As such, you take steps to maintain it and improve it, from repainting the walls to upgrading the kitchen. However, there may be points where you’re faced with a crisis that threatens both your home and your finances. Major, expensive home repairs are a nightmare for any homeowner.
The good news is that they’re not entirely inevitable. In this article, we’ll review how some of these expensive home repairs can be avoided through preventative maintenance and proactive homeownership.
Replacing your cooling and heating systems
Your air conditioner and furnace are two of the most significant investments in your home. In most cases, living without working cooling or heating is not an option. If you’re put in the position where you need to replace either, you can expect to pay thousands. An aging AC or heating system dying is a sudden financial shock to most homeowners.
While nothing lasts forever, there are steps you can take to extend the life of your HVAC systems and prevent the need for repairs. The key, as with most things in your home, is preventative maintenance. In the spring, you’ll want to call a locally trusted AC company and have them out to your home to inspect and maintain your cooling system thoroughly. By doing this before summer arrives, you significantly reduce the risk of a system breakdown and boost your air conditioner’s energy-efficiency. The same principle applies to scheduling a fall tune-up for your furnace.
Remember: cooling and heating repairs can be pricey, but will never be as expensive as replacing the system as a whole. If your technician recommends a repair be made, don’t wait. Fast action can be the difference between keeping your current system and having to replace it prematurely.
Addressing foundation and structural issues
If your home’s foundation or structure is damaged, the repairs could be extensive and expensive. While some of these issues are unavoidable, many causes of foundation and structural issues are preventable. For instance, termites do millions of dollars of damage to U.S. homes every single year. Homeowners who are proactive and on alert for signs of termite activity and termite-related damage will be more likely to stop an infestation before it causes structural damage.
Water damage is always bad news for your home, but some of its most expensive consequences are when the foundation and structure are negatively impacted. For example, water leaks can impact the soil beneath the foundation, leading to sinking or bowing walls in your basement. For this, you’ll need to have an expert out to assess the problem and put stabilization measures into place. Some of the most extensive of these repairs can cost you tens of thousands of dollars.
Repairing water damage
Unfortunately, water damage is a common problem many American homeowners eventually have to deal with at one point or another. Regardless of its source—a leaking pipe, a leaking roof, or a leaking water heater—the presence of water represents a clear-and-present danger to your home. Water not only attacks the structure and foundation but can also encourage mold and mildew growth.
As with your HVAC system, some degree of preventative maintenance can help you avoid disaster. For example, regular roofing checkups from a professional will likely help you avoid a significant roof leak. Caring for your water heater and replacing it when it shows signs of cracks or leaks is the key to preventing a tank burst. While not all plumbing problems can be avoided, you do have the power to be proactive when you notice an issue. No plumbing problem has ever fixed itself, so procrastination is the enemy. You may not be able to prevent water damage completely, but you can limit its impact on your home—and overall cost—with quick action.
Here’s the common thread linking all of these preventative measures together: getting the help of a professional. Due to the nature of these issues, the risk they pose to your home, and several other factors, these projects are not DIY repairs. Do the smart thing and bring in an expert right away.