Home Repairs That Don't Have to Be Expensive

There are some common home repairs that can put a huge dent in your finances, but only if you don’t catch them early enough. By being aware of these potential problems, you can prevent many of them from ever becoming significant repair issues. Other problems will develop eventually, but taking better care of your home can put them off for many years into the future.

Repairing a Sinking Foundation

If your home was constructed while the ground was moist or saturated with rainwater, it will go through a process of settling as the ground dries. This can be a lengthy process, so you can expect this to occur with an older home as well as with newer constructions. In either case, the first sign that the foundation is sinking in this manner will be cracks in your basement walls that seem to rise in a relatively straight line. You should also look for bowing walls or cracks above window and door frames. Uneven floors also indicate a settling foundation. 

If you wait until the foundation degrades further, you could spend $10,000 or more on repairing the entire foundation. If you notice the cracks sooner, a contractor can fill in the cracks and add drainage to help combat the sinking. This can save you more than half of what you would otherwise spend on those full foundation repairs.

Replacing a Roof

Even the cheapest asphalt shingle roof should last you 10 to 15 years, so replacing a roof isn’t something you should have to do often. When you need to replace your roof will largely depend on how well you take care of it. At least once per year, you should have your roof inspected by an experienced roofer. They will examine the condition of the shingles, flashing, gutters, and underlying materials. This will help identify problems that may not be readily visible, such as water-damaged support beams. Additionally, you should keep trees around the home trimmed, remove snow from the roof in the winter, and keep your gutters clear of debris all year round. These steps will help you ensure your roof will last longer before it will need to be replaced.

Preventing Water and Mold Damage

There are several causes of water damage, so preventing this type of problem requires a little more pre-planning than preventing other home repair issues. For example, keeping your gutters clear will help you ensure rainwater is being pushed away from your foundation. Another source of the water damage involves plumbing problems. 

Be sure you take care of clogged pipes efficiently to guard against bursting pipes and water damage. You should also keep a few spare parts on hand, such as backflow preventer repair parts, to ensure you or a plumber can fix problems quickly. Some common tools to keep on hand include a plunger, drain snake, and sump pump. Resolving a plumbing problem quickly will help you guard against mold growth in the home.

Replacing Your HVAC Unit

Depending on the type of unit in your home, you can expect your HVAC system to last for up to 25 years. Some may only last 15 years, so you should research the make and model of your system to learn more about it. You can extend the life of your system with a few basic care practices. Change the air filter once a month and be sure the outdoor condenser unit is free of debris and pests. You can also protect the unit by having it inspected at least once per year. 

Many households schedule two inspections per year to ensure the unit is ready for the changing of the seasons. Signs that you should schedule repairs for your unit include rising utility costs, inadequate heating or cooling, foul odors, or unusual sounds that come from the system as it starts up. If you find that you’re repairing your HVAC unit frequently, you should take this as a sign that the unit will need to be replaced in the near future.

Home maintenance is an ongoing process, so you should never feel as though you can become complacent. By being more diligent and watching for areas that need to be repaired or updated, you can prevent a minor problem from worsening. This can help you avoid many common home repairs and renovations that are much more costly.

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