Having to make unexpected repairs on your home can have a dire effect on your financial situation. Complicated problems such as structural weaknesses, pest infestation, flooding on the property, or any number of other issues can destroy the value of your home and create long-term stress.
You can always be prepared if you have these potential issues in mind when taking care of your home, and there are steps you can take to protect your home against them. Having the knowledge of how your home will adjust to the local climate, weather, and the surrounding land on which it is built can help you avoid thousands and thousands of dollars in costly payments, and have you prepared if you want to sell your home and get the best possible return on your real estate investment.
1. A Sinking Foundation
Average cost: $4,000-$10,000
The foundation is the most important part of your home, and if it cracks or decays in any way, it can destroy the value of your home and make it structurally unsound. This can lead to safety issues for you and your family. If a foundation starts to sink, it can also cause the floors in a home to become uneven over time, or doors to fail to close or line up to the original door frame correctly because of the shift.
Every foundation will settle a bit over time, but you need to keep an eye out for the signs that your foundation may be settling too quickly or have other structural damage. If the moisture in the soil around the home gets to be too much, it can cause the foundation to crack, which will cause shifting. The soil needs to be prepared properly when the initial foundation is built, or this can cause problems over the whole life of the home.
To avoid costly repairs, make sure to look for cracks around your home in the bricks or blocks that make up the foundation that you can see above the ground. Small cracks that run in a straight line are a warning sign that something is wrong, and you may have a foundation that is settling too quickly.
A foundation professional can help you diagnose the issue and try to fill cracks and reinforce the foundation by pouring extra cement into them and also installing drainage systems that can help avoid having the same problem crop up in the future.
An average foundation repair can cost thousands of dollars, but fixing minor cracks that you may find in the foundation can be as cheap as a few hundred. Be sure to get these cracks filled immediately if they come up so that you can avoid shelling out over $10,000 for a major foundation repair.
2. A Roof Replacement
Average cost: $5,000-$10,000
Your roof has a huge impact on the safety and weather-readiness of your home. No potential buyer wants to replace a roof upon moving in, and this will obviously be a huge factor if you are trying to sell.
Depending on the weather and climate in your area, you may need to replace your roof much sooner than average, so be sure to understand the conditions in your area and how they affect the materials on your roof over time. Even if you were told shingles could last up to 30 years, they might wear down way faster due to harsh weather conditions in certain areas.
Be sure to inspect your roof as safely as possible or have a professional come and do it for you to make sure that it is in good shape. Look for missing or curling shingles. Make sure the roof is correctly sealed and that all of the nails are tamped down into the roof and not sticking up.
Also, consider areas of the roof that are discolored or that have leaked through into the attic. Clean out your gutters and make sure water is flowing away from the roof. Have a professional caulk any cracked areas and weather-proof any areas that have worn away.
Keep an eye on trees near your roof as branches can grow and fall on the roof causing damage, as well as dropping leaves into your gutters and creating blockages. Clean any moss that may grow on your roof with a mix of chlorine, bleach, and water.
If you are getting ready to sell, a new roof can add value to your home, so remember this when assessing the condition of your home and consider that you may get more in the sale by actually replacing the roof first. Be sure to get your roof repaired immediately if any problems arise because repairing your roof can cost anywhere from $3,000 to $40,000 depending on the severity of the problems and what you will need to have replaced.
3. Water Damage and Flooding
Average cost: $1,000-$5,000
We have discussed briefly how harsh water conditions can wreak havoc on your property, but it is not limited to the foundation and roof. Water can destroy your ceiling, flooring, walls, and personal items, and having too much moisture in your home can create mold which is harmful to your health and the value of your home.
It doesn’t take a giant storm or another catastrophe to cause these issues, either, as water can seep in slowly over time through your foundation due to overly moist soil around the home.
Water damage is one of the most common problems in a home. Basements are highly susceptible to water damage due to their being built down into the ground, and if the foundation wasn’t laid properly or the ground becomes waterlogged, it will cause damage. Your bathrooms and the fixtures within can also create leaks that can damage your home over time, and you should be sure to check that all of your pipes and the tub or shower itself is free of cracks and mold.
Beyond seeing a puddle of water in your basement, there are other ways to be wary of potential flooding and water seepage. Look for bubbling in the walls or defects in the paint and wallpaper. Stains on the ceiling from mold or water damage as well as water marks can be an obvious sign of water leakage. If you are having issues with your water service, such as low water pressure or really high bills, you should ask yourself if you might have a leak somewhere in the home that is wasting water and causing your equipment to struggle to work efficiently.
Simple ways to avoid having some of these issues in your home are to take good care of the drains in your home from the kitchen sink to the showers. Make sure to clean them properly and not to pour hot grease down into the drain in the kitchen as this can break down your pipes.
Make sure your sinks are not leaking in any way and that all the connections between the pipes and sinks are tight. If you do not already have one in your home, install a sump pump that will protect your basement from flooding by discharging some moisture outside the home in order to keep it from accumulating near the foundation.
If your siding is damaged, be sure to repair it right away and check for rotting or decayed wood on the siding and foundation of your home. Call a plumber to fix any issues within the home or a foundation professional if you find issues in the foundation. If there is heavy water damage in your home you will want to have a professional cleaning service come so that mold doesn’t accumulate and take down the value of your home as well as create an unsafe living situation. Repairing water damage can cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars to over $5,000, so be sure to be vigilant and stay on top of the issues in your home to avoid these potential bills.
4. Mold Infestation
Average cost: $1,000-$4,000
We have discussed the causes of mold in detail already, but now we will discuss how much money it can cost you if you allow it to accumulate in your home. Like most of the other issues we have listed, if you can catch a mold issue before it gets out of hand, it can be much cheaper and easier to deal with.
If you allow it to get out of hand or put off having a professional come and get rid of it, it can create serious financial headaches. Keep an eye out for small black spots behind the water heater on the wall and window sills. Check behind your washing machine and dryer as well for any black spots or strange odors.
Having allergic reactions in your home that are unexplained can often be caused by mold that is hidden from view or inside of the walls. Mold is resilient and will not go away from a simple bleach cleaning. You will need to bring in a mold remediation service so that they can destroy the mold from the source and make sure that it won’t come back in the future. You could be out of pocket for over $4,000 if you don’t stay on top of the mold issues in your home.
5. HVAC Failure and Replacement
Average cost: $7,000-$10,000
The Air Conditioning system in your home is very important for many different reasons. Not only does it keep you comfortable but it can help maintain proper temperatures for your home as well. Though an Air Conditioning unit should last well over 10 years, it can fail prematurely if you do not take the steps to keep it maintained such as replacing the air filters on time and keeping the outdoor unit free of debris that could cause the machinery to work harder than it needs to.
This is one of the most costly repairs that you might have to undertake, as it can cost well over $10,000 to have a new system installed depending on the size of the home and how much work needs to be done.
The average cost for these types of repairs and installations is around $7,000. This is another situation where if you are looking to sell your home, you will want to upgrade or install a new system before you do, as this is a very beneficial selling point to potential buyers.
Knowing that they might have to replace an old HVAC system upon moving into a new home can really discourage potential buyers so make sure you have your system and wall units up to date when showing your home.
There are many more potential issues that may come up during your time as a homeowner, but these are some of the most costly and time-consuming to deal with. Having the knowledge of the way your home works and the systems that are in place to protect it from the elements can really give you a leg up in the real estate market as you look to protect your investment and one day make a good profit if you want to sell your home.
There are many great resources out there that will give you customer reviews on professionals before you hire them to repair your foundation or install a new air conditioning unit, or whatever you may need. You can be in control of your own destiny as a homeowner if you can use these resources to keep you on top in the real estate market.