Your vigilance over key areas of the home and regular maintenance of mechanical systems is critical to avoid expensive repairs. Without a watchful eye out for leaks, cracks, and bugs, big expenses can pop up when least expected. Also, regular maintenance on the HVAC system, gutters, and roofs is important to prevent breakdowns or the need for replacements. We’ve gathered a list of some of the pricier expenses that any home owner can incur without proper oversight and care.

1. Roof Replacement

Just because a roof looks fine from the ground that doesn’t mean it’s in tip-top condition. A roof undergoes a lot of stress from mother nature – wind, rain, ice, and heat. New home owners are often surprised to find that 30-year shingles have gone bad after 15-20 years because no one has been keeping an eye out for damage.

Warning signs: Missing or curling shingles, missing flashing, stains or water streaks in the attic.

Prevention Measures: Keep gutters clean of debris. Get rid of moss on shingles. Trim back all trees away from the house, which can damage shingles or introduce moisture into your house.

Replacement Cost: The range depends on type of roof and size. $4,000 – $10,500 on the low to mid range and $12,000 – $40,000 on the high end.

2. Water Damage

So many things can cause water damage in a home: clogged or burst pipes, rotted siding, clogged gutters, and sewage backup. An estimated 98% of all basements experience some water damage at some point.

Warning Signs: Peeling paint, stained walls, low water pressure, damaged flooring, and high water bills.

Prevention Measures: Take good care of drains, keeping them clear and looking for leaks under the sink regularly. Look for damaged siding, soffits, and wood to repair promptly. Install a sump pump to keep basement contents protected.

Repair Cost: Typical water damage repair costs around $3,000 to $5000 or beyond.

3. HVAC Replacement

Never underestimate the power of comfort. Your HVAC system keeps your home the right temperature in cold and hot months. Today there are a range of efficient models to help keep your heating and cooling bills lower. While a typical unit should last a minimum of 15 years, you can cut that life short by neglecting appropriate maintenance. Also, a well-maintained system can last longer than expected.

Warning Signs: High utility bills; your system fails to cool or heat properly at the temperature you set; higher than normal humidity in the house; or your system is making unusual noises.

Prevention Measures: Replace the filter every couple months. Hire a professional to service and inspect parts annually.

Replacement Cost: Depends on efficiency type and power capacity. $5000-$7,000 in the low to mid range; $8,000 – $12,000 on the higher end.

4. Termite Damage

Most home owners don’t notice termites until some damage has already begun. Weakened wood supporting your home can be disastrous to the soundness of structure. Catching the signs of termites early is the key to mitigation.

Warning signs: Hollow sounding wood when tapped, mud tubes on foundation, wings or termite droppings, peeling paint, and crumbling wood.

Prevention Measures: Keep mulch away from the foundation. Use termite mesh or basaltic termite barrier.

Repair Cost: $3,000 is the average cost home owners spend to mitigate termite damage with pest control services.

5. Foundation Problems

Sinking or settling foundations can jeopardize the safe structure of your home. Check for warning signs early so that you can repair foundation issues before they worsen.

Warning signs: Cracks in the foundation that grow longer and wider over time; bowing walls, cracks around windows and door frames; and uneven floors.

Prevention Measures: Check for doors and windows that no longer shut properly and sagging floors. Investigate musty odors in the basement which could be mildew from water leaking into the walls from foundation cracks. Hire a foundation professional to check cracks more than an eighth of an inch wide.

Repair Cost: Minor cracking repair costs $500-$600. Average foundation issues cost around $5,000 and major foundation issues that involve hydraulic piers cost $10,000 or more.

Real Estate Term of the Week

Soffit: The roof of a house, by necessity, often extends over the walls. This overhang can be called the house eaves or the rafters of your roof. The underside of this overhang, when given a finished appearance, is known as the soffit. Its primary function is to allow ventilation of heat. Without proper ventilation through the soffit, humidity could build, causing problems such as mold, mildew, and wood rot.

Platinum Service Realty