When you become a homeowner, you’re taking on not just the cost of your mortgage and down payment, but you also have to budget for those expenses you might not expect. The repairs you may need to do to your home through your ownership can be nearly impossible to predict and often tough to avoid.
Some of these projects are major and have a big price tag, but preventative maintenance efforts can help reduce the risk you run into one of these issues.
1. Roof Repairs
Your roof is protecting everything else in your home, and if it needs repairs, it’s critical to be proactive about making sure they get done. The difficult part, along with the cost of roof repairs, is first that it can be tough to realize there’s a problem until it grows into something much larger. The second issue is that storms often cause roof damage, and there’s no way you can prevent that.
Signs of a problem with your roof include missing shingles and leaks. While you can’t completely avoid the risk of roof damage, you can have professionals inspect it regularly. The recommendation is to inspect it ten years after the initial installation and every three to five years after that.
You can also do some inspections to look for weak spots, but this shouldn’t replace professional inspections.
The cost for a partial repair averages around $650, and a full replacement is usually upwards of $6,000.
2. Replacing Central AC or a Furnace
Your heating and cooling equipment is a big part of staying comfortable in your home, but eventually, it can give out, and you’ll have to pay a lot to replace it. You can estimate that each system will cost a few thousand dollars if you have to replace the heating or cooling equipment for your entire house, and the costs can easily be more than $10,000 in total.
Your goal should be ensuring that your heating and cooling equipment at least meets its full life expectancy, usually around 15 years. You can achieve this with regular maintenance. You should plan to have your furnace serviced at the start of every winter and your AC when summer starts every year.
When you have a professional inspect and service your equipment, they can check your filters for your furnace and flush out the condenser coils of the AC so that everything is operating as efficiently as possible.
3. Ceilings and Walls with Water Damage
When water damage occurs, you might have to replace your whole ceiling or an entire wall, and the average cost is around $1,500, with the costs often being as high as $6,000, especially if you have to replace the moldings.
Pipes that burst and leaky roofs are two of the most common reasons for water damage. You can wrap your pipes in parts of your home that aren’t heated with an insulation sleeve to reduce the risk they’ll burst. You should also regularly inspect the hoses for your appliances and pipes, looking for cracks and leaks. Replace anything that’s damaged promptly.
4. Replacing a Hot Water Heater
Your water heater can cost around $500 to repair and $1000 or more to replace. Signs that there’s an issue include leaks, especially if the water is rust-colored, and loud noises.
To prevent this from happening, check your pressure valve regularly and flush your tank out two times a year.
5. Damage From Termites
If you have termites, it can cost thousands of dollars to repair the damage they create. The signs of a termite problem include wood that’s hollowed out, mud tunnels, and swarms of flying bugs. You might also see wings in your basement.
To prevent termite damage, keep mulch and wood away from your home’s exterior, and have an inspection done at least annually. You can also use termite monitors.
6. Repairing Your Foundation
Finally, your foundation is a critical part of the structural integrity of your entire home, and if it gets damaged, it can be expensive and a complex issue to fix. Depending on the specific issue, foundation repair can cost more than $11,000. Signs of a problem with your foundation include cracks around your house and doors and windows that are hard to close and don’t seem to fit their frames.
Floors that slope and water pooling around the edges of your house or in your basement can also be red flags of foundation damage.
To reduce the risk of needing to repair your foundation, you can use soaker hoses around your house when you aren’t getting a lot of rain to help keep the soil from drying out too much. When it is raining a lot, ensure you have proper drainage, and keep all the soil around your house sloped to help facilitate drainage.