Avoid the Top 10 Most Expensive Home Repairs

Avoid the Top 10 Most Expensive Home Repairs
attic home repairs

Buying a new home is one of the most expensive purchases you'll ever make. It's also one of the most exciting purchases and experiences in life.

However, becoming a home owner brings a whole bunch of new responsibilities compared with renting, and one of those responsibilities is making sure your house is regularly maintained, updated, and cared for. Otherwise, you could end up with some pretty hefty repairs. 

To avoid breaking the bank, it's important to know how to inspect and regularly maintain your house.

Following are the top 10 most expensive home repairs and how to avoid them.

1. Asbestos Removal
man removing asbestos

Asbestos removal is dangerous. Even being exposed to small amounts over time can have harmful side effects on your health. It is a hazardous material that can cause cancer and various lung diseases resulting in death.

Because asbestos was commonly used in insulation and flooring installed prior to 1980, a lot of older homes can have asbestos anywhere in them from the attic insulation to the kitchen flooring

Professionals recommend that you leave it alone if possible because home renovations can release asbestos particles into the air. If leaving the home be is not an option or is not your preference, it's important that you have a professional come in and completely handle any removal and disposal before doing any work to your home. This will prevent improper handling of asbestos.

2. Foundation Damage
crack in concrete wall

Foundation damage is a big deal and also costly. If it's not fixed as soon as possible, it can lead to even more damage and much bigger repairs later on. Repairing damaged foundation can cost anywhere between $10,000 to $40,000!

To make sure you don't have any expensive foundation damage that needs fixing, inspect your basement, crawlspace, and all foundation for signs of water penetration and movement, such as drywall cracks, door frames out of place, and floors that aren't level. It's best to address any foundation issues as soon as they appear rather than waiting until it gets worse.

A few more warning sings of foundation problems include cracked, crumbling, or sloping foundation; water damage, moisture, and soil shifting; warped ceilings and sagging floors; cracked walls; and windows and doors that don't fit properly.

3. HVAC Repairs
dusting hvac vent

HVAC stands for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning, and it's the system that keeps your home warm or cool. 

The best way to avoid an expensive furnace or air conditioner repair, which can cost thousands of dollars, is to regularly maintain your units. It's important to conduct maintenance every six months or so and to change your air filters every 30 to 90 days to extend the lifespan of your HVAC system. Have a professional HVAC technician take a look every year as well: the air conditioning in the spring and the furnace in the fall. 

4. Mold Remediation
mold covering large portion of wall

Mold growth is a huge health and safety issue, and it can be found anywhere and everywhere, growing on any surface with present moisture.

Common building materials that provide food for mold include plywood, drywall, furring strips, carpets, and carpet padding. It can also grow in walls. Almost always when mold growth is indoors it is related to water or moisture caused by incomplete drying. Flooding, leaky roofs or indoor-plumbing problems can lead to mold growth.

When mold growth is evident in areas larger than 10 square feet, a professional remediation is required because of its serious health hazards, particularly allergic reactions and respiratory problems.

The best way to avoid mold growth is to get rid of the source of moisture, fix any leaks, and properly ventilate damp areas.

5. Faulty Roofing
roof with loose or broken shingles

Prevention and regular maintenance are vital to avoiding expensive roof repairs. To make sure your roof is free of damage, make sure to carefully inspect it at least twice a year

When you inspect your roof, you should be keeping an eye out for missing shingles, tears, and other damage, as well as paying close attention to the flashing around the chimney, skylights, and exhaust vents. It's essential that you never ignore any signs of leaks. If you do have a leak, it's important to fix it right away. Any serious leak that is left undiscovered or unfixed can lead to water damage and rot.

While checking over your roof, you should also keep your gutters unclogged and ensure that the downspouts appropriately direct water away from the foundation. 

6. Sewer Pipe Problems
sewage coming from sink faucet

Sewer pipes are typically buried several feet below your front lawn, but from time to time, roots from trees growing close to your home can clog or damage them. Unfortunately, your city is only responsible for the sewer pipes up the end of the street. Once it's under your front lawn, it's your responsibility to deal with any problems that may arise.

Repairing or replacing a broken sewer pipe can cost about $1,000-2,000, although the cleanup can cost a lot more. If you do have a broken pipe, call a professional sewer and drain company to repair it. Otherwise, make sure to have them come out once a year to clear the line to avoid breaks from happening.

7. Termite Infestation
termites eating home foundation

Termites can cause more damage to wood structures than any thing else can, including water, wind, and fire. Extensive termite colonies can cause serious structural problems for your home, sometimes even causing floors or roofs to collapse.

It is imperative that you seek a reliable termite control professional at the first sign of damage or infestation.  Signs of termites include small piles of wood-colored droppings, mud tubes along exterior walls, piles of discarded wings, or swarms of termites in the spring. You should be sure to get any structural damage repaired as soon as the exterminators have done their job. 

8. Water Heater Failure
water heater

Eventually your water heater will fail; the water heater typically lasts only 10 years or so). Although it's inevitable, you can do certain things to prevent a potential explosion and catastrophe.

To prevent water damage caused by a broken water heater, make sure to inspect and monitor your water heater often. The moment you see any corrosion or leaking, have it repaired or replaced immediately. 

To help prevent a potential explosion, check the pressure release valve annually and flush the water heater to get rid of mineral deposits that can quicken corrosion.

9. Wet Basement
flooded basement

A wet basement can feel and smell disgusting, but even worse, the moisture can ruin the floors, walls, and ceiling—not to mention it can encourage mold growth.

There are a few different things that can cause a wet basement. Some things are easy to fix, such as clearing the gutters or diverting the water away from the foundation with downspouts. Other sources might include a cracked foundation or a concrete patio or driveway angled downwards toward the house instead of away from it. All of these can cause water to seep into the basement. 

The best way to get rid of basement leaks is to waterproof your basement or find and remove all causes. If not, it can eventually lead to structural damage, which is much more expensive and difficult to fix.

10. Loose or Frayed Wiring
exposed wires

Making sure your home has safe wiring is crucial. If not installed and taken care of properly, wiring can be dangerous. Faulty wiring can lead to electrocution, power outages, and fires. 

To ensure all the wiring in your home is safe and secured in the walls, examine other electrical components, such as outlets and fixtures, that could be loose or cause electrocution. If something doesn't look right, it's a good idea to call in an electrician because fixing the wiring is not something someone untrained should try to fix themselves.