4 Costly Repairs and How to Avoid Them

Roofing issues are among the most expensive problems for homeowners across the country. Buying a house is an exciting time, but most new homeowners are unaware of the looming issues that can truly break the bank. Failing to recognize the warning signs can lead to an expensive fix. 

Water heater repair is another costly procedure, but did you know that it can be prevented? Most home repair issues can be avoided with important insight and precautionary steps. Purchasing a house does not come with a how-to manual, but all buyers should be aware of these common and costly fixes. 

Termite damage and pipe repairs are just a couple phrases that no homeowner wants to hear. But with a few helpful tips and preventative measures, these issues never have to come to fruition. Learn more about some of the most expensive house repairs and how to avoid them altogether by reading the following sections. 

Roofing Damage

Roofing damage is most commonly caused by weather-related issues. Wind, snow and hail can all wreak havoc on roof shingles. However, the damage isn’t always obvious. 

Roof repairs should start before the obvious damage reveals itself. In fact, regular roof inspections can identify potential hazards and prevent complete re-roofing. Avoiding adverse long-term effects of roof damage requires homeowners to take action. 

The first sign of a leaky roof does not usually include water pouring through the ceiling. In fact, most roofing issues with an asphalt-shingle roof include tiny, hairline cracks. The longer the crack is exposed to water, the more it opens up and the greater threat there is for roof collapse.

After a harsh wind or rain storm, it is a good idea to look for damages. Some homeowners may prefer hiring a roof worker to perform a complete inspection while others may have the necessary equipment and training. 

To prevent roofing damage, homeowners must take a few measures to ensure its structural soundness. This includes removing trees and limbs that hang over the roof, cleaning the gutters and replacing roof shingles as needed. 

Water Heater Repair

The cost of a water heater repair or replacement can be expensive. A water heater provides hot water for cooking, bathing, cleaning and other important household tasks. When it breaks, it can negatively impact your daily routine. 

Regular maintenance of a water heater is essential not only to prevent repairs, but for safety measures as well. If it is not well-maintained, a water heater poses risk of overheating or even exploding. 

At-home water heater repair includes regularly cleaning it out. To clean it, you must flush out the tank and remove sediment buildup every six months. Follow the steps below to flush out the tank.

  1. Turn the thermostat knob to “off” and shut the gas off to the tank.
  2. Turn off the cold water supply to the water heater.
  3. Turn on the hot water in a sink or a tub, and keep it running during the flushing process.
  4. Open the pressure relief valve on the water heater, then wait for the water in the water heater to cool.
  5. Connect a garden hose to the drainage spigot, and make sure the other end of the hose leads to outside or into a large bucket.
  6. Drain the water heater until the water runs clear and is free of sediment.
  7. Turn on the cold water spigot leading to the water heater and let it run until the water runs clear.

Other ways to prevent the water heater from breaking or becoming dangerous include testing the water relief valve. Pull up the handle and make sure water freely flows out and stops after releasing the handle. If it drips, runs, or does nothing at all, then the valve must be replaced.

Preventing Termite Damage

Termite damage is a pesky home issue for millions of Americans each year. Termites feed on wood, which can compromise the structure of a home. If not treated quickly and immediately, the damage can cause unlivable conditions.

Unfortunately, termite treatment for damages is not usually covered by standard insurance policies. However, it is essential in preventing further damage from occurring. Signs of damage include:

  • Papery wings on the floors or near windows.
  • Tight-fitting doors and windows.
  • Clicking sounds coming from the walls.
  • Termite droppings.

Termite damage must be addressed immediately to prevent the entire house from being compromised. Although, it may not be outwardly obvious. Therefore, taking steps to prevent damage from occurring in the first place is essential.

Termites thrive in moist environments. One way to repel these tiny pests is to reduce or eliminate the moisture in and around your home. This means repairing leaky faucets, air conditioning units and water pipes. 

Another way to prevent termite damage is to perform routine inspections of the home’s foundation and outer wood exteriors. Look for signs of mud tubes, uneven paint and hollow wood. Also, store any firewood at least 25 feet away from the home. This prevents possible termite colonies from relocating from wood to the house. 

Pipe Repair Costs

Other house repairs that often come with expensive bills include repairs to pipes. Damaged water pipes pose many risks to the structure of a home, including the possibility of a flooded basement.

Water pipe repair requires the expert knowledge of a plumber or pipe technician due to the pipes’ tough locations. Pipe problems include leaks, loud noises and frozen pipes during harsh winters. Common signs of pipe issues include:

  • Water stains on the ceiling.
  • Discolored paint or wallpaper in certain areas.
  • Strong mold or mildew odors.
  • Damaged or peeling flooring.
  • Rusty fuse boxes or pipe connections.

PVC pipe repair may be an easy DIY fix, but other pipe issues require help from a plumber. It is always best to consult an expert to avoid incurring more damages. 

Fortunately, there are some ways to prevent these home repairs. During the winter or periods of freezing temperatures, make sure the house stays heated. If you plan to leave for an extended period of time, do not turn the heat off. This leads to frozen pipes, which can burst and cause extreme water damage. 

Never flush anything down the toilet that is not meant to dissolve. Paper towels, sanitary napkins, tampons, wipes and other thick paper products will clog pipes and lead to a burst.