Some of the most serious problems hide, masked behind an owners beautiful facade and could turn any dream home into a nightmare on Elm Street.
The following are some top structural and mechanical time bombs that home inspectors say have the potential to blow up into major cost issues for new owners.
A small crack in the brick veneer on the exterior of their home is no big deal, right? Not always. What looks like it can be solved with a cosmetic fix can sometimes indicate a deeper problem with moving foundation.
If caught early, a repair might only cost a few thousand, but if it’s too late homeowners are looking at one of the most expensive home repair jobs possible with a whopping $50,000 price tag.
A roof can appear completely fine from the front while still crumbling elsewhere. That’s why most people end up making the tragic mistake of waiting until they see water leaking through the ceiling to identify roofing issues.
Water usually enters the attic first, so regularly inspect for stains around the chimney and vents.
Many rural homeowners rely on septic tanks for their sewage systems, which operate by breaking down solids and liquefying them. That liquid then goes out into the lines and is dispersed into the surrounding ground.
While extremely useful, these tanks are also highly susceptible to clogs from other materials, like cigarette butts and food waste. Save the cost of digging up the yard to repair the whole system and opt for a cheaper maintenance alternative: regularly pumping the tank every three-to-five years, checking for signs of clogs and leaks routinely between inspections.
Old electrical system
Homes built prior to 1940 didn’t have to meet the same requirements for power that are now a standard in home construction of recent years. With all of this generation’s high-tech amenities, older wiring just can’t handle today’s electrical demands. Sockets and switches can wear out, breakers grow less reliable as they age and heavy use of extension cords could lead to a fire.
When it comes to maintenance and repair, the out-of-the-way and untraveled crawl space is one of the most overlooked areas of the home. But because the crawl space is like the window into the belly of a home, it could also hold the key to revealing any number of problems before they get bigger and expand to other areas: weakening floors, termite damage, mold problems and even issues with heating and cooling ducts.
When someone’s heating goes, the only real fix it is to replace the furnace, which will cost upwards of $6,000. But keep up maintenance on a current unit about every six months and they won’t need to break into emergency savings.
Hire an HVAC professional to come and inspect everything to make sure the system is running smoothly. Another easy way to improve air quality, efficiency and extend the life of a unit is to replace the filter at least every 90 days, or less, if people have allergies or pets.
Building a deck is sure to boost the value to a home, but if homeowners don’t keep up with maintenance, their piece of curb appeal could unexpectedly fall apart.
While deck maintenance runs roughly $100 a year, the average cost of replacing it from the ground up is closer to $10,000. Save big bucks by simply keeping it clean, re-securing any nails, and reapplying sealant as needed.