When it comes to home repairs, a penny saved today is not necessarily a penny earned. Some repairs are more fruitful than others when it comes to saving money. And even though it sometimes seems like there are endless repairs or items to replace in your home, some repairs can have a greater impact on your pocketbook than others.
Few of us relish the idea of buying a new water heater. The truth is that most water heaters have a life span of 10 to 12 years. Waiting for your water heater to fail can cause more than inconvenience. Aging water heaters can burst and flood the garage or, even worse, can cause flooding inside your home, damaging furniture, carpets and more.
Windows that have frequent condensation or are "sweating" can damage your window's components, causing the wood to rot and saturate the wall insulation, reducing its effectiveness. Moisture on the inside of a storm window (or the outside pane) indicates that the prime window is allowing air and moisture to leak out to the storm window where it condenses. Sometimes the issue is as simple as taking steps to reduce excessive humidity in your home such as ventilating your crawl space or basement, installing foundation vents or leaving a basement window cracked in the fall or early winter. Installing exhaust fans in the kitchen, bathrooms and laundry rooms can also help, but keep in mind that windows do fail and need to be replaced. Replacing your windows is expensive but could save you from even greater maintenance costs due to rot.
The most expensive repair most homeowners face is repairing or replacing their roof. Roof repairs can cost up to $50,000 or more, but delaying repairs only increases the damage to the house and your bank account, according to the experts. Roofs need to be replaced when the shingles, wood or compost begin to fail. Most roofs last about 15 to 20 years, depending on how they've been maintained and the amount of exposure they've had. But once shingles start to deteriorate, they allow moisture to pool and the plywood structure underneath will begin to rot. That damage can extend into the rafters and spring a leak inside the home.
Here in the Northwest, pine needles, leaves, moss and other natural materials collect on rooftops, trapping water and adding to potential problems. In some cases a cheaper but less effective alternative to a roof replacement is to cover existing shingles with a new layer. Called put-overs, this method costs about $3,000 to $4,000 but doesn't last as long as a new roof. Prices for a new roof vary based on many factors, including the size of the roof, the steepness of the pitch and the materials used. Some new synthetics are more expensive but can last up to 50 years. If your roof has missing shingles, signs of rot or exposed tar paper, it's time to think about reroofing. Be sure to seek out multiple bids because prices can vary by thousands of dollars. But don't delay. Leaks and rotting may mean serious problems, and waiting can exponentially increase the repair costs. Experts caution that you avoid the blue tarp temporary fix, which can actually hurt more than help, since moisture gets trapped below a tarp causing even more problems. Finally, always insist on a licensed roofer.
This article provided by the MBA.