A home is one of the largest investment people make in their lives. You should invest time and money into your home to prevent costly repairs down the line. Here are 10 home repairs that you really can’t afford to ignore.

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1. Protect Your Foundation

A crack in the foundation can threaten your home’s structure and value. If your doors aren’t shutting like they used to, that’s a good sign your foundation may have moved. Inspect the foundation along the outside of your home to find any cracks or signs of movement. You will need help from a professional to shore up the foundation if you have a crack larger than 3/16 of an inch.

2. Get Rid of Pests

Pests can pose a significant threat to your home. Termites can carve through a structure in a few months to a year. Mice and rats spread disease and cause fires by eating through insulation or wiring. Check the mudsill (sill plate) of your foundation for rotting wood. Clear the foundation of any debris that attract mice and fill holes in the siding with expandable foam.

3. Repair Your Roofing

A good, strong roof protects you from structural damage as well as leaks. You should inspect your roof for loose shingles or cracks. You can use stand on the ground climb onto the roof (be careful, as your weight can also damage the roof). Make sure to check vents as well, to make sure they are properly sealed. Replace broken shingles as necessary and consider hiring a professional for an estimate if you see significant damage.

4. Clean Your Gutters

Clogged gutters can cause large problems in all parts of the home, because they leak water onto the foundation, walls, and roof. Sometimes home insurance companies will not cover these types of leaks, which means cleaning your gutters should be a top priority. Keep gutters clear of debris and make sure that they empty away from the foundation.

5. Fix Leaks

Water leaks can form anywhere water flows in your house. Any water pipe can be a potential problem, so it important to pay attention to the signs of a leak, like a moldy smell or stains in the ceiling. Seal the leak or replace a pipe to take care of the problem as soon as possible. Home insurers will deny claims if you know about a leak for a long time and do nothing.

6. Clean Up Mold

Mold can cause disease and decay in the home. If you had a leak, there is a musty odor, or if your family has recurring colds, it’s important to check for mold. Look under carpet, in openings in walls, or behind wallpaper. If the mold is less than 10 square feet, use a mix of 1 cup of chlorine per gallon of water to clean it yourself. If the mold is larger than this, call a professional.

7. Monitor Sewage Lines

If you hear bubbling coming from the toilet or your shower is backing up, these could be signs that your sewer line is clogged. If these signs continue and a blockage is confirmed, you need to shut off the water at the source of the clog and call a plumber. They will run a cable to try and clear the clog, and if that doesn’t work they will send a camera through the line to find and eliminate the clog. Don’t wait for clogs to appear, for under $300.00, a video scope of your sewer main may help you get to issues before they become sewage backups in your house.

8. Inspect your Crawl Space

We know, the thought of your crawl space give you’re the willies and may make the hair on your neck stand up. But take this into consideration, 30% to 40% of the air you breathe comes from your crawl space. If you have rodents, they love the undisturbed nature of the crawl space, not to mention your heating ducts provide warmth in the winter months while they live in the ceiling insulation. Water too can create hazardous conditions by raising the humidity level in your house and provide poor air in the home. Put on some dirty clothes, get a flash light and a breathing mask and ensure the space is clean, neat and dry. If not, call a professional to come and inspect and make recommendations. .

9. Repair Flickering Lights

While your house is probably not haunted, flickering lights do mean that there is something wrong with your electricity system. Especially after remodels, this could indicate that you have too many appliances relying on a single circuit or that you have faulty wiring. Replace broken wiring and install new circuits dedicated to the different appliances to fix the problem.

10. Test Drainage Around the House

You may never think of roof drainage as being important until rain waters enters the house in an emergency. When the pipes in the ground become damaged, and water can no longer flow to the designated collection point, all that roof water backs up towards your home and into the house in one way or another. Taking a few hours to run a garden hose in the roof drain pipes in the ground and ensuring that no water comes bubbling back out, or enters your basement or crawl space is a great way to protect the value of your home and an important maintenance practice.