Trying to figure out where to direct your limited home repair budget? These are the renovations that you should not put off:
If you see water stains on your ceiling or down your walls, get moving on the repairs. A leaky roof can lead to big problems — structural damage, mould, loss of personal property. It is nothing to mess with. Address roof leaks as soon as you discover them, and you will save yourself a lot of cash.
Some cracks are harmless, but others can mean trouble. Cracks of ¼ inch or more, even vertical ones, can be a problem. Mark smaller cracks with tape and monitor their progress over the coming months. Also, be on the lookout for horizontal cracks or bulging or buckling. Along with expanding cracks, those conditions require the attention of a structural engineer. Large cracks that go unaddressed can lead to everything from leaking to parts of the concrete collapsing.
Big leak, small leak, any type of leak can do big damage to your home. Address all plumbing problems as soon as they arise. Then, learn how to keep your plumbing in tip-top shape, so you have fewer problems going forward.
Clogged gutters, downspouts that don't direct away from the house, improper grading — there are lots of things that can lead to drainage problems around your house, and all of them put your home's foundation at risk and invite water indoors. Now (not later) is the time to tackle those rainwater woes.
Fresh paint makes your house look nice, but it serves a more important purpose: keeping your house dry and rot-free. If the paint on your home is peeling off, it is time to go after it with a scraper and a paint bucket.
The good news is that you don't have to do many of these repairs frequently. But when you see warning signs, get going —or risk bigger problems down the road.