Considering your house’s hefty price tag, keeping up with home maintenance is essential. When selling a home, always pay attention to the importance of repairs. This task may appear intimidating, but doing so is vital to obtaining a favorable appraisal of your home’s value and higher buyer offers.
While some home repair issues are simple and cost-efficient, others can wreak havoc on your budget if they appear at the wrong moment, like air conditioning, HVAC system, or electrical repairs requiring an electrician.
Although you may be able to anticipate some of these problems, many will surprise you with an unexpected hit to your wallet.
Here are five home improvements you should prioritize before putting it on the market, plus tips for recognizing which ones need immediate attention.
Common Home Repairs to Make
Common problems you should address before selling your home include:
- damaged roof
- cracked foundation
- worn out windows
- bathrooms and kitchen issues
Damaged roof repairs
Safeguarding your home from structural damage is essential, and one key area of attention should be the roof. If shingles are missing or damaged, water can enter, which may lead to additional issues. Additionally, watch for any signs of wear on flashings–the metal components surrounding chimneys and vents.
Foundation crack repairs
When evaluating your home for repairs, starting at the foundation is essential. At a glance, you might notice cracks on drywall or bowing and separating walls and floors. Those are signs of a damaged foundation requiring repair. You should address these issues as they can cause more severe problems if left unchecked.
Windows are essential to any home, providing both visual appeal and practicality. Not only do they let in natural light, but their cross-ventilation helps keep your space efficient with its energy consumption. Outdated, worn windows can create problems that seep into your home’s other areas.
Bathroom and kitchen repairs
It’s essential to address any issues in the bathroom swiftly, like a clogged drain or mold growth. Neglecting these problems can result not only in disruptions to your family’s daily life but also in costly repairs.
The kitchen is an area full of opportunity, and that’s why it can be both a blessing and a curse. With so many components to manage, there are endless possibilities for success and just as many chances for disaster.
Damaged Roof Repairs
Routine roof upkeep keeps your home looking its best and ensures that it protects your house for years to come.
An asphalt roof typically lasts anywhere from 15-18 years. However, unexpected events like high winds and hail can considerably diminish the rooftop’s lifespan. The average cost of a roof replacement is about $8,000.
You should conduct regular maintenance checks to identify broken shingles or damage.
Before deciding if replacing or repairing your roof is the best option, consider aspects like the kind of damage and how much of it there is. Here are some clear indications that you must set aside time for repairs.
Have you noticed a coarse, black sand-like substance collection in your gutter? Asphalt and composite shingles can wear away, leaving tiny granules accumulated over time. The debris indicates it’s time to replace the roof with newer materials.
If you spot curled, cracked, or missing shingles on your roof, it’s likely that they are reaching the end of their life cycle and require replacement.
If you notice that your shingles are dark or muddy, this may indicate moisture retention on the roof and could signal mold growth.
Interior water damage
The attic may deteriorate, as indicated by water damage, roofing leakage or light shining in from the outside, and sagging rafters or decking.
Water stains on Interior walls and ceilings are usually evidence of a leaky roof. This occurrence is usually due to moisture trapped in the roof’s underlying structure.
Foundation Crack Repair
It’s not uncommon to be worried if you find any cracks in the concrete of your home’s foundation, as it carries all the weight of the entire house.
To ensure that a crack isn’t indicative of underlying structural damage, it is imperative to have an experienced foundation contractor or structural engineer conduct a thorough inspection.
However, a few general guidelines help you decide if foundation crack repair is necessary. Assess your particular situation and determine which type of fix would be most suitable for the cracks in your foundation.
In a new home, you may encounter hairline cracks near windows and doors or the edges of your basement. Tiny cracks are not something to be concerned about; instead, it occurs due to natural settling – when concrete cures slightly while shrinking.
If you spot a crack that’s more than just a hairline but still no bigger than ⅛ inch, it could be the result of settling and not an issue—unless it increases in size.
To effectively monitor a crack in the wall, make a small mark at both ends with a pencil and write down today’s date next to each. Additionally, measure the width of the crack at its widest point and jot it on your photo or directly onto the wall for future reference. This simple action will allow you to quickly track any changes that may occur over time.
It’s essential to check the crack in your wall at least once a month for several months and make marks or record any dates if it expands. If no expansion is present and there are also no signs of moisture leaking through, you can trust that this crack has stabilized – making it safe to fill with grout.
Even small gaps, ranging between ⅛ and ¼ inches in width, can cause many issues, such as moisture buildup. While these cracks come from house settling or concrete shrinkage following construction and typically don’t signify structural problems, it is still wise to seal them off for good measure.
Fixing foundation cracks of this size is a simple DIY task that requires you to fill the gap with a caulk designed for concrete.
When to contact a pro
If your foundation is cracked and the gap between them is more than ½ inch, it’s best to seek professional expertise. It may be nothing serious, but having a qualified foundation contractor or structural engineer inspect the damage can help ensure that there are no underlying problems with your structure:
- A large crack and a bulge in the foundation wall indicate structural damage.
- Horizontal foundation cracks are far more likely to be signs of trouble than their diagonal or vertical counterparts.
- While a hairline crack or one that stays static is generally nothing to be concerned about, any cracks that change direction or seem to form stair-step patterns should not be ignored.
No matter how much you love your old windows, they can eventually cause problems that could adversely affect the rest of your home. If any warning signs arise, it may be time for a window repair or replacement to keep your house safe and secure.
Window warning signs include the following:
- Bugs in your house can indicate a problem with windows.
- Foggy windows could mean a worn seal.
- Higher energy bills may highlight failed insulation from windows.
- Leaking windows can come from broken glass or failed seals.
Evaluate your window for repairs
Maintaining the quality of your windows is necessary for a variety of reasons. If any component – be it glass, seal or frame – has been compromised, you risk letting in unwanted pests and moisture into your home. To avoid this, seeking help from an experienced window company that can repair or replace your windows may be the best solution.
Before you call in a handyman, check to see if your windows can be fixed with minimal effort and save those extra bucks on repair costs. Some problems may be more straightforward than they appear, and you probably have the know-how to fix them.
Repair window glass
When you spot a crack in your window glass, you should take action as soon as possible. No matter the cause of the fractured glass, it will continue to deteriorate over time. Thus, address this issue quickly – prioritize repairing or replacing it as soon as possible.
Although single-pane glass repair can quickly be done as a DIY project, if you have double-paned glass that is cracked or damaged in any way, it’s best to call in an expert for the job.
For a small crack, do the following:
- Clean your glass with a little squirt of dish soap on a damp cloth to eliminate any grime, dust, or oil. Use another wet cloth to wipe away the suds and then let it air-dry entirely afterward for best results.
- To create the perfect epoxy blend, combine two components on a disposable base like cardboard or a paper plate. Ensure that you carefully heed all instructions for your preferred brand of epoxy or sealant for best results.
- You can use a putty knife to carefully press and spread the epoxy into the crack. After filling up all the nooks and crannies, let them rest for five minutes to harden correctly. Once given enough time to sufficiently cure, take a razor blade and scrape away any excess material left over from your repair job.
For rotten window wood, do the following:
- For superficial areas of rot, utilize epoxy wood filler.
- You can use epoxy for any area limited to an inch or less — you may use a screwdriver and knife to determine the decay level.
- Extract all of the rotten wood.
- Blend and spread epoxy wood filler into the gap left behind by removing it.
When the rotted area is more significant than two inches, it won’t be possible to utilize a wood filler. If the section of rotting wood is beyond repair, a complete replacement may be your best option. However, remember that this requires some basic carpentry knowledge and tools – if you need more confidence about tackling it yourself, call a carpenter or window expert to do the job.
Bathroom and Kitchen Repairs
Bathroom and kitchen home improvement projects and renovations are among the highest ROI projects you can undertake.
Eventually, parts of your bathroom will need repair or replacement due to wear and tear. That is why any issues that arise in the bathroom should be addressed without delay for optimal performance and safety.
- Clogged drains: If you are dealing with a slow drain, it’s likely due to an accumulation of soap scum and hair. Before things can get worse, use a drain snake tool to eliminate whatever may be blocking your system. Yet if this solution does not remedy the issue, feel free to contact a professional plumber immediately.
- Fans: That ventilation fan in your bathroom is much more important than many people realize. It works hard to reduce moisture and humidity levels, preserving the room from mold, mildew, and other harm. However, it’s common for homeowners to abandon using their exhaust fans due to their noise or because it stops working altogether.
- Leaky faucets: A few drips may still occur after you turn off the shower or faucets. But when those same drops are present hours later, that indicates a leak, which can lead to disastrous consequences. Not only will your water bill rise with each drip, but without prompt attention to the issue, more costly repairs could be in store for you down the line.
- Mold: With multiple people in the home and warm showers, moisture accumulates quickly in the bathroom. Without adequate ventilation, mold and mildew can grow despite regular cleaning. The spores of these bacteria are notoriously difficult to remove as they become more entrenched over time; worse, inhalation of them may lead to allergic reactions or respiratory problems.
Your kitchen is the engine of your home and deserves to be treated as such. To ensure a stress-free environment that easily handles daily demands, it’s imperative to organize and plan your kitchen strategically – making maintenance easy.
- Cabinets: With regular usage, the screws of your hinges may become loose, and the channels of the drawers can get damaged. To keep these from happening, it is best to have a carpenter tighten all the screws and change any rusty or worn-out hardware. Avoid piling excess weight in your drawers to stop them from sagging. Additionally, clean your kitchen fixtures with a damp cloth dipped in warm soap regularly; use oil for lubricating its hinges too.
- Cluttered counters: Maximize countertop space by keeping it streamlined and uncluttered. Instead of taking up the valuable surface area with appliances, store them away in closed cabinets. Hang pans and utensils on the kitchen backsplash to conserve room while still having easy access to your needs.
- Grease and grime: Home cooking leaves a nasty residue on walls, cabinetry, and other surfaces. To get rid of the sticky buildup quickly and easily, spray white vinegar onto affected areas and then clean with a microfibre cloth for fast results.
- Stinky sink: If you’re experiencing a malodorous smell coming out of your sink or garbage disposal blockages due to food residue, there’s an easy solution. Start by mixing one cup each of baking soda and lemon juice and allowing it to sit in the drain for 15 minutes. Afterward, add another cup of white vinegar and let the fizzing commence before rinsing it with boiling water. To prevent future clogs from forming, installing a strainer is highly recommended.
- Ventilation: To avoid smoke, odors, and other indoor pollutants from accumulating in your kitchen, ensure it is optimally ventilated. Installing a chimney with remarkable suction power and an exhaust fan will improve ventilation significantly. Additionally, clean the chimney regularly and often replace its air filters for the best results.
Don’t feel lost when something in your house breaks. You can fix it with some basic tools and research. Before dialing for help, take to the web to see how possible solutions may be within reach — saving you time, money, and stress.
Before putting your house up for sale, inspect it thoroughly and take care of necessary repairs. Investing in the present will dramatically increase your home’s worth when you’re ready to sell. After all, you deserve to receive maximum value for what is likely your most valuable asset.