Is Your Dallas Home at Risk for Costly Repairs?

September 15, 2021

Owning a home is expensive! Just like a car, components of your home are not made to last forever and need regular maintenance to prevent costly repairs.

But if you are like most people, you want to spend your hard-earned money on home upgrades, smart technology, or remodeling areas to update them to current trends. You probably don’t want to spend your hard-earned money on boring home repairs, right?

It’s not as if home repairs are not worth the money – they are. Making sure key areas of your home like your roof, siding, and gutters are in good shape keeps your home safe from the elements, especially the interior which is vulnerable if these key areas are not in optimal shape. It’s just that they are not as glamorous and fun as a new refrigerator that connects to your smartphone… or a complete kitchen makeover.

One of the best things you can do to keep home repairs low is to keep an eye out for small problems. Just like with a car, small problems can be easily fixed and usually don’t cost a lot. However, when left unattended, these small problems can and do turn into very costly repairs.

To help, we’ve put together a list of the top five warning signs to watch out for and put them into low, medium and high-risk categories. These problems usually start out small but get bigger over time. The longer you wait, the more expensive home repairs will be. Spotting these problems early means more in your budget for your savings, remodeling projects, or whatever you want to spend it on!

Reading to the end will not only help you save money in the long run and take care of your home – it will give you peace of mind that your home is safe. Protecting your biggest investment starts with checking these key areas – especially number five on the list. It is the most important and often most overlooked type of damage and one of the most expensive home repairs homeowners face.

1. Your Home’s Roof

Risk Factor: High

Water is your home’s worst enemy. Your roof is the first line of defense and is designed to keep water out.

Think of your roof as a system – all components of the system have to work together to keep your home safe. If one part or shingle is broken, damaged or goes missing it impacts the entire system’s ability to protect your home.

Cost Factor: High

Each component of a roof system is connected. That means over time, roof damage can literally spread to other areas of your home. This can exponentially increase the cost of repairs or cause the need for a full roof replacement. The average cost of a new roof is anywhere from $15,000 – $45,000 depending on the size of your home.

The single best thing you can do for your home is to look for issues and call for professional help as soon as you spot them.

Signs of a Roof Problem

We do NOT recommend getting on your roof to inspect it for damage. Falling is a real possibility for those who are inexperienced, not to mention, a fall could seriously injure or worse kill you.

Spot a Roof Problem Step 1: Check The Outside

From the ground or from a ladder, look at every roof side of your roof and check for:

  • Missing shingles
  • Curling, buckling or bubbling shingles
  • Cracked or broken shingles
  • Odd curvature to the flat surfaces of your roof

All of these are warning signs of a potentially larger problem and should prompt you to get a professional inspection ASAP.

Spot a Roof Problem Step 2: Check The Inside

After you have walked the perimeter of your home and checked for signs of damage on the outside of your roof, check the inside by going into your attic. Here’s what to look for:

  • Signs of light – if light can get in, water can too
  • Signs of a leak – check the rafters and roof deck for water stains or mold
  • Musty smells – this could mean that leaks are active and water has led to mold growth in the wood or insulation
  • Stains or discoloration on your ceilings – this could indicate a roof leak. Even small stains should be a cause for concern.

All of these are warning signs of a potentially larger problem and should prompt you to get a professional inspection ASAP.

2. Your Home’s Gutters

Risk Factor: High

Gutters are designed to direct water AWAY from your home. Damaged gutters will not only prevent that from happening, it can direct water INTO your home.

Cost Factor: Medium

If an area or part becomes damaged due to wind, storms or other physical damage repairs can be made to a single section without having to replace the whole thing.

The easiest way to prevent damage is to clean your gutters regularly to prevent debris build-up.

If debris build-up is left, it can clog areas of your gutter system and literally direct water into the roof and walls of your home. This can exponentially increase the cost of repairs.

Signs of a Gutter Problem

  • Debris build-up
  • Falling or sagging sections
  • Areas that are not properly attached to your home
  • Downspouts not draining (usually indicates a clog)
  • Downspouts not directing water far enough away from your home

All of these are warning signs of a potentially larger problem and should prompt you to get a professional inspection ASAP.

Spot a Gutter Problem Step 1: Check From Up Top

Use a ladder to safely climb up to a height where you can see into your home’s gutters. Check for the following:

  • Debris
  • Are any sections hanging or sagging?
  • Is all the hardware properly fastened to the roof?

Spot a Gutter Problem Step 2: Check From Below

There will be several long sections that direct water from your roof to the ground. Check for the following:

  • Are sections properly fastened?
  • Are there any clogs and is water able to flow freely?
  • Does water get directed away from your home or is it pooling water around the base?

3. Your Home’s Siding/Exterior

Risk Factor: High

Your home’s exterior is the second line of defense for your home and is often prone to damage caused by other factors like rodents and pests. The durability of your home’s siding is primarily based on the material used.

Cost Factor: High

Your home’s siding is similar to your roof in that it is a system of connecting parts. Damage to one area can easily spread to others and increase the overall cost of repairs. For that reason the cost factor when dealing with your home’s siding is high.

Signs of a Siding Problem

Walking the perimeter of your home is an easy way to spot early problems. Warning signs include:

  • Dents, dings or holes
  • Gaps in siding or missing areas
  • Signs of water damage or rot
  • Warping or curved areas

All of these are warning signs of a potentially larger problem and should prompt you to get a professional inspection ASAP.

4. Your Home’s Windows

Risk Factor: Medium

Windows on a home are made to last for a long time but not forever. Due to their ability to open up to the outside, problems can occur and allow water to enter in – often without you even noticing. Water often leads to mold growth which presents other costly challenges and possible health issues.. For that reason the risk factor for damaged or old windows is medium.

Cost Factor: Medium

Windows bridge the gap between the inside and outside of a home. There are several measures taken to keep water where it belongs; outside. Over time the seal can be damaged and allow water to seep in – often inside the walls of your home where it can’t be readily seen. A single replacement window won’t break the bank, but any additional damage could. For that reason, the cost risk factor is medium.

Signs of a Window Problem

  • High energy costs
  • Musty odors, stains or discoloration on walls
  • Water on window sills after it rains

All of these are warning signs of a potentially larger problem and should prompt you to get a professional inspection ASAP.

5. Storm Damage

Risk Factor: Extremely High

Some roof damage is easily preventable. For example, keeping trees trimmed back will prevent debris build-up and damage from limbs. However, hail and wind damage are not preventable and it can happen at any time. Hail can cause damage that is not repairable and high winds can loosen or completely remove shingles. Both of these problems will let water enter your roof system and cause leaks over time. For that reason, the risk of storm damage is extremely high – especially for homeowners in Dallas where the weather can change in an instant.

Cost Factor: Low

The reason the cost factor is low with storm damage is that the homeowner’s insurance will cover the cost of damages, minus your deductible. In most cases, filing a storm damage claim will not raise your insurance rates. Again, you can’t control the weather.

But what you can control is when the damage is repaired.

What most homeowners don’t know is that storm damage often cannot be seen from the ground. It can take months for storm damage to cause active roof leaks (less time if the hail was large). If you don’t get a professional inspection after a severe storm you could have damage that is festering. Over time, the damage will spread and can cause extensive repairs.

Signs of Storm Damage

  • Missing shingles
  • dents/dings from hail on your car, garage door or gutters
  • Granules in your gutters or driveway
  • dents/dings on windows or screens
  • dents/dings on siding

All of these are warning signs of a potentially larger problem and should prompt you to get a professional inspection ASAP.

Key Takeaways

  • Small problems can lead to costly and expensive repairs
  • Waiting to fix problems is NOT in your best interest
  • If you see signs of a problem get help ASAP

Your home is likely your biggest investment. Routine maintenance and repairs are critical to keep costs low and ensure your home is safe from the elements.

If you see signs of a problem or if recent storms have hit and you are not able to perform an inspection yourself, our team is here to help! Our inspections are fast, easy, and best of all they are FREE. We have years of experience needed to diagnose and repair small problems before they turn into costly repairs.

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