For most people, a home is one of the most  valuable assets they’ll ever own. Unfortunately, there are some major perils  that can befall a house and put a serious dent in the value of that asset. Many  of these perils are much more insidious than a fire or natural disaster. Read on  to learn about some of the most expensive damage that can occur in your home,  how much it costs and how to avoid it.

Foundation If you have bowed basement walls, cracks in  walls or floors or a tilting chimney, you may be aware that these are signs of a  problem foundation. But many people don’t realize that difficulty opening and  closing doors and windows can also be early signs that your home is shifting.  And whether you have a new home or an old one, foundation problems often require  major repairs – and a big cash outlay. According to the Concrete Network, a  consumer website devoted to concrete services, foundation problems can be caused  by the type of soil the house is built on, an improperly laid foundation or  drainage problems. Whatever the cause, a bad foundation is bad news and,  depending on the severity of the problem, can cost the homeowner well over  $10,000.
How to prevent  it: Assuming your home was properly built, the most you can do to  prevent problems in your foundation is to ensure that your home has proper  drainage. This means that gutters and eavestroughs should be kept clear and in  good repair, and your yard should be properly graded to ensure that water runs  away from your house.

Mold Unlike major water damage, such as that caused by  flooding, minor or hidden water damage in your home, perhaps from a defective  water pipe, hot water heater or window seal,  can cause just as much damage – and you may not notice it right away. Similarly, if your home suffered through a  flood in the past and did not adequately dry out, mold can also thrive.

  • A 2005 study by the National Resources Defense  Council showed that New Orleans homes that had been flooded or were even near  areas of flooding showed extremely high levels of mold spores that could pose  health threats to residents, even in the homes that had been repaired and  treated for mold. And the more humid the area in which you live, the harder it  will be for you to get rid of mold and keep it from coming back. According to  the Environmental Protection Agency, if the mold growth in your home is larger  than 10 square feet or was caused by sewage or other contaminated water, it’s  time to call in a professional. Although home insurance may cover some of the  costs depending on your policy, the cost of mold remediation is about $3,000 per  wall, according to Environmental Solutions Group, an environmental management  company that inspects homes for mold – and that doesn’t include the cost of  replacing any mold-infected materials such as drywall, carpet or ceiling  tiles.
    How to prevent it: Mold can’t grow  without moisture, so it’s important that you check for and fix any leaks in your  home immediately, use fans in kitchens and bathrooms to vent moisture outside  and clean up any mold growth immediately to prevent it from spreading.
Water Damage If your home isn’t water tight, this isn’t  something you can ignore. Beyond the possibility of mold, long-term water damage  can cause rot, which can lead to all kinds of expensive repairs to the structure  of your home. It’s difficult to estimate the cost of this type of repair, but it  can easily run into the thousands depending on how much wood needs to be  replaced and how intrusive the repairs are.
How to prevent  it: Be vigilant about water damage in your home; if you find leaks  or areas that tend to be damp, have them repaired before long-term damage  occurs. If you find rotten wood in your home, repair the problem before it gets  out of hand.

Bedbugs If you’re a homeowner rather than a renter, you  may think you’re immune to this one. Not so. According to Bloomberg, a recent  nationwide infestation of bedbugs has seen the little blood-sucking critters  popping up all over the place – including movie theaters, office buildings and  hotels, making it very easy for anyone to bring the infestation home. And,  because many of the most effective chemicals for killing bedbugs have been found  to be dangerous, eliminating the spread is harder than ever. According to a July  2009 story in the New York Times, paying more than $5,000 to eliminate  a bedbug infestation is not uncommon.
How to prevent  it: Avoid bringing home used furniture, mattresses or bedding. If  you travel, inspect your hotel carefully for bed bugs (even upscale hotels have  suffered from this problem), and avoid placing your luggage on the floor. If you  find bed bugs in your home, contact an exterminator.

Sewer Line Problems The portion of the sewer line that  extends out from a home and onto city property is often the homeowners’  responsibility when it comes to repairs. Sewer line problems are most common in  older neighborhoods, where the line may have sagged or has been damaged by tree  roots. If you have slow running or gurgling drains, frequent backups in your  plumbing system or sewage smells outside your home, these may be indications of  a problem. Again, your home insurance policy may cover this cost, expect this  doozy to cost anywhere from $5,000 to $15,000 for a 100-foot sewer  pipe.
How to prevent it: If you experience  signs of sewer problems in your home, have a professional inspect your lines.  Clogs and tree roots can often be removed at a lower cost, without complete  replacement of the pipe.

By preventing these  problems, you can protect the value of your house, which will help you sell your home faster in the future.

Sell your home fast with Buck Buys Houses.