Top 10 Surprise Home Repairs

Home Maintenance

A major part of homeownership is home maintenance and repairs. When purchasing a home, it is important to factor home repairs into your budget. Experts suggest a budget of one percent of the home purchase price each year for maintenance of the home. If you purchase a home for $300,000 you should budget $3,000 a year for repairs. This will help you to be financially prepared when surprise maintenance or repairs pop up. While it is impossible to predict what your home will need in the future, listed below are ten of the most common surprise repairs.

Dishwasher Leaks

Dishwasher Repair

A dishwasher leak will lead to many other repairs in your home, including the dishwasher itself and the surrounding areas affected by the water. You will need to call a professional to come and assess the amount of damage to the dishwasher. Once the expert assesses the appliance, you will either need to repair or replace it. In addition to the damage to the dishwasher, the surrounding water damage will need to be assessed. Water can cause mold and damage to flooring, cabinets, walls, and even the structural foundation itself.

Dishwasher Does Not Drain

Another common repair that could be necessary for a dishwasher is if it does not drain properly. This is most likely due to something being clogged and preventing the water from leaving the dishwasher. You may be able to solve the problem yourself by doing a deep cleaning of the garbage disposal. If the water still isn’t draining, then you will need to call a professional to assess and repair the issue.

Garbage Disposal is Jammed

A jammed garbage disposal can be a minor problem that can be easily fixed by a homeowner or professional. This problem is usually caused by too much waste being put down the disposal at one time or by putting the wrong things down the drain that are non-perishable. Remember to only put small portions of perishable goods down the train at one time to avoid any issues.  You can unjam it yourself with a self-service wrench. The wrench is silver-colored and shaped like a little crank, about four inches long. If you cannot find the wrench, you can use a standard 1/4-inch Allen wrench. If the wrench will not turn easily, it is OK to use some force. The wrench is designed to bend before any damage is done to the garbage disposal.

Fogged Windows

Fogged windows are indicative of a broken window seal. Over time, the plastic seals around windows fail due to excess heat, exposure to water, or simply just old age. It’s a good idea to check your window seals every 5 years. This type of problem is mostly present in homes at least 10 years old. This problem will most likely mean that the window will need to be replaced. It is sometimes possible to repair the problem but is oftentimes more complicated and time-consuming than replacing the entire window. A new window is an investment in the property, and it will prevent you from having to put more money into the same window in the future, not to mention the money you will be saving on wasted energy.

Rooms That Do Not Heat or Cool Properly

A house may have a room that is always too hot in the summer and too cold in the winter. You will most likely not realize this problem until you have fully moved into the home, and therefore will be unaware of the problem until you own the property. This problem could be caused by a variety of issues including improper insulation, problems with the air ducts, air registers, or maybe the size of the system as a whole. In many cases, a professional will need to be called to assess the heating and cooling problem.

Roof Leaks

A leaky roof is a tell-tale sign that you may need a new roof before more costly damage occurs to the home. It only takes one rainstorm for a leak to present itself and cause damage to other areas of a house. A leak needs to be immediately assessed by a professional to determine if the roof can be repaired or if the entire roof needs to be replaced. Once the problem has been rectified, any water damage caused by the leak will need to be repaired. Check with your local roofing company to determine if your Homeowners Insurance covers roof replacement.

Water Leaks

Water Leaks

Water leaks are common and will most likely require a licensed plumber. If you see a water leak, the first thing to do is turn off the water supply to that area. Plumbing repairs vary in severity from a small sink drip to a burst pipe that could potentially flood an entire home. Even if the leak is minor, it should be addressed immediately to avoid more costly repairs.

AC System Stops Working

The AC system of a home is checked during a home inspection, but it is not uncommon for homeowners to have repairs. The system will randomly stop functioning with no prior problems and leave the homeowner without air conditioning. This problem will require a professional, and therefore can be very costly and lengthy to resolve.

Sewage Backups

A sewage backup can occur in both new and older homes. Some early symptoms of this problem can be detected to prevent a major disaster from occurring at a later time. The most likely symptom is slow drains throughout the home. If you notice this happening, it may be worth having a plumber come to your home to make sure a sewage backup is not occurring.



Pests in a home are nearly impossible to prevent. Whether it be rodents such as rats or mice, and/or bugs, namely termites, homeowners will most likely require the services of an exterminator. The best way to prevent a major problem with pests in a home is to contact an exterminator and take preventive measures to protect the home. This could include installing termite traps and checking attic spaces for pests.

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