Becoming a homeowner is a huge responsibility. While some people may think their primary role is to pay the bills and keep the home clean, you also need to make sure it is functioning on a practical level. This means home inspections. If you audit your home, you can catch problems before they become detrimental to your home’s integrity.

Roof Damage

The roof is arguably the most important part of your home. It keeps you safe from the elements—be it rain, snow, or sun—and it helps insulate your home throughout the year. Because it is so important, it is also a great place to inspect first.

Roof damage can result in leakage, lower energy-efficiency, and at worst, cave-ins. A roofing issue should be taken care of as quickly as possible to avoid all of these issues—especially if you live in a snowy climate. Pay attention to ceilings that seem to be slumping down. Invest in better insulation. These are the ways to protect your family from a worn-down roof.

Foundation Issues

On the flip side, your foundation can be just as important as your roof. A weakened foundation can cause your home to shift during natural disasters and may cause flood damage—possibly major flood damage. If you live at the bottom of a hill or if you live in a rainier climate, this should probably be a top priority.

See if there are obvious cracks or holes in your foundation. If there isn’t serious damage, mudjacking can save you money by avoiding completely replacing your foundation. Serious damage will require a lot of cash investment, but it is for the best.

Energy Problems

Have you noticed an increase in your power bill? Does it feel like your home doesn’t stay warm or cool very well? If you have these problems, you are likely wasting money on energy that isn’t going to you.

An energy audit will analyze all of your appliances, your wiring, and the entry points to your home. A cracked window or doorway can be fixed with proper weatherstripping and caulking, but rewiring your home and changing appliances can cost a pretty penny. These initial costs may seem daunting, but they can save you a lot of money in the long run.

Performing frequent home audits is a matter of personal responsibility. They don’t have to be daily, weekly, or even monthly, but annually. These will keep you out of hot water as you live your life.

Read this next: How to Reduce the Costs of Owning a Home

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