Your house is likely one of the most valuable assets you’ll ever own, so it makes sense that you want to avoid costly repairs in any way possible. However, it’s not always easy to foresee potential issues ahead of time. Whether you’re a new property owner altogether or this is your first stand-alone dwelling after years in a condo, here are four aspects of proactive home maintenance you want to keep in the forefront of your mind.

Foundation Woes

If you have a basement, it should be dry and watertight unless it is an extremely old, historic home with a native-stone foundation. If you go into your cellar and see mortar between the bricks, blocks or stones, your basement was built to be dry. A leaky foundation will eventually fail, causing the whole house to shift. At worst, the foundation can collapse and condemn the entire home to being torn down. If your basement wall is leaking or bulging, call a professional immediately. This is not a problem that can wait to be addressed.

Roof Concerns

According to The Globe and Mail, a new roof can set you back between five and 20 grand. That figure doesn’t count the cost of repairing water damage or pest intrusion due to a faulty roof. Repairs, in contrast, cost far less and can significantly extend the life of your roof. Look at your roof at least once a season to spot potential issues. If you’re not comfortable mounting the roof itself, at least use a steady ladder to look around from the eaves. Look for any sign of holes, dips, missing pieces or rickety gutters. If you find shingles laying in the yard, call a roofer right away. By not taking care of your roof’s maintenance, you could put your home at risk for flooding and structural damage. Such damage could put you even more at risk if your house were to experience a severe storm. Most houses that are up to date on their maintenance can handle a good storm, but if your roof is damaged, then it wouldn’t be stable enough to handle heavy winds or hail.

Potential Plumbing Issues

A leaking pipe or moisture leeching through a wall or ceiling near a bathroom are obvious signs of a problem, but there are other harbingers of plumbing disasters to come you need to be aware of. Gurgling pipes, slow draining, a whiff of sewage smell and even sputtering taps can mean something is wrong. Have any plumbing issue dealt with promptly to avoid a higher cost later. If you’re concerned about your pipes, taps or septic system, contact a professional such as one from the Young Plumbing Corporation or another local service to get to the root of the concern.

Heating System Problems

If your furnace was installed during the Nixon administration, now is the time for a new one. The last thing you need is to be forced to replace your furnace in February because it’s finally broken beyond repair. A new furnace will also decrease your utility expenditures, offsetting the replacement cost over time.

Proactive maintenance is essential to protecting your home and its value. By keeping these issues in mind, you will keep a careful eye on potential problems and save yourself some very expensive and extensive repairs in the future.