Let’s face it: your life is busy. In the hustle and bustle of work, taking the kids to school, and keeping up with family, it’s all too easy to just push home projects off to the side. After all, whatever it is can wait for another weekend—right? While some home upkeep, maintenance, and repairs can in fact wait, there are many other urgent problems that you should deal with right away. In this article, we’ll review the home repairs you should never ignore, and how you can potentially avoid catastrophe by addressing them as soon as possible.

Keep your cooling and heating systems in great condition

Your home’s air conditioner and furnace are essential to your indoor comfort on the hottest days of summer and the coldest days of winter. Depending on the climate where you live, they may be more than just a convenience: in the Sun Belt, a home without working cooling can quickly become dangerous, just as a home in the Northeast or Midwest is at risk of having its pipes freeze on a cold night if the furnace shuts off. In other words, there’s a lot riding on your cooling and heating systems operating just as they should.

The best thing you can do is be on the lookout for telltale signs of impending HVAC trouble—and act right away if you suspect something is wrong. An air conditioner that short cycles and has issues getting your home down to the desired temperature is cause for concern. So are strange noises or poor energy efficiency coming from your home’s heater. This is the point where you need a professional HVAC technician to come out and look at your system.

Sure, air conditioning repair in Hamburg, NY costs money but, it’s far less expensive than having to replace the system prematurely—which could be a risk if you don’t address the problem right away.

Have a roof leak? Now’s the time to call in a roofer.

Most roofing issues start out innocently enough. After all, it’s just a few missing shingles, or some torn-off flashing around the chimney. You’ll get to it. But, then spring turns into summer, which turns into fall, which turns into winter. Meanwhile, your exposed underlayment has deteriorated, and the roof structure is now exposed to the elements—including moisture. When the next storm blows in, you’re going to notice you have a roof leak.

Roof leaks are among the most expensive home repairs because they require a variety of professionals to repair and address the issue. First, you’ll need a licensed roofer to actually repair the roof and eliminate the source of the problem. Depending on the age and general overall condition of your roof, this might involve replacing the entire roof. Next, you’ll need a restoration specialist to come in and address any water damage and possible mold growth caused by the leak. Only when all this cleanup and repairs are completed will you finally be done with your roof leak nightmare.

Like so many problems in your home, roofing issues—including leaks—just get worse and worse the longer they’re left untreated. What starts as relatively minor water damage could turn into significant structural damage and the destruction of your floors. The best course of action is to schedule regular roofing checkups with a locally trusted roofer and—between these checkups—look out for signs of damage to the roof after storms. If you notice missing shingles, disoriented flashing, or other parts of the roof that just don’t look right, immediately bring out a specialist.

If your sewer line clogs or leaks, take immediate action

A sewer backup is a home disaster almost without parallel. Just like a roof leak, it’s going to cost you thousands of dollars in water damage, restoration, and mold remediation—and that’s before even considering the cost of replacing or repairing the line itself. Sewer line clogs and leaks can happen to any home, but they’re more likely in older properties. Most leaks occur because of shifting soil, aggressive tree roots, or the deterioration of the line material. Many clogs are caused by years of washing grease, oil, and non-organic waste down the sink drain and toilet.

The immediate warning sign of an impending sewer line clog is all the drains in your home clogging simultaneously. When this happens, immediately turn off all the faucets, shut off the water to your home, and call a plumber. You’re at imminent risk of a sewer line backup, but quick and decisive action may spare your home from this disaster.

Considering that your sewer line is buried under your front or side yard, you’ll probably smell a line leak before you even see it. If your yard smells like sewage and there’s a perpetually wet spot of soil right above where the line runs, that’s as good of a sign as any that you have a line leak. Call a plumber.

When it comes to your home, set your priorities straight

No one’s perfect, and that’s doubly true when it comes to keeping up with home maintenance and repairs. Luckily, our homes are pretty forgiving: nothing terrible is going to happen if you push off painting your bedroom for one more weekend. However, for the repairs discussed above, you need to push aside the temptation to procrastinate and act immediately. By doing so, you can either avoid a disaster or at least limit its consequences, saving you money and a whole lot of heartbreak.

For a full review of the urgent repairs you need to prioritize in your home, take a look at this infographic.