How to Keep Home Repair Bills From Getting Out of Hand
Homes tend to appreciate in value over time, assuming proper care and maintenance. A lack of preventive maintenance can decrease a home’s value, all while making monthly bills higher. It can be easy for home bills to get out of hand in this scenario. The way to prevent this is by using proactive and routine checks, which can help to avoid serious mishaps such as fires, electrical damage and sewage blocks.
There are a number of ways to save money on home repairs by doing preventive maintenance.
Prioritize Preventive Maintenance
Especially for busy or financially strapped individuals, it can seem difficult to devote enough time to preventive maintenance. It is important to address a problem that appears minor at first. However, much like an issue related to your teeth or automobile, a small setback can turn into a big one over time in a home.
An owner with little experience can do any preventive maintenance tasks. Still, if time or expertise prevents this, hiring a professional can still save substantial money long-term over a potentially hazardous repair situation in the future. One example of being proactive is inspecting a home’s heating system annually. Some heating companies provide checks free of charge, so be sure to look into this. Even if they don’t, an inspection of all appliances can help save costs in the future.
A great way to handle this in the midst of a busy life is to schedule these check-ups many months in advance. Maintain a spreadsheet of your appliances, from the heating system to the toilet and kitchen appliances, along with the last date they were inspected. If nothing is awry with an appliance, then an annual check should be fine. If even a minor issue becomes apparent, address it immediately, unless you’re willing to risk larger costs down the line.
Don’t Forget About the Garage Door
With so many appliances and infrastructure concerns, it becomes easy to forget about maintaining your garage door. Being unable to open your garage door can be costly in harsh weather or if you’re in a time crunch.
Similarly, it’s important to verify a garage door is safe and secure to avoid car damage or bodily injury. A few maintenance tips include:
- Checking and tightening roller brackets and any loose bolts that connect to the rail
- Checking the rollers for chips and cracks
- Removing dirt or build-up from lift cables
- Lubricating the opener screw or chain
- Remedying rust
Realize the Consequences of Neglect
For new homeowners, the consequences of neglecting preventive maintenance can be extremely costly. For example, it’s easy to spot the symptoms of a deteriorating roof. Cracking, thinning or missing shingles are obvious signs, as are protruding nail heads or exposed roof.
Repairing the shingles is a relatively pain-free and affordable process to remedy this, though waiting may cause mold and wood rot that can make the home uninhabitable and result in tens of thousands of dollars or more in structural repair.
When you act in a timely fashion and practice preventative techniques, you won’t need to worry about structural repairs. Keep your bills down by using these smart tips to make sure your home stays in tip-top shape.
Scott Huntington is a writer from central Pennsylvania. He enjoys working on his home and garden with his wife and 2 kids. Follow him on Twitter @SMHuntington