13 Tips To Avoid Costly Home Repairs

Roof Repair
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At first glance, timely home maintenance may seem like a costly, never-ending cash leak that will leave your wallet dry. The following suggestions will help you keep your home repairs within your budget.

1. Keep Tabs on Your Roof

Letting humidity or leaking go unaddressed can cause many problems, including mold, mildew, rot and electrical shorts. Inspect your roof and attic every six months to ensure everything looks good up there.

Professional roof inspection and minor repairs are valued at anywhere between $120 and $300. On the other hand, having to replace your roof can cost you $8,000, on average, and that’s without counting the hundreds of dollars — or even thousands — it would cost you to fix any resulting interior or property damage.

2. Take Care of Your Gutters

Keeping your gutter spotless is an easy — though labor-intensive — DIY fix. If it seems like too much work, a professional gutter inspection and cleaning starts at 80 cents per linear foot, on average. That’s a steal considering that replacing faulty gutters can cost up to $3,000 for an average-size home.

3. Take Care of Your Exterior Walls and Trim

Building Wealth

Much like roof damage, exterior wall decay can cause mold, mildew and drafts. Keep an eye out for cracked, blistered siding or peeling paint and prevent foliage from touching your walls and trim.

If you choose to go the DIY route, your facade repairs can cost you up to $1,000. That may not be cheap, but it’s reasonable compared with the several thousand dollars you might spend to fix water damage, replace your entire siding, or cover energy waste charges caused by drafts.

4. Pay Close Attention to Your Windows and Doors

Doors and windows are essential to the safety of your home. Without proper maintenance, they can make it easier for burglars to break in. While a locksmith may charge you up to $150 to replace a lock or latch, doing it yourself can bring the cost down to as little as $30.

5. Keep Your Bathrooms Leak- and Mold-Free

Stay on top of faucet leaks and other issues in your bathrooms. The cost of new faucets can start at $30 per unit. Hiring a qualified plumber to take care of the replacement for you can cost between $100 and $575, which is still nothing compared to mold removal costs.

Building Wealth

6. Keep an Eye on Your Laundry Room

Did you know that one of the biggest fire hazards in your home is in your laundry room? Prevent clogged dryer vents that can lead to tragedy by cleaning lint out of your dryer’s tray every time you use it. Additionally, make sure you clean the vent at least once a year. Doing so costs you nothing but a little time and can save your entire household.

7. Fix Your Garbage Disposal

Although the blades and the noise can make garbage disposal repair a bit intimidating for most, it’s often a quick fix you can take care of in less than 20 minutes. What’s more, even if the project ends up being more complex than you initially thought, you can probably replace the whole disposal yourself for as little as $75.

8. Keep Your Cabinet Doors Quiet

To prevent all the unnecessary noise and long-term harm of banging cabinet doors, use peel-and-stick drawer bumpers. You can get them online for cheap and place two on each door — one at the top and one at the bottom.

9. Sweep Your Chimney Regularly

Dirty chimneys are a fire hazard, generate high energy costs and can even cause carbon monoxide poisoning. So, if your fireplace emanates an unusual odor or is starting to present some buildup on its inner walls, it’s time to call a chimney sweep — or to get down to work. Hiring someone to clean your chimney for you has an average cost of $245, while buying a sweeping kit can cost up to $100.

10. Keep Your HVAC System Running Like Clockwork

If your HVAC system has seen better days, maybe it’s time to replace the filters. This will cost you about $15 and help you keep your house cool — or warm — more efficiently. Don’t wait until your system fully breaks to try and fix it, or you might end up having to spend thousands of dollars on replacing the whole thing.

11. Avoid Clogs in Your Plumbing

If you perceive foul odors, your plumbing might need a little maintenance. If clogged, it could cause backups, slow-running drains or system failure. At the first sign of drainage problems, rent a sewer snake to clean all affected pipes. Don’t forget to clean your septic tank every three years. If you’d rather not do it yourself, you can hire an expert for about $300 — a bargain compared to replacing the entire system.

12. Fix Wallpaper Seams

Wallpaper seams can quickly fall apart as the paste wears down, but they can be fixed pretty much for free. Take a rag soaked in warm water and hold it over the affected area for a couple of minutes. Next, carefully open the seam so that you can squeeze some seam sealer or glue into it. Press it down with a roller and clean the excess sealer with a sponge.

13. Keep Your Decks Looking Good

Although built to withstand the elements, decks can deteriorate too. Keep an eye out for any missing screws, squeaky nails, unsteady railings or warped boards. You can make deck repair your next DIY project and take a piece-by-piece approach, repairing one element at a time. Before you know it, your deck will look as good as new.

Don’t Cut Corners in Home Repair

If you want to save some money and keep your home’s value high, don’t wait until the very last minute to repair your home’s natural wear and tear. There are numerous DIY repairs you can take care of yourself without breaking the bank. The above-mentioned measures will help you avoid costly repairs in the future.

Information is accurate as of Oct. 19, 2021.

Our in-house research team and on-site financial experts work together to create content that’s accurate, impartial, and up to date. We fact-check every single statistic, quote and fact using trusted primary resources to make sure the information we provide is correct. You can learn more about GOBankingRates’ processes and standards in our editorial policy.

About the Author

Daniela Rivera is a bilingual freelance content creator with an advertising and media background. She has a Communication Science degree and 10+ years of work experience as a copywriter. She specializes in generating engaging and creative concepts and texts for advertising, e-commerce, blogs, podcasts, and social media.

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