On Your Side
Proactive home maintenance can save you thousands
When you're looking to save money, it's easy to cut corners when it comes to home maintenance. But as On Your Side's Courtny Gerrish shows us, a little fixing up around the house can actually be an important money saving tool. Video by tmj4.comvideo
Jennifer Galluzzo remembers the day the shower floor shifted under her feet. "It had completely molded out underneath. The shower needed to be completely gutted and redone."
The culprit? A backed up bathroom vent. She learned it should be cleaned every two to four months. Polyana da Costa with bankrate.com says Jennifer's story is all too common. While there are no statistics, bankrate says anecdotal evidence shows a growing number of homeowners simply aren't aware of, or find it tough to pony up money for, basic home maintenance, cleaning, and repair, but by coughing up to a few hundred dollars early on, you can save thousands, even tens of thousands, down the road.
"When you're on a tight budget, the mentality tends to be 'why fix it if its not broken,' but instead it should be 'let's take care of it now before it becomes an issue,'" da Costa suggests.
Starting with the H-Vac units, or heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. A yearly tune-up by a professional can help prevent a furnace blower breakdown. You should also schedule an annual termite inspection.
A chimney fire can also do major damage, so have it sweeped and inspected for cracks each year. Environmental Inspector Robert Weitz says dryer fires are also common. "Periodically, the dryer vent either needs to be cleaned out, or it needs to be really replaced if it's a flexible dryer vent."
Clean out your gutters four to six times a year to prevent signficant flooding and water damage, and have your roof inspected once a year. Finally, check for mold on a regular basis. It has the potential to destroy walls, cabinets, flooring, and more.
"The best places to check for mold are in the basement where water can seep in through the foundation or where water leaks end up, up in the attic for a lack of ventilation, in bathrooms," Weitz says.
Jennifer now has a home maintenance checklist, and the bathroom vent is at the top!
"We would have saved thousands of dollars and weeks of headaches."
If you have a wood deck, be sure to power wash and seal it every one to three years, depending on use. Replacing an entire deck can be pricey - we're talking $4-20,000.