How to Maintain A Home To Avoid Costly Home Repairs

Last Updated on February 16, 2020 by Diane Hoffmaster

This post about how to maintain a home to avoid costly home repairs is sponsored, however, all opinions are my own.

Unexpected home repairs can be expensive. In fact, they can destroy your home maintenance budget very quickly if something serious goes wrong. Following a regular home maintenance checklist is the best way to stay on top of things.  Here are the most common home repairs to tackle to keep your house in tip top shape.

How to Maintain Your Home to avoid costly home repairs

Damp Basement and Foundation Damage

When we lived in our previous home, we had periodic basement flooding.  Thankfully, we avoided expensive foundation repair by NOT staying in that home too long!  Water damage, mold, and foundation damage is one of the most expensive home repairs you will tackle. 

How do you know if this is a problem?  Flaking or peeling paint on the walls or a musty odor are signs of a damp basement.  If you see buckling walls or cracks, you may already have foundation damage.  How do you avoid these costly home repairs?

cart and bricks in front of house foundation

The best way to keep your foundation and basement dry is to make sure your yard slopes AWAY from your home.  This may require adding some well compacted soil around the base of your home.  Make sure to keep your gutters and downspouts clean so they direct water away from the home by at least 10 feet.  You may need to call a professional.  When learning how to maintain a home, it’s important to know your limits.  Inexperience can lead to DIY home repair fails which could be costly.  

Worker on roof of house doing repairs

Leaky Roofs and Damp Attics

When it rains it pours if you have a leaky roof.  Whether it is from storm damage or just old age, an old roof is one of the many types of home repairs you need to tackle quickly.  Missing shingles and damaged roof flashings can allow water to enter your home or get behind siding, causing expensive home repair costs.  How long does a roof last?  That depends on where you live and the type of roofing you have. 

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In general, roofing repair is not something you should tackle yourself.  Home improvement safety is important so call the professionals if you have a leaky roof. I got a free roofing inspection in Atlanta after we had a hail storm. In the Atlanta area, you can check out Southeastern Roofing Company for your inspection, however, call your local roofing companies to get quotes. A new roof is expensive but can save you a ton of money in the long run on water damage costs.  If you are making a home repairs list and budget for the year, a roof inspection should be on it. 

toilet in bathroom

Sewer and Septic

I grew up in a home with a septic tank. I learned very early in life what NOT to throw into the toilet.  Our current home also has a septic tank, although that is not as common down here in Atlanta.  And many of my neighbors have had total septic system failure because they didn’t maintain their septic system properly.

Foul odors, slow or clogged drains or water in the basement are all signs of septic system problems.  Regular septic maintenance can prevent MAJOR home repair costs later on.  Here are some tips on how to avoid septic problems:

  • Use toilets to flush sewage only.
  • Use only single ply toilet paper and use it sparingly.
  • Do not flush feminine hygiene products down the toilet. 
  • Eliminate leaks by maintaining your plumbing and replace old toilets, dishwashers and clothes washers with high-efficiency modern models.
  • Avoid disposing of household hazardous wastes in toilets.
  • Remove large trees that are near your actual tank.  This helps prevent roots from damaging them.
  • Get your tank serviced regularly.

Regular cleaning and maintenance of septic systems can help avoid expensive emergency calls or premature replacement, which can cost $5,000 or more.

fireplace and leather couch in rustic living room

Damaged Fireplace

Problems with your fireplace can actually be deadly.  Not only can damaged fireplaces cause high energy costs and water damage but also home fires and carbon monoxide poisoning.  Signs of a damage fireplace include obvious missing or damaged masonry, drafts when not in use, or a bad odor.  

Have a professional chimney sweeper come in and clean the inside of the fireplace and check for damage.  Install carbon monoxide detectors nearby and repair cracks or missing mortar with a silicone based sealant.  

While it may cost you a bit of money to hire a professional, the trade-off is your family’s health and safety.  Your life is worth a heck of a lot more than the cost of a chimney repair expert. 

Home Maintenance Chores you should not ignore

Learn How To Maintain A Home And Save Money

The average cost of home repairs will be much smaller if you maintain a regular schedule of maintenance.  Tackling small problems regularly is much cheaper than tackling major home repairs when something outright fails.  From air conditioner maintenance to basic spring cleaning chores, stay on top of your to do list as a home owner.  You will be grateful in the long run when your home repair costs don’t overwhelm your budget. 

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