Is your maintenance eating up your entire budget? You are not alone. However, there are some ways to prevent this and save up more money for the things you really enjoy. Here are some proven tips:
Do An Inspection Yourself
While pro inspecting should be left to the real inspectors when the time comes, you can actually save a lot of money just inspecting your home on your own on occasion. This will help you see signs of trouble before it even happens. You can then fix that area and avoid spending thousands on replacements and renovations. The best part is – all you have to do is walk around and notice things.
- Look for cracks in foundation – some of them are quite normal but you should take note if they grow over time. If so, call a foundation expert.
- Next, pay attention to the foundation soil slope and downspout extensions which should reach at least 5 feet from your house. You also have to pay attention to roof damage – use binoculars to do this.
- Mind the plants – they should be at least 3 feet away from your home.
All of these things are easy to notice and cost nothing but could save you a lot of money in the long run.
Maintain Rain Gutters
If you leave your rain gutters clogged, you can risk the water overflowing and soaking your foundation. Foundation damage is really expensive to fix, so be careful. Make sure that you clean the gutters at least twice a year or more if you notice any clogs.
Water is Your Enemy, Caulk is a Friend
Every homeowner knows just how dangerous water is. Thus, your best friend is caulk. For one, it’s cheap and really easy to use. You can seal all openings where water can enter your home and prevent it from causing mold and rot. You can also seal air leaks and stop the cold from entering your home during frosty winters – as a bonus, you save on electricity. Caulking does age so it may come loose as your house settles. This is why inspection is useful again – reseal window and door frames if the caulk is missing. Check other places as well to make sure that everything is in order. Caulk is not expensive – even the top quality one won’t cost you more than $30.
Keep up With Small Repairs
As you inspect, you will probably notice blemishes like chipped paint, small chips in stucco and so on. You might want to do some on the spot repair in order to prevent further damage. Touch up chipped areas of paint. Watch the trim, stair railings and porch columns as well. This is not so much about the aesthetic – although it helps – but more about the water not doing the damage to your home. You can also plug holes in stucco, repair missing mortar and so on. You should also clean the outside of your home either with purchased washing mix or the green, homemade version. All of this will cost you less then $40.
Save on HVAC costs
HVAC repair costs can get quite expensive. This is why some maintenance couldn’t hurt. According to Ryan Holden of San Diego based HVAC company, Progressive Heating and Air, you need to regularly check your furnace filters – they might be cutting down on your heating and cooling, making you spend more electricity and causing allergies.Change filters every three months. Bring in a professional every year to clean various HVAC parts and recharge your refrigerant levels. You can also sign an annual deal which helps lower the cost of regular maintenance per visit.
Maintain Your Water Heater
Remove the gunk from the bottom of your water heater tank in order to improve your water heating speed and cost – gunk only slows it down and makes it more expensive because it spends more energy. You can do this by hooking up a hose to the drain valve at the bottom of your tank and draining it until the water that comes out is clear. You should also test the pressure of the relief valve by opening it a few times quickly. Be careful about the water that will come out – use a bucket or something similar to catch the water. Pay attention to the valve in case that there are some leaks after.
Always Plan For The Unexpected
The most important thing is the small maintenance you do throughout the year. This means showing your house the care it needs and noticing small issues that could turn big and eat up your budget before they spread. However, there could also be unexpected events that you haven’t prepared for. This isn’t an exact science so you never know when issues will arise. In order to prepare for that, set up an emergency fund for urgent repairs. Broken windows, leaks and so on can occur and this will help you spend less money in the long run.
Being prepared and doing regular maintenance is a big part of the homeowner life. When you notice an issue, do your best to fix it on your own but make sure to bring in professionals if the problem doesn’t get solved or if you stumble upon a bigger issue. Hopefully, these tips will help you keep your home safe and protected.