Sometimes a $1,000 disaster can be prevented with a $4 hose. That’s the finding of many homeowners who end up paying a lot for repairs that could have been prevented with just an ounce of inexpensive prevention.
One of the best places to check first is any place in your home that can be damaged by water. A survey by the American Society of Home Inspectors found that 40% of home maintenance problems are related to water. Water seeping into the basement or crawlspace, leaks from neglected washer and dishwasher hoses, and leaking pipes can leave you wet and poor.
Pay attention to the following items in your home regularly:
• Check for leaks from appliance hoses (washer and dishwasher), connections to the hot water heater and humidifier, outside spigots, exposed plumbing. Tighten all connections.
• After a heavy rain, check for water in attics, basements and crawlspaces. Make repairs as soon as the area is dry.
• Backed-up gutters can cause water to seep back up into the attic. The solution is simple, though: regularly remove leaves and debris from the gutter system.
• Check the circuit breakers about every six months.
• Check switches when lights seem to blink when the switch is touched.
• Keep wall-socket plates secure and replace broken ones.
A/C and Heating System
• Check these systems at least once a year; have them cleaned and serviced. You could save thousands in repair/replacement bills later, and improve operating efficiency thereby lowering monthly costs.
• If you have a fireplace, make sure it is professionally inspected and cleaned annually. Wood-burning fireplaces can cause creosote to build up in their chimneys–a dangerous fire hazard.
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