Reporting Al Sunshine
MIAMI (CBSMiami) — When you’re looking to save money, it’s easy to cut corners when it comes to home maintenance. Still, a little fixing up around the house can actually be an important money saving tool.
What are the top money drains in your house? Some are definitely obvious; others, not so much. But learning what they are can save you thousands in the long run.
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,” Jennifer said.
The culprit was a backed up bathroom vent. She learned it should be cleaned every two to four months.
“We were completely surprised,” she said.
A growing number of homeowners simply aren’t aware of, or find it tough to pony up money for basic home maintenance, cleaning, and repairs. 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 it’s not broken,” said Polyana da Costa of Bankrate.com. “But instead it should be: Let’s take care of it now before it becomes an issue.”
Start with HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) units. A yearly tune-up by a professional can help prevent a breakdown.
You should also schedule an annual termite inspection. That’s particularly important in South Florida.
“I’ve seen people who have to replace an entire wall because of termites,” said da Costa.
A chimney fire can also do major damage, so have your chimney swept and inspected for cracks each year, even if you haven’t used it much.
Dryer fires are also common, said Robert Weitz of indoor air quality testing company RTK Environmental.
“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 significant flooding and water damage.
Have your roof inspected once a year.
“Over a period of time, the shingles will start to curl,” said Weitz. “They’ll become deteriorated. If you put it off too long then water will enter the house.”
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,” said Weitz.
Jennifer Galluzzo 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.”
By the way, occasional termite inspections are something else you may want to consider and if you have a wood deck, be sure to power wash and seal it every one to three years, depending on use.