It may be tempting to put off spending on home maintenance, particularly when money is tight. Bankrate suggests sticking to the 1% rule. The 1% rule dictates that homeowners ought to save at least 1% of their home’s cost to spend on maintenance tasks. For example, homeowners should save $300 per month or $3,000 per year for a home that initially cost $300,000.
That may sound like a decent amount of change, but devoting these savings to routine home maintenance can save you a great deal of money in the long run. For example, an air filter for a standard air conditioner may cost as little as $15 to $25. If you install it yourself, that is all you will pay. If you hire a professional to change your filter and otherwise tune up your unit, you will pay for labor as well. By contrast, replacing an air conditioning system can cost several thousand dollars. That means, by paying the money for regular HVAC maintenance, you stand to save thousands.
These figures make it clear. Undertaking the right home maintenance projects and doing it diligently can save you a great deal of money. For the best tips on how to save money on home maintenance tasks, start with these cost-saving ventures.
Be Mindful of What You Flush
Over time, some plumbing repairs may be inevitable. Others, however, are avoidable with some preventative steps and routine maintenance. For pointers on how to save money on home maintenance tasks, take care to maintain your plumbing system and keep it in tip-top shape. That starts with flushing appropriate items only. Why? According to Better Homes and Gardens, “Your pipes are only four inches in diameter at their widest, which means even small, seemingly harmless items can cause major plumbing problems.” To keep your plumbing at its best, avoid flushing:
- Baby wipes, makeup removing wipes, and — yes — flushable wipes. Baby wipes, wipes used to remove makeup, and even wipes marketed as flushable often remain fully intact and do not break down after you flush them. This means that they easily get stuck and clog your pipes.
- Dental floss. It is a lesser-known fact that dental floss can be a risky item to flush. While floss itself is thin, it also doesn’t break up into pieces in your pipes. It remains one single strand, and that strand of floss has the potential to wrap itself around other items and plug up your system.
- Oil, grease, and fat. Firstly, your toilet is not a garbage can or garbage disposal. Flushing any food down the toilet can spell disaster. However, oil, grease, and fat are especially bad for plumbing. All of these substances begin as liquids and will become solids at some point as they travel down your pipes. Oil or fat that solidifies will adhere to the sides of your pipes, sometimes blocking them altogether.
Keep Mold At Bay
The best pointers on how to save money on home maintenance will advise you to do what you can to prevent mold buildup and eliminate mold in its initial stages. For effective mold prevention and mold damage prevention:
- Keep tabs on humidity levels in your home. If your home’s humidity level regularly rises above 50%, you are at greater risk for mold in your home. You can purchase a meter that will measure your home’s humidity level at a local hardware store. If you need to get your humidity levels down, a dehumidifier or air conditioner can help.
- Address any leaks right away.
- If your home floods or experiences any water damage, clean up and dry your home as soon as you can. Use exhaust fans to remove any remaining moisture, and don’t forget to remove water-soaked upholstery and carpets. To avoid mold, cleanup should take no more than 24 to 48 hours.
- Clean your bathroom. Bathrooms are notorious for mold buildup. Regularly clean your sinks, bathtub, and shower, and use mold-killing cleaning products for an additional level of prevention.
Professional mold removal can range from $500 to $6,000, according to House Logic and the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Thorough cleanup, a dehumidifier, and mold-killing cleaning products are considerably cheaper by comparison. Learn how to save money on home maintenance tasks by keeping mold to an absolute minimum from the start.
Have Your Roof Inspected
Roof replacement costs are nothing to balk at. It can be extremely costly to replace an existing roof or to install a new one. Once again, that means one of the best strategies on how to save money on home maintenance is to take care of your existing roof and do what you can to keep it in good condition. Here are the best ways to do that:
- Invest in a biannual roof inspection. During an inspection, roofing services will look for loose granules, missing or worn shingles, curling shingles, sagging or dips in your roof, improper flashing, and/or rusty or corroded flashing. These inspections identify problems in their early stages. At that point, you can fix them at a relatively low cost rather than fixing them down the road, when they are likely to be markedly worse and cost significantly more.
- Address small problems right away. If your inspection does reveal a problem, don’t dally when fixing it. Fix problems right away to get the highest value from routine inspections and professional roofing services.
- Maintain and clean your gutters. Dirty, clogged gutters or gutters that are separated from the sides of your home can ultimately affect your roof. Without working gutters, water may build up or pool on top of your roof, leaving your roof susceptible to water damage, leaks, flooding, and collapse.
Are you looking for the best ways on how to save money on home maintenance tasks? Keep tasks routine and preventative. Order regular roof inspections to identify problems as soon as possible.
Keep Floors In Good Condition
When it comes to effective home maintenance, floor cleaning is a must. Here are a few benefits of regularly cleaning the floors in your home:
- Cleaning carpets improves the air quality in your home. If you or your family members suffer from asthma or seasonal allergies, thorough carpet cleaning can help. It is much less expensive to clean your carpets and change the air filter in your HVAC system to improve the air quality in your home than it is to sink more money into medical bills.
- Maintaining hardwood and tile keeps your family safe. Scuffs, dents, and imperfections in your floors or uneven carpets that do not perfectly meet the wall or form a bubble may pose a trip and fall hazard. Often, you can repair a chipped or broken tile using a widely accessible filler, like resin. To fix a carpet with a bubble or bump, you will have to carefully cut the carpet, gently lift and stretch it, and then glue it snugly to the floor using a strong adhesive.
- It’s easier to spot clean than to replace your floor. Should you stain carpet or hardwood flooring, it is markedly easier to spot clean the area immediately than it is to replace a stained and worn floor over time. The best way to treat a stain will depend on the stain itself and your flooring material. For example, it is best to try to scrape food off hardwood floors or use ice to gently and cleanly remove stuck bubblegum.
To learn how to save money on home maintenance tasks, learn to prioritize the tasks that keep your home looking its best while promoting the safety and welfare of your family as well.
Check Your Home’s Insulation
For the best strategies on how to save money on home maintenance, start with tasks that are not only preventative but that also save you money. For example, reassessing the insulation in your home — and adding insulation as necessary — can save you a great deal of money.
Without adequate home insulation, your utility bills will be consistently higher month after month. By properly insulating your home, you can drive down your bills and reduce the amount of energy you use. Plus, insulation can help reduce excessive moisture in your home. Insulation in ductwork and firestop systems helps prevent grease fires and other fires originating from the kitchen.
Consider A Home Inspection
When you are purchasing a home, a home inspection is a given. Are there other times when it is appropriate to hire home inspectors? Home inspectors carefully examine the entirety of your home for the quality and soundness of your home’s various features and structures. A home inspection can determine the exact condition of walls, insulation, floors, windows, attic spaces, plumbing, and more.
Should you wish to perform home maintenance and not know exactly where to start, an inspection can help you identify areas where your home needs work.
Have Old Wiring Replaced
Old or dated home electrical wiring is a fire hazard. Fire damage can take quite the toll on your emotional well-being — and on your wallet. House fires set families back an average of $3,000 to $31,500.
Remember, when it comes to how to save money on home maintenance tasks, it is ineffective to trade one hazard for another. When in doubt, hire a professional for any electrical work, like rewiring your home. While old wires pose a fire hazard, you easily risk electrocuting yourself if you do not know what you are doing.
Professionals know how to safely replace the wiring in your home. They are able to add new outlets and new connections as necessary, and they know what local building codes do and do not permit.
Make Pests A Priority
Left unchecked, pests can do an incredible amount of damage to your home. The following pests can significantly threaten the structure, integrity, and/or cleanliness of your home:
- Honeybees. It is true: bees are critical to the environment. They are not as beneficial to the walls in your home, however. Call a beekeeper to remove any bees and nests you find indoors — or close to it. Over time, bees can burrow so deeply into walls that they may collapse.
- Termites. Termites can destroy the walls and foundation of your home, setting you back thousands of dollars. Call pest control if you see any telltale signs of termites, like sawdust-colored droppings.
- Squirrels. Squirrels may initially seem harmless, but they can actually do considerable damage to your home. If a squirrel gets into your home, they may chew through insulation, wires, and ductwork.
- Cockroaches. Cockroaches are unsanitary, carry diseases, and they are unpleasant to look at, but that is not all. Did you know that they can also chew through linens and clothes, damage wallpaper, and ruin furniture? Getting them taken care of as soon as possible is critical for the interior of your home.
Keep Trees Properly Trimmed
Another home maintenance task that you do not want to skip is trimming trees. Trimming trees will prevent stray branches from flying off during a storm and scratching windows or your home’s exterior. Contact tree trimming services to complete this routine task. Similarly, removing large branches — and especially large branches that fall near windows or hang over your roof — is another way to keep your home maintenance and repair costs at bay. Removing these branches protects you from the possibility of costly roof and window repair.
Do you want to learn how to save money on home maintenance? It all boils down to taking preventative steps and investing in small improvements and fixes here and there that will enhance the efficiency and overall condition of your home. Start with any immediate needs, like fixing water or smoke damage, move on to preventative maintenance, and then make smart changes that will improve your home’s energy efficiency.