MORE BANG FOR YOUR BUCK: Maintenance can prevent costly repairs - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

MORE BANG FOR YOUR BUCK: Maintenance can prevent costly repairs

A lot of people are watching the bottom line - but forgetting to watch the furnace, roof and even the dryer vent!

Many people are skipping basic home maintenance, cleaning, and repair. But as NBC12's Diva of Discounts tells us, spending a little now can save you thousands down the road.

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," said Galluzzo.

The culprit? A backed up bathroom vent. It should be cleaned every two to four months.

Polyana da Costa with bankrate.com says homeowners simply aren't aware of, or find it tough to pay for, basic home maintenance, cleaning, and repair. But spending a few hundred dollars now, you can save thousands down the road.

"The mentality tends to be 'why fix it if it's not broken,' but instead it should be 'let's take care of it now before it becomes an issue," said Costa.

Starting with the HVAC unit. A yearly tune-up can help prevent a furnace blower breakdown. You should also schedule an annual termite inspection.

|I've seen people who have to replace an entire wall because of termites. They can do substantial damage," said Costa.

So can a chimney fire, so have it sweeped and inspected for cracks each year. Dryer fires are also common.

"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 your gutters four to six times a year to prevent water damage. And have your roof inspected once a year.

"Over a period of time, the shingles will start to curl. They'll become deteriorated. If you put it off too long then water will enter the house."

Check for mold on a regular basis. It can destroy walls, cabinets, and flooring.

"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."

Jennifer 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," said Galluzzo.

If you have a wood deck, be sure to power wash and seal it every one to three years, depending on use.

Replacing an entire deck can be pricey - we're talking $4,000 to $20,000!

Copyright 2013 WWBT NBC12.  All rights reserved.

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