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11 Ways to Avoid Costly Home Repairs

Maintain your house now, so you can avoid big problems later on

En español  |  Your house talks to you — and what is it saying? It's giving you early warning signs of potential trouble at its most vulnerable spots, and by paying attention you can prevent costly repairs down the road.


Exterior Walls and Trim


Problems: Water damage causing rot, insects and interior wall damage; mold or mildew, drafts.

Trouble signs: Cracked, blistered or peeling paint on walls and trim; cracks in stucco; loose or cracked caulk around windows and doors; foliage touching your home.

What you can do: Scrape, patch and repaint problem areas with a quality exterior paint. Apply silicone caulk where siding meets trim and the foundation. Trim foliage so it's at least 12 inches from your house. Scrub mildew or mold with equal parts of water and bleach.

What it may cost: A gallon of paint goes for about $25. Caulk runs about $6 per tube and bleach costs pennies per application.

What you could save: Thousands of dollars in water damage and possible hundreds per year from draft-caused energy waste.

  — Photo by Getty Images

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