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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.

 

Gutters

 

Problems: Wet or flooded basements, foundation damage.

Trouble signs: Basement flooding, or water spilling over gutters during rainstorms or pooling around your home's foundations.

What you can do: Extend downspouts to direct water at least 10 feet away from your home's foundation. Replace dented downspouts. Clean gutters at least twice a year.

What it may cost: Twelve-foot vinyl downspouts cost $10-$15 each. For a cleaner look, dig trenches on a downward slope away from your house and install 4-inch PVC pipe ($17 per 10-foot sections) below grass, secured to downspouts with "offset adjuster" connectors ($2 each).
For $1 a foot, prevent future clogging with homeowner-installed gutter shield strips. Replacing faulty gutters or having gutter shield professionally installed can cost $1,500 to $3,000 for a medium-sized house. A professional gutter cleaning and inspection starts at about $60.

What you could save: Tens of thousands in foundation damage and thousands in repairs of finished basements.

  — Photo by Getty Images

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