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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.

 

Windows and Doors

 

Problems: Water damage, higher heating and cooling costs, increased risk of burglary.

Trouble signs: Air drafts; loose or cracked caulk around windows and doors (interior and exterior); water stains near windows and doors; weak security of windows and doors.

What you can do: Remove damaged caulk and reapply silicone caulk around interior and exterior windows and doors. Install plastic insulation sheathing on old windows. Use window locks and install deadbolt locks on doors — one in three home burglaries results from unforced entry.

What it may cost: A $10 insulation kit is good for six windows. Deadbolt locks start at $20 and can be installed by a DIY-er in less than one hour. A locksmith charges $50 or more to install a deadbolt.

What you could save: Thousands in water damage or up to hundreds annually in wasted energy cost; your possessions not being pilfered.

  — Photo by Getty Images

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