Serious money spent in our homes on repairs can be a reality due to a number of things. Most causes are from homeowner neglect that may promote and even facilitate fire and water damage. The consequences of poor stewardship of our possessions can be very costly. Let’s consider a few quick fixes that can solve these potential problems before they become issues.
Hot water tank
If hot water tank is located in the interior of the house, install pan under tank with direct outside venting to remove water due to leakage or general failure. All hot water tanks have a pop-off valve to prevent overheating. This valve needs a direct outside vent as well.
It’s best to have the water tank located in a non-living space such as garage. Cost to move a hot water tank is negligible compared to tank failure while situated in the interior of the home.
Dishwasher water and drain hoses
Insurance statistics indicate that neglected hose maintenance is one of the more frequent water damage causes. Most laymen or handymen can take care of this issue with minimal effort and/or expense by merely removing the appliance, changing hoses and reinstalling.
Refrigerator icemaker water hose
The fix on this is simple. Pull the refrigerator out and replace the existing hose with flexible braided cable hose. While the fridge is out, clean the exterior elements of the refrigerator, as they can restrict the airflow and shorten the life span of the appliance.
Washing machine water hoses
Even though most washing machines have a water shut off valve, most neglect to use it; therefore, the ease and reasonably inexpensive cost of replacing the hoses is a must. Careful diligence in securing the wastewater hose to its drain is also an absolute must as the consequences of it pulling out of the drain are severe.
Outside hose bibs
If you leave outside hoses attached, be sure to drain them as they can freeze in cold temperatures and be subject to backing up into interior walls and causing damage.
The outflow of moisture and heat from the dryer can be impeded by poor airflow. This is typically caused by lint buildup or crimping of the dryer hose to the exterior. The damage caused by this can range from early failure of the appliance to fire in the vent system. Pull out the dryer and clean the vent pipe, while making sure the exterior wall vent is operational as well.
Oven/Range hood venting
Due to the nature of the air vented through this appliance, grease build-up is likely. When neglected, the grease-laden screen/vent pipe is a prime target for fire. Remove and clean screen, inspect and clean vent pipe, and have an easily accessible fire extinguisher available.
With little time and expense, the above fixes could save you from a lot of damage and frustration. You would do well to embrace the old saying, “a stitch in time saves nine” and move away from the too often embraced, “why do today what I can do tomorrow?” mentality.
George Gallagher is a prolific writer for all things finance and frugality related. He also helps recent graduates with their loan consolidation questions.