What would you do if a pipe burst on your property? If you don’t have a good answer to that question, you could be setting yourself up for a major headache in the future. Here are some easy ways to prepare for sudden home emergencies without draining your energy or finances.
If you are a new homeowner, it’s important to keep in mind that you are responsible for all repairs and issues that occur in your home. This can be difficult for people to adjust to, but this simply means that you need to be more careful with routine maintenance. You’ll want to set up a maintenance schedule so that you get in the habit of cleaning leaves out of gutters and vacuuming refrigerator coils, as well as other seasonal chores that can help you avoid costly repairs and energy bills. You may think a simple task like clearing gutters isn’t very important, but not doing so can cause water to collect around the foundation of your home, rather than away from it. That could leave you with some serious damage to your foundation, and expensive repairs that your homeowner’s insurance may not cover.
Another easy way to protect your home from costly repairs is to have a working knowledge of all the systems that keep you comfortable. This includes your HVAC system, so find online guides that will familiarize you with this all-important system.
Getting hit with a $2,000 plumbing repair bill is never fun, but if you have some savings set aside for these kinds of emergencies, you are much less likely to do permanent damage to your finances. Establishing an emergency home repair fund is something that every homeowner should try to do. How much you save will depend on a few factors, but you should aim to set aside up to 1 to 3 percent of the value of your home. If you purchased a $300,000 home, having a minimum of $3,000 will prevent financial headaches if any issues come up in the future.
While having a savings plan is the smartest way to pay for unexpected home projects, sometimes issues come up before you’ve even had a chance to tuck money away. In those cases, it helps to know other ways to cover pesky repair costs. Taking out a personal or home equity loan can be a low-cost, low-hassle method for getting the cash you need, but you can also use credit cards if you need to pay for a repair ASAP. Before you pay out of pocket, however, you should check with your insurance to see if they will pick up part of the tab. Be aware of common issues not covered by insurance, such as a backed up sewer line.
One of the biggest headaches of unexpected home repairs is knowing where to look for a contractor. You can find a contractor by asking around to local friends or using an online review site. So, if you need to find a plumber, a carpenter, or someone to help clean your home, having these resources can save you some time. Of course, the best bet for finding a contractor ASAP is to work on those connections before you ever need repair services. Ask your realtor or family members for recommendations, and then reach out to those individuals or companies for pricing. If you need minor work done, you may also want to give those contractors a call, but you also can try to do smaller home fixes yourself.
A restoration company is your best bet for dealing with issues that can linger and affect your family’s health. Mold removal, for example, is not something that should be attempted on your own. The common belief is that bleach kills mold and keeps it from returning. That’s far from the truth, and bleach only eliminates the musty smell. If the area remains damp, the issues can spread even further. Sewage cleanup and water damage repairs should also be left to the pros.
Dealing with surprise home repairs can be a nightmare, but being prepared can take some of the sting out of completing those unforeseen fixes. So, get a basic set of tools, set a maintenance schedule, and start saving now for those rainy days ahead.