My wife and I have a running joke (okay it’s not really funny) that whenever we take our car in for preventive maintenance it ends up costing us $1,000 no matter how well the car is running. Many homeowners have that same concern when it comes to paying for maintenance on their house and therefore adopt a “break-fix” approach to caring for their homes. This begs the question: what’s the downside, aside from potential short-term disruption, to waiting for things to break down before spending money to resolve the issues?
As you can probably guess, the downside of deferred home maintenance can actually be quite significant and can end up costing the homeowner many times what the preventive maintenance program would have. Here are just a few impacts to consider:
• Neglected maintenance on your home’s systems and appliances can lead to premature failure that can shorten their lifespan by years. The cost of replacing these items can range from the hundreds of dollars for smaller appliances to thousands for your heating and cooling systems;
• Failure to conduct seasonal maintenance such as gutter cleaning can lead to thousands of dollars in water damage from storms – damage that is usually not covered by insurance;
• Faulty supply lines, leaky drains and other plumbing breakdowns cost little to repair if identified early but when neglected they can lead to major leaks and even floods and major expenses and insurance headaches;
• Deferring maintenance can also lead to higher heating/cooling costs due to insufficient weatherproofing and insulation and higher water bills resulting from running toilets and dripping faucets;
• And finally, waiting until an emergency arises puts homeowners at the mercy of whichever contractor might be available to respond at that time.
Clearly, there has to be a better way to care for your home. Whether they do it themselves or contract with a company like Hassle Free Home Services, homeowners should commit to a routine maintenance program and the manageable costs associated with it in order to limit the catastrophic costs that can arise when maintenance is deferred or neglected. For that very reason, my wife and I will continue to grin and bear it when taking our car in for routine preventive maintenance visits.