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3 On Your Side: Top Money Drains On Your Home

By Jim Donovan

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - When you're looking to save money, it's easy to cut corners when it comes to home maintenance. But a little fixing up around the house can actually be an important money saving tool. So 3 On Your Side Consumer Reporter Jim Donovan offers this home repair check list.

Jennifer Galluzzo remembers the day the shower floor shifted under her feet. She says, "It had completely molded out underneath. The shower needed to be completely gutted and redone." A blocked fan vent had trapped moisture in her bathroom. Little did she know, it should be cleaned every two to four months. She says, "We were completely surprised."

In fact a growing number of homeowners simply aren't aware of, or haven't the money to do basic home maintenance, cleaning, and repairs. Coughing up to a few hundred dollars early on, may save big bucks down the road. Polyana DaCosta of says, "When you're on a tight budget, the mentality tends to be 'why fix it if its not broken,' but instead it should be 'let's take care of it now before it becomes an issue.'"

Start with your HVAC unit, or heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. A yearly tune-up by a professional can help prevent a furnace blower breakdown. To avoid a chimney fire, have your chimney swept and inspected for cracks each year. Environmental Inspector Robert Weitz says dryer fires are also common. According to Weitz, "Periodically, the dryer vent either needs to be cleaned out, or it needs to be really replaced if it's a flexible dryer vent."

Clean out your gutters seasonally to prevent water damage. And have your roof inspected periodically too. Otherwise Weitz says, "Over a period of time, the shingles will start to curl. they'll become deteriorated. If you put it off too long then water will enter the house."

Check for signs of mold on a regular basis. It has the potential to destroy walls, cabinets, flooring, and more. According to Weitz, "The best places to check for mold are in the basement where water can seep in through the foundation or where water leaks end up, up in the attic for a lack of ventilation, in bathrooms."

Jennifer Galluzzo now has a home maintenance checklist, and the bathroom vent is at the top! She says, "We would have saved thousands of dollars and weeks of headaches."

By the way, occasional termite inspections are something else you may want to consider and if you have a wood deck, be sure to power wash and seal it every one to three years, depending on use

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