There’s a generation that still relies on their mothers for doctors’ appointments, I have to confess that I still ask my parent for several things, including how to care for my car. After all, they have experienced more financial mistakes and learned from these, so my options are taking advice from experienced homeowners or going on my own trying to look after my own repairs at home.

I have asked my parents for their advice regarding the home and consider the most expensive repairs that our home that to undergo, here’s a quick list of their recommendations and may my parent's recommendation brighten and ease your experience.

Winterize your plumbing

I don’t really have big memories of when a contractor would come home to make sure all our external plumbing would be empty of water, I never knew its importance until recently when I bought my first house and didn’t care for sprinklers or external water outlets. My dad called offering the same contractors like the ones they use, it took me 5 minutes of explanations, 10 minutes of google ‘research’ and watching a wiki on ‘how-to’ to finally call back and ask for their number.

Aside from the fact that I seem to be quite stubborn, I must admit that it is the fact that I wanted to care for my own home, I wanted to paint, run electric lines, and do my own repairs, it was really because I didn’t believe I needed the service. They come and close all the external water outlets and with the help of a special pump empty the sprinkler system. My dad had to give me an estimate of a repair for water leaking because of water that had frozen during the winter in the piping.

Clean your gutters

I have learned that water is a very important thing for a home, however, most of the problems that a house might need repair to involve water being kept at bay. Any leak of water is expensive, any space that filters water from the roof is expensive. The funny thing is most of the roofing problems come from a lack of maintenance to gutters. As debris accumulates in the gutters, rain and snow sit for a long time raising the possibility of water damage and leaks.

I have found a list of Dos and Don’ts for roof repair that can serve as a safety guide. The truth is cleaning gutters is not that hard, but it requires safety measures, and while you are up there a quick roof inspection can get done.

Coat areas of your roof that are more vulnerable

My parents recently decided to coat the area surrounding the fireplace exhaust in the roof. They found that water, snow, and UV light throughout the years had an impact on the roof, especially over the area that had a mix of materials. Over the years they received the advice of coating. This technique has different purposes, it extends life and protects the roof. Some people have used this as an alternative to roof replacement, as in some minor damage cases it can be an alternative.

The reason that my parents considered and decided to periodically do this, is to protect the most vulnerable areas of the roof. They considered the cost of roof replacement, repair and several other works that could happen depending on the conditions that affect the building. Their conclusion was a smaller investment would protect the home and reduce risk in a very vulnerable part. There is no certainty in most circumstances that cost has been reduced, however, with past storms and changing weather conditions, I have to admit that some of our neighbours had no option but to carry out expensive repairs and some had no option but to replace their roof. So I’d say my parents had the prevention to thank for the results.

Maintain your boiler or gas heater

Recently a couple of my friends decided to redo their home, they considered COVID quarantine as a good season to carry out their own repairs, they were amateurs to the process and used a lot of advice from friends and Pinterest. I admit that the results are great, their home looks incredible. The kitchen has this mix of teal blue cabinets and white for the walls, the details are in brushed brass. They hated the process but loved the results. In the process they had to decide whether to close or repair the gas heater, as they are located in LA, they considered it unnecessary to have a gas heater and with small kids, it seemed like an unwanted risk.

Winter came and they lived to regret their choice, I recently visited and noticed how the home keeps very cold throughout the day, they have space heaters and have had to suffer very expensive bills, altogether the repair and maintenance of the previous heater would have reaped lowers costs, compared to the expensive bills that they received.

Fight Humidity

As a homeowner myself, I have started to realise the dangers of humidity, recently our laundry room had the exhaust out of order and we carried the normal activities for months, not realizing that a lot of the moisture gets trapped in the room and it eats through anything. Mostly it started with the lightning in that room, one day the light went out and I thought it just needed a new lightbulb.

After changing it, and having no results, I had to call the electrician, only to realise that the moisture had eaten through the contacts and rusted a lot in the wires. In such a short time the damaged cost me much more in repair. Since then I started to consider humidity as the enemy of savings and I invest in reducing high humidity in different areas of the home.

I hope you found this list useful, and start making some calls to add more ideas to the list.