It may not look like it, but your house is essentially a living thing. Not the kind you see in animated movies, but you get the gist of it. No? Okay, how about this: when everything is working smoothly, you wouldn’t notice a thing, but the moment something goes wrong, you can bet your house will let you know. Do you know the overall cost of unexpected home repair?

According to a recent study about 35% of American homeowners (one-third), have shelled out $5,000 or more on unexpected home repairs. The majority of people don’t have that kind of cash lying around waiting for home repairs. You’re probably thinking that you can manage to save that kind of money, but what if we tell you that you don’t have to do that, since the majority of home repairs can be avoided.

Remember your house being a living thing? Well it tells you when things aren’t working, but you have to pay attention, since it can’t speak about it to you. Neglecting signs of deterioration or ignoring a problem will only degrade the value of your home. Most homeowners tend to make fairly common home maintenance mistakes, which are easily avoidable, and thankfully for you we will let you know about them.

1. Failing to winterize

Homeowners generally don’t pay any attention to the sprinkler system, leaving water in the line when the cold months arrive. The drop in temperature will freeze the water and damage sprinkler pipes or rupture them. Sounds like a minor problem right? Wrong! It can cost you thousands of dollars, since the water will drain into the soil, and you have a broken sprinkler as well.

2. Not addressing water damage

You need to address water damage or you will have to face the consequences further down the road. If you don’t keep spaces in your home in good repair, water damage will cause molds to appear, and it will also penetrate into the foundations of the building. Repairing water damage is extremely costly and time consuming as well.

3. Ignoring appliance maintenance

If you have faulty appliance lying around your home, your costs will start accumulating slowly as well. Refrigerators and icemakers need routine maintenance and failure to do so is just unnecessary costs rising for you when it comes to home maintenance.

4. Haphazard power washing

Homeowners don’t realize the damage pressure washing does to masonry. Washing your house with extreme pressure can actually cause the mineral deposits to drip out of the stone and brick. They will leave white streak marks on the building, which are impossible to clear away later on.

5. Incorrect temperature control

Closing your vents to control the temperature in your home seems like the best idea you have had in ages, but you’re actually causing more harm, since the furnace will be working harder. This will cause more damage, since a damaged furnace is going to cost you thousands of dollars in replacements.

6. Taping up the walls

Don’t let the kids apply adhesives or tape on the walls, as they are prone to do. It may seem meaningless to you, but when you try peeling off the paper off the walls, you’ll notice the paint coming off as well. So avoid taping them up, unless you want to repaint the walls in your home.

7. Procrastination

This is something that every homeowner is guilty of, no exceptions. Tackling a home maintenance project never seems like a good idea, but it is better to be over and done with it, rather than procrastinate. Treat your home maintenance problems with seriousness, unless you have big pockets, because the costs will keep on rising the more you procrastinate.

So by now you know the common mistakes that you are making when it comes to home maintenance, but fear not, because we will also show you how to get back on track. This is what you’ll have to do:

1. Be proactive

The first step towards effective home maintenance is being proactive about even the most menial of home maintenance tasks. Proper maintenance of your home is a full-time job, and you need to nip the problem in the bud, before it becomes a task too great for you to handle.

2. Get in a routine

Home maintenance isn’t an easy task, but you can develop a routine and follow it to ensure that you can take care of all routine home maintenance tasks. This way you will be able to handle small problems and stop them from escalating.

3. Conduct a check every 6 months

You should keep a regular eye on the maintenance of your home, and thoroughly cover it from head to toe, so that you don’t have any unexpected repairs to look after. Make a list and look at all openings in the home, search for signs of decay, and keep an eye on your water, gas, and electric bills. If you notice any abnormalities, you need to get to the bottom of the problem.

4. Get a smart device

These days it has become easier for homeowners to keep an eye on their home maintenance, since there are plenty of smart devices that will help alert you if there is a problem. You can install these devices anywhere in your home, so that you can rest easy and it will monitor your home for you. This is a godsend for all those people who don’t have enough time to properly manage their home maintenance, and can help them save thousands of dollars in repairs.

A lot of people are new to the home ownership experience and don’t understand the importance or the demands of proper home maintenance. They end up making things harder for themselves by not being vigilant or smart about simple home maintenance problems. You will only cause trouble for yourself by letting a small problem get out of hand. Hopefully, you have recognized the error of your ways and will be more vigilant when it comes to home maintenance in the future.