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Smarter Living: Keeping your home healthy

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RALEIGH, N.C. -

When it comes to home improvement, we’d all like to spend our money on so-called ‘sexy’ projects, such as transforming your master bath into a spa. Chances are, though, that you’ll have to spend big bucks on unglamorous maintenance projects.

In this installment of ‘Smarter Living,’ we’ll look at ways to keep your home healthy.

Robyn Meslin ended up in a rut after learning the person who previously owned her home did his own electrical work.

“The basement was pretty much a nightmare. He had finished it himself so there were open electrical boxes down there, switches that didn't turn on and off, anything that we could figure out,” she said.

Meslin wound up having to call in a professional, a potentially expensive move.

She was smart, though. Those kinds of issues are some of the most important to deal with, even if they’re not exciting, Angie Hicks of Angie’s List said.

"Updating wiring, replacing your roof - these are the kind of things that are required to keep your house in good condition, but they are not fun and exciting," she said.

But, if you don’t tackle those issues, you could wind up hindering the value of your home and its resale value.

One of the most important repairs to make is repairing the foundation, if necessary.

A slow-growing crack up the wall should be checked out before it’s too late.

Another potential fix that is very important is getting rid of any mold in the home. Mold can cause health problems. Your best bet? Hire a remediation company that can pinpoint the mold’s source.

Just as Meslin did, updating electrical wiring is very important and sometimes very necessary. Rewiring a home or modernizing an aging electrical system is not cheap, but you’ll sleep better knowing there’s a decreased risk of fire.

Financial planners recommend tucking away at least $5,000 for these projects. If you don’t have that kind of money right now or don’t have an emergency fund, it’s a good idea to start one.

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