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9 simple tools to help prevent expensive home repairs

Take care of your home and your wallet with these 9 products

Profile picture of Emma Simon
by Emma Simon ConsumerAffairs Research Team
man repairing bathroom sink

From renovations to repairs, owning a home comes with a ton of responsibilities. One of the ways you can prevent expensive home repairs or reduce home damage is to have the right tools to help you avoid expensive repairs down the road. Here are nine inexpensive products designed to keep your home in tiptop shape.

Non-contact infrared thermometer

non-contact infrared thermometer
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PRODUCT DETAILS
  • 16:1 distance-to-spot ratio
  • Why you need it: You don’t want to pay to heat the whole neighborhood

BUY ON AMAZON

If you want to be sure your doors and windows are sealed tight, invest in a non-contact infrared thermometer temperature gun. This digital laser temperature gun tests whether heat is escaping through poorly sealed windows and entryways in the wintertime or verify if cooled air is seeping out during the summer.

Termite detectors

termite detectors
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PRODUCT DETAILS
  • 2 termite products in one
  • Why you need it: Termites are the worst

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If termites actively threaten your home, call a professional exterminator to deal with them and other wood-boring insects. If you suspect you might have a termite problem, Spectracide's outdoor termite detection kit lets you pinpoint termite activity around your house with a pop-up indicator. The 15 included ground stakes also kill foraging termites with bait cartridges.

Durable soaker hoses

durable soaker hoses
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PRODUCT DETAILS
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Why you need it: Conserving water is hip, and it saves money

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Foundation repairs are costly. One of the main reasons foundations crack is that the soil surrounding your house dries out, which causes the foundation to expand and contract. A durable, heavy-duty soaker hose with PVC liner allows you to soak the earth around the edge of your home to keep it from drying out, contracting and subsequently cracking.

Caulking tools

caulking tools
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PRODUCT DETAILS
  • Multiple sizes for every project
  • Why you need it: Drafty windows ruin your cozy winter nights

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Mold can cause tremendous damage to your home. A solid caulking tool kit can be your best defense to prevent water from sinks, toilets, showers and tubs from leaking out and causing mold or wood rot. Caulking or recaulking seams and corners around doors and windows also prevents drafts and rainwater from seeping inside.

Home warranty

Unlike homeowners insurance, home warranties are designed to pay for expensive repairs related to specific home systems, such as heating, ventilation and cooling (HVAC) units. If you’re a homeowner, consider investing in a home warranty to help cover system repairs and large appliances, including refrigerators and stoves. Find out if you’re eligible for a home warranty by visiting our Best Home Warranty guide.

Water leak alarm

water leak alarm
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PRODUCT DETAILS
  • Includes three detectors
  • Why you need it: Water damage is expensive

BUY ON AMAZON

Anywhere water is stored or moves through your house — your basement, bathroom, laundry room or water heater — has the potential for a harmful leak. In worst-case scenarios, flooding can occur and damage the structure of your home and destroy home systems or valuable possessions. A loud water alarm built for leak detection and flood alerts helps you prevent water damage before it gets out of control.

Outdoor deck sealant

outdoor deck sealant
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PRODUCT DETAILS
  • Doesn’t require back-brushing or multiple coats
  • Why you need it: So everyone can watch you light it up as grill master

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If you have an outdoor balcony or deck made of wood, coat it with durable waterproof deck sealant. By doing so, you can avoid more expensive deck repairs in the future. Ready Seal, which comes in a variety of semi-transparent stain colors, doesn’t require a primer, applies easily and extends the life of your wood by protecting it from mold, mildew and UV rays.

Deck stain brush

deck stain brush
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PRODUCT DETAILS
  • Love it or return it warranty
  • Why you need it: To apply the aforementioned deck sealant

BUY ON AMAZON

If you’re serious about staining your deck and other outdoor wood surfaces, this Perdura Pro deck stain brush is a must-have. Safeguard your cherished wood surfaces from weather damage and save your back with this 7-inch brush. It's the perfect tool for big staining jobs, works with both oil- and water-based paints and can also be used for concrete surfaces.

Drain snake

drain snake
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PRODUCT DETAILS
  • Perfect for every type of drain
  • Why you need it: There’s nothing more awkward than a clogged toilet

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If you need to unclog stinky or troublesome pipes, a drain auger (or drain snake, which is a tad smaller) saves you money by preventing worse plumbing issues. The Tacklife drain snake has a flexible 25-foot-long shaft. It comes with an automatic telescopic function to clear blocked pipes and drains of varying sizes, which helps ensure the longevity of your home plumbing system.

Visit our home maintenance checklist for practical monthly, quarterly and annual maintenance ideas.

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Profile picture of Emma Simon
by Emma Simon ConsumerAffairs Research Team

As a member of the ConsumerAffairs research team, Emma Simon is dedicated to creating accurate and valuable content that helps consumers make difficult decisions.