Nearly one in five home owners worries about their home being a "ticking timebomb" of home maintenance problems, research has found.
Some 18% of home owners questioned for LV= said they were concerned about repair problems building up - equating to 3.2 million homes if the findings were projected across the UK.
Nearly half (48%) of those questioned said they did not have the knowledge or skills to do maintenance work around the house and nearly a third (31%) had put off essential repairs over the past year.
Common concerns included the state of double glazing or gutters and drainpipes as well as out-dated wiring, the survey of more than 1,800 home owners found.
Older homes, such as those from the Victorian or Edwardian era, tend to be more costly to maintain, setting their owners back £2,464 a year on average, compared with an average of £1,600 a year spent by owners of homes built after 1945.
Two-fifths (42%) of those questioned said they would wait until an issue became an emergency before tackling it.
LV= has launched a free online home MOT tool at www.lv.com/homemot offering tips to spot early warning signs of a problem.
Here are some tips from LV= for home maintenance:
- Look for anything leaning against exterior walls, which can lead to damp, as well as ensuring there are no loose roof tiles and gutters are clear
- Avoid common issues such as mould and condensation by making simple changes. Dry all your washing in the same room with the heating on and window open and make sure you air rooms regularly
- Check grouting and sealant around baths and showers regularly - the ageing of these materials is a common cause of water damage
- Keep a folder with details of all your suppliers and dates of work so all the information you need is in one place
- Keep a small pot of savings aside for unexpected maintenance issues.